Bowl-eligible New Mexico State drubs Valparaiso

Diego Pavia threw a career-high four touchdown passes, all in the first half, and New Mexico State celebrated bowl-eligibility with a 65-3 rout of Valparaiso

ByThe Associated Press
December 3, 2022, 7:11 PM

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Diego Pavia threw a career-high four touchdown passes, all in the first half, and New Mexico State celebrated bowl-eligibility with a 65-3 rout of Valparaiso on Saturday.

Pavia's TD throws were 50 yards to Jonathan Brady, 69 yards to Justice Powers, 70 yards to Kordell David, and 72 yards to Bryce Childress. Pavia ran 13 yards for one touchdown and had a 75-yard touchdown run called back because of a block-in-the-back penalty. The Aggies got another long-distance score when Ahmonte Watkins raced 78 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Pavia was 9-of-13 passing for 323 yards before giving way to freshman Gavin Frakes late in the second quarter. Frakes completed 5 of 10 passes for 58 yards and third-stringer Weston Eget completed his only attempt for an 8-yard touchdown to Brady.

New Mexico State's first-half dominance was so thorough that the Aggies faced third down only twice in the first 25 minutes of play and converted both times. They finished 3-for-5 on third down in the first half. Three of their scoring drives were of four plays or less.

The second half continued in New Mexico State's favor and the Aggies outgained the Beacons 621-188 for the game.

The Aggies added Saturday's game to their schedule to compensate for their scheduled game against San Jose State that was canceled after the death of San Jose State freshman running back Camdan McWright.

Each team was granted a waiver by the NCAA. Valparaiso (5-7) was allowed to exceed the FCS limit of 11-regular-season games and the Aggies (6-6) were allowed to count both of their wins over FCS teams toward bowl eligibility. The Aggies are 6-6 after Saturday's win and are now bowl eligible.

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