It was the game you probably didn’t see but showed everything about college football that’s amazing. A division 1 program fighting adversity. An upstart FCS school trying to make a name for itself. And a wild Hail Mary play to end the game. Forget the fact the two schools were ranked in the bottom 20 percent of the nation according to Sagarin. This was a pillow fight turned instant classic.
New Mexico State was trying to snap its 18-game losing streak by paying FCS Abilene Christian, a school in year one of division one ball, to show up for homecoming. Problem is the Aggies, a program that’s been outscored 792-289 during the streak, has to work hard to beat a high school. There is no such thing as an easy win for NMSU.
ACU had a 22-21 lead going into the fourth but NMSU scored 13 straight points to make it 34-22. The Wildcats scored a touchdown with under a minute to go to make it a 5-point game and recovered an onside kick. FCS ACU had a chance to win its first game against a FBS program. Sure it’s NMSU but still.
The following action is hard to describe so…
Talk about awful announcing. I’ll let ACU’s Facebook page describe the play for us.
ACU falls to New Mexico State, 34-29. The Wildcats’ final, desperation play falls three yards short as a Hail Mary throw from John David Baker to Monte Green-Avery was caught and then lateraled to Taylor Gabriel, who sprinted down the far sideline for what looked like it would be the game-winning touchdown. But Gabriel was brought down at the 3-yard line and the Aggies escaped with a win to snap an 18-game losing streak. Great effort by the Wildcats. #LivePurple #ProudToBeAWildcat
So even though ACU lost it’s pretty happy with its effort and how close it came to knocking off a FBS school. Good Christian attitude to have since, you guessed it, Abilene Christian is a Christian school located in Abilene, Texas. Abilene Christian entered the game 5-3 but had a schedule loaded with division 2 schools as the program makes the transition. While the Wildcats talked up how close they came to winning, the New Mexico State Aggies boasted the fact it won a game.
Aggie Up? You were three yards away from blowing your homecoming game against a team that was Division 2 just 10 months ago.
The announcers, that I could hardly stand, said the Aggie coach was drenched in Gatorade. That’s how desperate it was for NMSU. A loss Saturday night would not have been depressing. It would have rendered the sober Aggie fans catatonic. I say sober fans because these were the t-shirts the students were given for showing up to the game. I’ll let you infer the meaning. Not only was this a great pillow fight game but it was also sinners versus Christ followers.
I love watching these types of games. Casual fans may think it was meaningless but to the players, coaches, and 300 sober fans at Las Cruces, it meant a lot.
Bonus great finish: Texas State converts on fourth and forever.
Trailing at home to South Alabama 31-30 with time winding down in the fourth, Texas State desperately needed to get into field goal range. The Bobcats faced third and four at its own 46 when a completed pass seemingly gave the home team a first down. That’s when the officials stepped in and called the rarer than rare offensive pass interference penalty on Texas State. After a false start penalty and an incomplete pass, Texas State faced a fourth and 24 with 41 seconds remaining. Game over Bobcats. Start partying Jaguars. Then the unthinkable happened.
Bobcats complete 4th and 25, putting the ball on the Jags 23-yard line. 28 seconds remaining.
— Texas State Bobcats (@TXSTATEBOBCATS) October 27, 2013
Texas State quarterback Tyler Jones rolled out of the pocket for a desperation throw that landed in the hands of receiver Ben Ijah, who took it 51 yards. The Bobcats would kick a field goal to take a 33-31 win and move to 5-3 (2-2 Sun Belt). That’s right, Texas State is only a win away from bowl eligibility thanks to an insane fourth down conversion.
For 3-4 (1-2 Sun Belt) South Alabama it’s the exact opposite. The Jaguars will have little left to play for this season as they can only reflect on how it gave a game away in the most painful manner we’ve seen a team do so this year. At least they are better than New Mexico State.