Imagine paying to be humiliated. That’s what Auburn did on Saturday against New Mexico State.
In front of a stunned Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn fell in a one-sided thrashing, 31-10, after forking over $1.85 million to New Mexico State for its trouble.
Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze might want to avoid New Mexico State in the future, especially when his team is a heavy favorite. After paying through the nose to get the Aggies to come, Auburn was embarrassed on their home field despite being a 26-point favorite. Per David Hale of ESPN, Freeze has been on the losing end of the last two instances of a 21-plus point underdog winning by 21 or more, with the first time coming in 2022 while he coached at Liberty and the second on Saturday against Auburn.
Saturday’s game was tight in the first half, but New Mexico State kicker Ethan Albertson broke a 7-7 tie with 26 seconds to go in the first half, and the Aggies never looked back. They went on to outscore Auburn 21-3 in the second half, rolling to a huge and lucrative victory away from home.
The Aggies outgained the Tigers 414-213, including 213 rushing yards alone. Running backs Star Thomas and Makhilyn Young paced the ground attack, recording 119 yards and a touchdown combined, while QB Diego Pavia contributed 35 yards on eight carries. Meanwhile, New Mexico State’s defense gave Auburn fits. The Tigers recorded only 11 first downs and finished 2-of-10 on third down against the Aggies.
It’s the first win over an SEC opponent in program history for New Mexico State. At 9-3 (5-2), the Jerry Kill-led Aggies are headed to the Conference USA Championship Game for the first time since 1978, taking on Liberty on Dec. 1.