(Photo credit: Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK)
Behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Diego Pavia, New Mexico State earned its first-ever win over an SEC team by upsetting Auburn 31-10 on the road Saturday afternoon in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn was a 25.5-point favorite.
Pavia completed 19 of 28 passes for 201 yards and rushed for 35 yards for an Aggies offense that maintained possession for 38:50 minutes.
Star Thomas (67 yards) and Makhilyn Young (76 yards and a score) paced the Aggies' (9-3) ground attack. Kordell David had four receptions for 55 yards and a score. Eli Stowers added four receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown in addition to his 19 yards on the ground.
New Mexico State's defense limited Auburn (6-5) to 213 total yards and just 11 first downs.
Payton Thorne passed for 148 yards and a touchdown and added 38 yards on the ground for Auburn. Jarquez Hunter was limited to 27 yards rushing. Rivaldo Fairweather paced the Tigers' passing attack with three receptions for 44 yards and their only TD.
New Mexico State jumped out to a 7-0 first-quarter lead when Pavia found David in the corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass on its opening possession.
Auburn tied the game at 7-all when Fairweather capped an 11-play, 81-yard drive with a 32-yard scoring reception. An unnecessary roughness penalty with the Tigers facing a third-and-15 kept the drive alive.
An Ethan Albertson 40-yard field goal gave New Mexico State a 10-7 lead with 31 seconds remaining until halftime.
The Aggies pushed their lead to 17-7 on their opening possession of the second half when Thomas capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 17-yard scoring reception.
A fake field goal to start the fourth quarter moved New Mexico State deep into Auburn territory. After a controversial fumble by Pavia that was ruled down by replay, the Aggies maintained possession and faced a second-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Three plays later, Pavia connected with Stowers for a 2-yard touchdown.
A 48-yard field goal by Alex McPherson and a 2-yard Young TD run capped the scoring.
--Field Level Media