Idaho football falls short in season finale

Vandals lose lead, come up empty with chance to tie the game at the end.


Idaho New Mexico St Football

New Mexico State's Joseph Matthews, right, carries the ball while Idaho's Marc Millan (23) defends during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in Las Cruces, N.M. New Mexico State won 24-16. (AP Photo/The Las Cruces Sun-News, Robin Zielinski)


LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Andrew McDonald threw for two TDs as New Mexico State avoided the FBS independent cellar by beating Idaho 24-16 on Saturday.

Idaho and New Mexico State, both trying to avoid the worst record among FBS independent schools, held nothing back in the first half. They traded passing TDs and field goals, and Idaho (1-11) led 13-10 going into the break.

“Today was very disappointing,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “The defense came out and played their best game of the year. The offense didn’t. The offense didn’t play good enough.”

McDonald tossed a 7-yard TD to Austin Franklin and Adam Shapiro ran for another Aggie TD in the fourth quarter, giving New Mexico State (2-10) an advantage Idaho could not overcome. The Vandals scored only three points in the second half. Idaho launched a final drive with two minutes left that ended with three incomplete passes from the red zone.

Idaho outgained the Aggies 459 to 371 yards, but New Mexico State had only one penalty, while Idaho gathered eight for 95 yards.

Taylor Davis threw for 250 yards and a touchdown pass to Michael LaGrone for the Vandals, and James Baker ran for 48 yards on eight carries. Najee Lovett made eight catches for 86 yards, and Dezmon Epps made six grabs for 43.

Austin Rehkow hit three field goals, had three punts inside the 20-yard line and ran once for 40 yards.

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