Tom Smart, Deseret News
Brigham Young Cougars quarterback James Lark (7)as Brigham Young University defeats Weber State University in football 45-6 Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in Provo, Utah.

BYU (6-5) at New Mexico State (1-9, 0-5)

SATURDAY, 1:30 p.m.

Aggie Memorial Stadium (30,343)

Natural grass, Las Cruces, N.M.

Online: ESPN3

Radio: 1160AM, 102.7FM

Weather: Sunny with temperatures in the low 60s.

The Stakes

For BYU ... The Cougars are looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss last week at San Jose State and build some momentum going into the Poinsettia Bowl.

For NMSU ...The Aggies, who are coming off a bye, have had a miserable season. A win over BYU in its home finale would be a major boost for New Mexico State.

The Trends

For BYU ... The Cougars have followed an interesting pattern this season — two wins, then two losses, two wins, two losses, two wins and a loss at SJSU. BYU is looking to end that trend today with a victory to avoid a .500 season.

For NMSU ... The Aggies have lost nine consecutive games, including a 47-7 drubbing at the hands of San Jose State on Nov. 10.

The Edge

BYUwill win if ... The Cougars can score on their red zone opportunities, and hold on to the ball.

NMSU will win if ... The Aggies can make big plays and score long touchdowns in the passing game and force BYU to turn the ball over.

Player to Watch

James Lark, BYU: The Cougars' backup quarterback took all of the snaps in practice early in the week with starter Riley Nelson out with a rib injury. Will Lark make his first career start, or see significant playing time Saturday?

Key Matchup

BYU's defensive secondary vs. NMSU WR Austin Franklin: The Cougar defense has been vulnerable at times to good wide receivers, and Franklin is a legitimate deep threat.

Injury Report

BYU: Quarterback Riley Nelson (rib injury) is listed as probable for this week. Wide receiver Cody Hoffman (shoulder) is expected to play.

NMSU: No major injuries.

Next Up

Comment on this story

New Mexico State visits Texas State in its regular-season finale on Dec. 1. BYU will play in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20.


Date Opponent Time/result

Aug. 30 Washington State W, 30-6

Sept. 8 Weber State W, 45-13

Sept. 15 at Utah L, 24-21

Sept. 20 at Boise State L, 7-6

Sept. 28 Hawaii W, 47-0

Oct. 5 Utah State W, 6-3

Oct. 13 Oregon State L, 42-24

Oct. 20 at Notre Dame L, 17-14

Oct. 27 at Georgia Tech W, 41-17

Nov. 10 Idaho W, 52-13

Nov. 17 at San Jose State L, 20-14

Nov. 24 at New Mexico St. 1:30 p.m.