LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – NMSU is one of the few college football teams to take the field this weekend for week zero. The Aggies will host UMASS for a nationally televised game on ESPN.

“It helps our whole state,” said Head Coach Jerry Kill. “It certainly helps Las Cruces. It helps our university. It helps our football team. It helps recruiting, so all of those things.”

The Aggies are coming off a 7-win season and a bowl victory with former Volcano Vista and NMMI quarterback Diego Pavia. He is back in the starting role for 2023 and is expected to go on a bigger run in year two with even more weapons.

“He’s throwing the ball tremendously,” Kill said. “I think, at practice the other day, he was 18 for 21 in the wind. So, he just really worked on his throwing capabilities, and, you know, he’s still Diego. He can make plays.”

“I feel comfortable,” said Pavia. “The offense as a whole is getting good. Upfront, we’re solid. So, it’s more or less chemistry with the outside receivers and just getting things to flow. It’s a new year for sure, you know. You got to come out. Like Coach said, game one is the most important one and so, we’re getting ready for UMASS, and August 26th, we will be ready.”

NMSU and UMASS kickoff at 5 p.m. MT on Saturday.