LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State will be able to send off 20 seniors on Saturday against FCS Valparaiso at 1 p.m., at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
Saturday's game will not count toward bowl eligibility for the 5-6 Aggies, but they could go bowling in Jerry Kill's first season as head coach if NM State's waiver is approved this week to grant the Aggies bowl eligibility for one of the final three slots since their Oct. 22 game against San Jose State was cancelled and the school was unable to find a replacement game despite its best efforts.
The Aggies already have a win over FCS Lamar, but coming off their best win of the season last week at Liberty, the Aggies have won four of their last five games and have a chance to finish with six wins for the first time since 2017.
Senior day showcase
Some guys I would like to see featured on Saturday in what could be their final game.
Trevor Brohard: The New Mexico native plays his final game at Aggie Memorial Stadium after putting together another solid year. Brohard is second on the team with 61 tackles and will end his career on the best defense he's been a part of throughout his career.
Lazarus Williams: Williams has been a steady player setting the edge and getting after the quarterback this season. He is coming off a monster game where he had 2.5 quarterback sacks on Saturday at Liberty to run his total to a team-high 6.5 sacks on the season.
Justice Powers: Powers is the Aggies leading receiver with 18 receptions and 329 yards, but he has yet to score a touchdown. Kordell David has three touchdowns on the season, and Powers has certainly been targeted. It would be good to see him score in his final game at AMS.
Thomaz Whitford: Whitford has 10 receptions for 63 yards and two touchdowns this season, by far all career highs at the tight end position. As the season has gone on, Whitford has seemed to be targeted more late in the season with seven receptions in the last four games.
Diego Pavia can take strangle hold on QB job to close junior year
Early in the season, it didn't look like either Diego Pavia or Gavin Frakes would top 1,000 passing yards on the season.
Pavia had just 322 passing yards through his first six appearances. He now needs just 41 yards to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark on the season as he has completed 71 percent of his passes (37 for 52) for 562 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in wins over UMass, Lamar and Liberty.
Pavia's six-touchdown performance where he passed and rushed for over 100 yards against Liberty earned him national recognition, including the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week honor.
Pavia and Frakes battled throughout the season, but his recent play would place him firmly atop the depth chart you would think entering the postseason.
Defense can control the line of scrimmage
Valparaiso finished 5-6 and finished sixth in the Pioneer Conference.
Valpo running back Aaron Dawson rushed for 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns on 5.7 yards per carry.
The Aggies have done a good job against the run this season, and they should be able to wear down Valpo up front as Valpo quarterbacks have been sacked 31 times this season.
This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Three keys for New Mexico State in season finale against Valparaiso