Crazy game at Aggie Memorial Stadium last night. NMSU beat Idaho 45-31, something that was anticipated. Lets look at the pregame predictions and if they came to fruition.
Originally, I said 42-20, NMSU. Alright here, as I was pretty much on point with the Aggie score. Really, if NMSU played half-decent in the kicking game/special teams, I'm closer to my original prediction. Did anyone see the kicking game? It was not good.
I figured the Aggies would break out on offense, the unknown was Kenneth Buckley. He came on in a major way. Chris Williams went down and Buckley filled in nicely. Big loss of Chris. Buckley won't produce like Williams, but for one night he did, at least from a scoring standpoint with two TDs, and they were big TDs too. Nice performance from Buckley.
Chase went to Derek Dubois a lot and he produced. Seven catches for 141 yards and a touch is big. He made an insane run where no one on Idaho could tackle him. There were some crazy plays in the game and some were gamechanging. Derek's run was big after the catch and what about Davon House? He returned a ball 100-plus yards for a TD. Idaho's quarterbacking was atrocious. If they throw the ball in that game, they win.
Truthfully, I was confused by the fact that the Vandals switched between Ashley and Nooy. I thought the offense moved much better with Ashley in the game. He could run. Nooy really couldn't. Neither QB hit guys downfield either. After Idaho recovered an onside kick with seven-minutes remaining, they had guys wide open downfield and Ashley just overthrew them. A good pass on one of them and they score a TD, cut the deficit to seven and the game is totally different. Aggie D has plenty of holes, Idaho just couldn't exploit them through the air.
Ground game was good when it had to be. Tonny Glynn ripped off some long runs. Justine Buries only got four carries. Justine's a hard hitter with the ball, he attacks people. You hope he hasn't taken too many big shots. He is one year removed from knee surgery.
Overall, many of the predictions from my entry on the 17th called for a closer game than expected. The most accurate one was Wesley and he went on to rip my fantasy football team. One called for a struggle on the ground, SM prayed for a win. One in particular said the O-line had to play well for a game in the 40s and I thought it was a good call. The O-line produced. Holbrook took one really big shot but that was about it and said after the game that he felt fine after the hit. He was blindsided though.
Overall, I thought the win was good. Any win is good for NMSU and they are better than Idaho. The Aggies are better than a few teams in the WAC and the Vandals are definitely one of them. The real downer is the loss of Williams, who is their most dynamic player on both sides of the ball. I think the offense really struggles without Chris. It will show down the road.
A win is a win in Aggie land.