This one was even tougher than the game at Boise State because the Aggies should have won.
The game did not go as I saw it in my pregame prediction. I was on the money with the score hovering in the high teens, low 20s, but I called an NMSU win 20-17. It looked promising until things unraveled late.
I also said the team should get the ball to Williams, which it did. He had a big night - 11 catches, 170 yards, 2 TDs, four carries for 21 yards and handled the majority of kick and punt returns. He's a star player, no matter the QB or matchup.
NMSU held down the La Tech rushing attack, surrendering only 98 yards. I thought the Bulldogs would be much more successful rushing the football and I thought Michael Mosley would do damage on the ground. In the end, Mosley was replaced by Zac Champion, who got hot late and basically led the Bulldogs to the win.
I said the team who would win TOP (time of possession) would win the game. Nope. NMSU held the ball 12-minutes longer than the Bulldogs. Still, surprisingly, with such a slanted time with the ball, the Aggies ran just three more plays and outgained them by just 17 yards. Strange.
McDermott handled himself very well and hooked up with Williams often. He also found Dubois six times for 53 yards and didn't turn the ball over once. I said he would finish with 250 yards, one touch, two picks. He surpassed that no problem, finishing with 319 yards, two touchdowns, zero picks. Good job by the freshman. He was not the reason they lost the game.
Still, the team self-destructed late, a reacurring theme that is extremely frustrating for anyone closely associated with them. The defense played well for three-plus quarters. Then, they simply fell apart for no ryme or reason. Truthfully, La Tech had so many drops early on, it was hard to judge how the Aggie D was playing. If the Bulldogs held on to some passes, they could have scored 30 tonight. They seriously had at least 10 drops it seemed.
I felt poorly following this one. After Boise, I was just mad. But this was much tougher to swallow.