Saturday, September 20, 2008

Game recap

NMSU gutted out a 34-33 win over UTEP on Saturday night at the Sun Bowl. The defense held late in an exciting contest. I think we all knew that the game would go down to the wire and it didn't disappoint. Lets go over how things played out as well as compare and contrast my pre-game predictions written on my blog post yesterday.

I said that UTEP would win 42-35. I was wrong, as NMSU found a way to hold them under that number. The 34 points scored by the Aggies was just about on the mark.

I had Holbrook completing 35 passes for over 350 yards, three TDs and two picks. He ended 29-of-39, 329 yards and five TDs. He threw two picks and had a backward pass recovered by UTEP, which will be ruled as a fumble. He threw his two picks early and made big tosses when he had to. Good game for Chase. He needed it and he performed when called upon.

I thought Chris Williams would go for over 100 yards and two TDs. I had the running backs having a big evening, with Colston grabbing 80 and a score, Glynn going for 60 and Brandon Perez scoring from short range.

Chris ended up with seven grabs for 119 yards while the RBs didn't do much, although Marquell made a few big plays when he had to. He recorded three grabs for 39 yards to go along with his 21 yards rushing. He will be a contributor throughout the year.

UTEP's star players ended up being a wash, as quarterback Trevor Vittatoe left the game early and running back Terrell Jackson didn't play, as he was hurt as well. Those two leaving changes the entire complexion of the game. Would the Miners win if they both played? Hard to tell. The game would certainly have played out differently though, as UTEP was forced to run the ball throughout with QB James Thomas at the controls. In the end, does it matter? No. Football is a game of injuries and the Aggies have suffered their fair share the last couple of years. A win is a win, and no one on the NMSU sideline will apologize for it.

Keys to the game? Marcus Anderson caught three TDs. Good player! What about NMSU scoring on that 4th-and-21? Big play, the Miner defense should be ashamed of itself for giving that up.

With UTEP driving late, the Aggies forced a fumble and fell on the ball. Huge play, the Miners were in FG range and could have taken the lead right there....Miner kicker Jose Martinez missed a FG on the team's opening drive of the third quarter. He's a good kicker but in a game where every point counts, that's a big miss. Usually the Aggies are the one's missing that field goal and it was nice to be on the other end of it. This team deserves some breaks down the stretch.

With so many Miners banged up, it's hard to gouge the defense's performance. We will say this though, they played well when they had to. One thing the team did was get to the QB. NMSU generated a good deal of sacks and pressure, which caused some problems for UTEP. Derrick Richardson had 21 tackles. That's huge! Derrick has 38 on the year in two games! If he keeps this up, he is going to lead the WAC in that category. I think he likes the new defense, no? Nick Paden added 15. Overall, the D was more active than in the past. We can say that.

I said at the beginning of the year that NMSU would split with their rivals, with the team losing to the Miners and beating the Lobos at home. Now what? Time to get greedy. I really do think NMSU can beat UNM at home. The Aggies had the Lobos on the ropes last year in Albuquerque and lost. UNM will be mad after getting torched by Tulsa on Saturday. It's going to be a hard fought game next weekend at Aggie Memorial. Get your tickets while they're hot.....


Anonymous said...

NMSU defense is improved from last year. NMSU has to changed up our defense though when the UTEP running quarterback went into the game. NMSU was not prepared to see that type of offense. I feel NMSU would of still won this game if the starting QB had started. NMSU defense was already playing good before the QB went out of the game. NMSU defense only gave up 16 of the 33 points, so I would grade the defense high.

Anonymous said...

I just read your post and you seem dissapointed Utep didn't make you a prophet.
You list all of Utep's injuries as an excuse for losing.

How about NMSU? We are w/o starters Chris Woods, Sioeli Fakalata, Ryan Franzoy and now, ( maybe) Kyle Smith.

How about giving NMSU some credit you JERK!

BIG, BIG, Up's to the defense!! They came up big.

The offense started slow but, responded when needed!

This is going to be a special season, no matter what Teddy says!

Go Aggies, beat the Hobos!

Aggie007 said...

The Mumme-play-calling was very questionable. I can't say enough how I hate those passes to the side that are almost backward laterals. They work once every 20 attempts!
Holbrook played OK, but could've played much better. I wanted to see some bombs to C.Williams. If Williams sprints 40-50 yards to get open, who on UTEP's secondary is going to keep up with him?
Marcus Anderson had his coming out party. What a great athlete. Too bad he's not a freshman! D-Rich continued his dominance at his position, much like former Aggie Jimmy Cottrell dominated his LB position a few years back.
Devon House continued his progression and I'm sure all Aggie fans can say we look forward to see just how good he can get.
NMSU's rushing defense was horrible. They couldn't stop the run until the end! The O-Line needs ALOT of work. I'll just say that.
What is it with Mumme taking such stupid risks; going for it on 4th down multiple times! Is that exciting or reckless?
Chris Williams had a relatively quiet 117 yards receiving, but was effective none-the-less.
And finally, NMSU squezzed this one out. Not an impressive win, but a W is a W!
Lets hope we can take down UNM this Saturday; a team without their starting QB and a team who got punished by Tulsa yesterday.

Go Aggies!

Anonymous said...

Good recap of the game. But, the only thing you did not say is that UTEP is really bad this year, especially when you take away two offensive starters, and they still almost won. Things have not changed, the UNM game is a must win.

Anonymous said...

This game was a good way for the Aggies even if it was just a one point game. Jack Nixon said it well when he said that one point, a hundred points, it didnt matter as long as they won. I think there are several things the team needs to improve because they are what made this game so close.

The offense had 16 possessions in the game with 5 turnovers and 4 punts. That first drive really gave UTEP the opportunity to get the lead as we should have either tried the field goal or run the ball up the middle. We had a chance to really put the game away in the fourth and our offense is stalled and gives the ball back to UTEP with plenty of time on the clock. Mental mistakes and miscues cost us some points but UTEP had no real answer to the passing game. 5 TD's through the air means that our receivers were all over the place and that Chase is getting a hand on things. UTEP runs the same defense as we do and yet we were still unable to get a running game going. Granted, it was not exactly something needed last night but it would have been good to get the defense on its heels.

As for the defense, I think you need to give credit when credit is due and that last stand was pretty good. Richardson did have 21 tackles but he is the SS. We were unable to stop the run again and if teams keep running it at us because our coverage was good all night, we're going to be in more trouble.

The best thing for me was that for once our kicker was not a concern. Made all field goals and had some pretty deep kickoffs. I said that we could really sweep our rivals because of what their records would do them and UNM comes into town with a 1-3 record. Lets make it 1-4 and head to Nevada with a 3-1 record (Alcorn St.). GO AGGIES!


Anonymous said...

Great win for the Ags. First the positives: (1) The D seems to have a "bend don't break" game. They give up plenty of yards, but tighten up when the have to. UTEP got 17 points off our offense, so our D did well. (2) The passing game came alive - good to see. Anderson seems to be a great addition to CW and Harris.

But there were plenty of negatives. (1) As you point out, UTEP played without their QB and RB, and their key receiver played little. Yet, our turnovers allowed UTEP to stay in the game to the very end. Chase has 4 picks in 2 games - not a good start for the senior QB. (2) Our rush D is awful - teams are averaging about 300 yards a game rushing against us. Can we expect the "bend don't break" theme to continue all season?? (3) NMSU has no rushing offense. UTEP has an awful defense (105th total, 101st rushing), yet we could not get anything rushing. Without a respectable running game, good defenses will be able to shut down our one-dimensional offense.

So a win is a win, and our program so desperately needed this. A win against an average Loob team, and there will be excitement heading into WAC play. Hopefully the excitement will translate into fans showing up at our home games. Go Aggies!!
-Aggie Glare

IC said...

Anon 12:00am brings up a great point, the D only gave up 16 points. That is huge! It wouldve been a blowout if not for some of the mistakes on offense. If we get a similar performance from the D this week we could very easily take both games.

We need to have a Crimson out of Aggie Memorial. Let's keep the loobs in the g.a. endzone seats.

We got our cowbells ready!

Anonymous said...

Good job Coach Mumme, staff and players. Good win. Its just one win so let's move forward and get ready to do the same to what will be an angry bunch of UNM Low-Blows next Saturday.

Anonymous said...

You belabored the injuries to the UTEP starters and the "whatifs" that come along with them. However, the Aggie D didn't prepare for the running QB that was the backup and that seemed to actually benefit UTEP for a while. While the Aggie D seemed a little slow to make the adjustment, they made the plays when they needed to. Good job by the whole team in coming from behind and holding on for the win.

Anonymous said...

See the below from ROTOWIRE.

Seems like they aren't giving the Aggie Defense any respect. Time to change that. Go Aggies. Stop the LoBos.

Hold the run under 100 and shut down the pass.

Update: Ferguson had 122 yards and a score in Saturday’s win over Tulsa.

Recommendation: He is the leading rusher in the Mountain West conference and should be in your starting lineup on a weekly basis. He should rip apart New Mexico State on Saturday, as they have given up over 300 yards per game in their first two contests of the season.

Anonymous said...

NMSU defense was not prepared to stop the offense that UTEP ran after thier QB got hurt. NMSU was expecting to see more passing. NMSU didn't expect to see a offense where the QB would run the ball all the damn time. NMSU defense had to adjust. NMSU defense is improved, so give them some credit. Defense made UTEP punt on the first drive, and held them to a field goal after NMSU has turn the ball over in our territory.

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone's had a chance to enjoy the Utep win.
It's Monday, it's a new week and it's time to get ready for Unm.

I know Kyle Smith was hobbling a bit. What's his status? Any other injuries?

Go Aggies!

Anonymous said...

Bring on UNM!!!

And when we win this game, we'll buy a keg of booze, and drink to the AGGIES 'til we wobble in our shoes!!!!

(It's our fight song, for those who don't know)

Anonymous said...

Stopping the run is going to be the difference between having a good run in the WAC or not. The top WAC teams are running the ball better, stronger and with a greater sense of urgency than in the past. Will we be ready to stop the run?

Anybody catch that Boise State win over #17 ranked Oregon at Oregon? We better get our "D" cranked up and do it this weekend.

Anonymous said...

a win is a win! a win is a win! the defense it improved, the offense if getting better, the special teams couldnt have been any worse. so lets be positive and support the aggies! we cant let those loobs fans come up here and take our seats, so get your tickets early and come to the game! there hasnt been a sellout in years! lets show our aggie pride this weekend and whoop them loobs! home croud always helps! come on ags lets make this year the year, no excuses!

Anonymous said...

Come on Teddy. How about a few posts on the upcoming game.

Anonymous said...

canwe pump up the lobo game please! only 6,000 tickets left and we need everyone of those to go to Aggie fans!