Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Must win?

I stated on my last post that NMSU's game this weekend was a borderline must win. Is the term "must win" thrown around too much? It's a good question.

Some could look at a team's schedule — particularly in football — and say that every game is a must win. I agree, to an extent. And I don't like throwing around the phrase "must win" at every turn of the page. But I do believe this week's game against UTEP is bigger than last week's at Nebraska. Why? Because the Miners are a team that NMSU can legitimately beat. Some asked on my last post if I really thought the Aggies could beat Nebraska. No! Of course I didn't. But I didn't think they would lay an egg either. I thought they would be pretty competitive and put up some points in the process. They did neither. With that being said, when looking at the team's road record the last four years, when understanding the gravity of this season compared to others in recent memory, I think this game against UTEP is huge. A "must win?" It's hard to quantify. I do think the team must play well, and lets face it, playing well but losing in the last five minutes of a game does nothing for this program anymore. A win on the road, against your biggest rival, who play right down the road? Now that does something.

Either way, I think their game against UNM is going to be big next week to, no matter how the Aggies do in El Paso. And I said at the beginning of the year that I thought the Aggies would split with their rivals. But 2-1 with a tough road win sounds a lot better than 1-2 with many questions still unanswered, does it not? The writing is on the wall. Time to step it up and get the signature win that the program has been searching for.


Anonymous said...

Both UTEP and UNM will probably pretty tough to win. UTEP because they are playing at home and they want to beat someone and the Aggies fit the bill in their eyes. UNM may be tough if you believe last weekend's results: Mountain West went 7-1 and the WAC went 2-6. Now we know the Aggies are not at the top of the WAC, so the UNM game could be a big struggle to win, even at home. If we go 0-3 after three weeks, the season will likely be a disaster. Hence, both games are must wins as I think you suggest. 2-1 would be excellent, 1-2 would be acceptable after the third game.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I dissapointed w/ Saturdays game but, I'm back on the horse and ready to cheer on the Aggies!

Yes, the Utep game is a must win and so is the UNM game.
We need to be 3-1 going into WAC play and it starts Saturday.

Buy your tickets and get to the sun Bowl!

Anonymous said...

You said it, this program needs a signature road win. A win in Juarez would do it.

Anonymous said...

Must win IMO. Win this one, and we have huge support against UNM, and we win that one too. Lose and it's a too close to call against the loobs.

Anonymous said...

A split would be ok in these two games. UTEP will be tough on the road. We did have a chance to win down there two years ago until Holbrook threw a late pick which haulted the last drive. We need holbrook to really step up his game and decisions in the so called Big Games. I see us having a great chance to beat UNM. Sure they beat Arizona, but Arizona isn't a top tier Pac 10 team and they are close to firing Stoops over there. My concern is, if UTEP and UNM get smart and pound us on the ground we will struggle. Our defense can't stop anyone on the ground and both those teams have the size and power to run over us.

I will be at all the home games and the UTEP game to support our Aggies.

Holbrook, lead your team and step it up!

Anonymous said...

YES! It is a big win in terms of fan support.

A win and it assures 30,000 vs. UNM.
A loss and Aggie Memorial will be Cherry & Silver next week.

I'll be at the Sun Bowl and all of the home games but, the "wait & see" fans will use the Utep game as a gauge for the rest of the season.

It's time for our Seniors to step up and perform like they are suppose to.
No more dropped balls, mis-communication, out of position or FRESHMEN type play!

SM said...

A "must win" game is just another way of saying that the consequences of losing are unacceptable. In that regard, not all games are "must win." For instance, our game against Nebraska was not a "must win." Likewise, our games against Boise State and Fresno State are not "must wins" because the consequences of losing are not unacceptable.

This week's game against UTEP is a must win, because the consequences of losing puts us at a likely 1-4 going into conference play. That is unacceptable. A realistic Aggie cannot hope to beat the Lobos because Long is a patently better coach than Mumme and gets the most out of his players, who, by the way are pretty good. We will beat Alcorn State, but going in to conference 2-2 vs. 1-4 means the season.

Yes, the UTEP game is a must win because the consequences of losing means falling below 15,000 in attendance for the year and jeopardizing our D-1 status. I'm in Houston, and if I could, I would go back for every game. I don't think NMSU students see it that way. Rest assured, if we are swept by our rivals, the attendance will take a severe hit.

Anonymous said...

SM is right!

I was wearing my NMSU shirt this week in Sunland Park Mall and I ran into some Utep FB players this weekend.

They made a couple of comment on how they would move the ball at will and be Chase's face all day!

What realy bothered me was they said last year's Aggie win was a fluke!!

I really hope our team steps it up and beats Utep again.

A fluke? We shall see!

Anonymous said...

SM check your math. By your predicitons we'll be 1-3 going into conference. Regardless, I think a realistic Aggie fan not only thinks we can be the loobs, but expects it. Turnovers 2 years ago in Cruces cost us the victory. I don't see that happening again.

But first things first, we have to go in and battle with the minors. Never easy getting a W in the Sun Bowl, but we have too.

SM said...

Anonymous at 2:59,

My mistake, the record would be 1-3, but I'm sure you got the point nonetheless. Apparently you have not been an Aggie fan very long. I can't stand the Lobos, but the last time we beat them was in 2002. That was also the year we went undefeated at home and finished 7-5. The point is, we need to get a win against UTEP because I do not think we will be able to beat the Lobos. That said, I am pulling for a win against the Lobos even though I will be subject to the "I told you so" crowd.

Anonymous said...

what makes everybody think we can beat the lobos? they are a very young team and beat a very average arizona team. yes rocky long is a MUCH better coach than mumme but the talent is about the same. Chris Hernandez is their best reciever! CW is faster than him running backwards! their biggest advantage on offense is running back. (weve never had one under mumme). defense is also a question but thats always the case. we will move the ball on them and so will they. regardless they are very beatable and win or lose this week EVERYONE should go to the game! what else is there to do on a saturday night in little las cruces! GO AGGIES!

Anonymous said...

been an Aggie fan since I was cognizant. a couple of decades. However, I also have seen the last two games come down to just a few critical plays that bounced the loobs way. If Cleaver would have held onto the pass after mcpeek nailed him last year, the whole complexion of that game is different. If we hadn't fumbled near the goal line 2 years ago at home things could have been different. Not making excuses, just saying we have been compeititve to the point where I think we are the favorites against the loobs @home. Streaks have to come to an end sometime, and this should be the year.