It's never too early to check out the first game of the season and this one promises to be a classic. While across the country, few will care about Idaho at NMSU I, for one, think it's going to be a good game with a lot of subplots.
Lets start out with the obvious here. For both teams, this is a big game. Neither have been successful in the WAC. For the Aggies, a new coach coming on board means the team will be looking to get off on the right foot. For the Vandals, third-year coach Robb Akey needs his club to show progress. Losing to the Aggies wouldn't be a good sign.
Both clubs are actually going to have similar strengths, weaknesses and question marks as Week 1 nears.
They will both rely on the run. For NMSU, we've been over this before. Marquell Colston, Tonny Glynn, Seth Smith, these three will see carries. The Vandals have a nice threesome as well, an underrated threesome, in veteran Deonte Jackson, sophomore Princeton McCarty and Washington State transfer DeMaundray Woolridge. This should be interesting.
On the flip side, both teams have question marks at quarterback. Again, for the Aggies it's Fleming, Walls and Rust, with Fleming holding the slight edge. For the Vandals, the starting job is between incumbent Nathan Enderle and newcomer Brian Reader.
The one area I think the Aggies will hold a slight edge is on defense. NMSU has shown a new fire on D, while Idaho could have a bumpy ride on that side of the ball. Things got tougher for the Vandals recently, when the team lost safety Virdell Larkins, a productive player and an expected senior leader on the squad. Word is that Jeromy Jones will take over Larkins' post. Jones is an intriguing player as well, actually.
This game is going to come down to defense and kicking. I really believe that. I don't see either team running away with things.
The Aggies had the day off on Wednesday. They will be back on the practice field again Thursday from 3:30-5:30.