Monday, September 21, 2009

What were your honest expectations?

Going into the season, what did you honestly think the New Mexico State Aggies would do on the football field?

Did you think they would beat UTEP? I didn't. Then again, I thought they would beat Idaho.

Did you think they would go to a bowl game? I didn't. Then again, I optimistically thought they could pocket four wins (a number which is still attainable although, at this point in time, seems ambitious).

My point is this. It seems like some people legitimately thought this team was going to win six to nine games this season. At least that's what I'm gathering by reading some of the blog posts the last two days.

Here's how I saw the schedule shaking out this year. THIS WAS MY PRESEASON PREDICTION:

vs Idaho: Win
vs. Prairie View: Win
vs. UTEP: Loss
vs. New Mexico: Loss
at San Diego State: Loss
vs. Utah State: Win
at Louisiana Tech: Loss
vs. Fresno State: Loss
at Ohio State: Loss
at Hawaii: Loss
vs. Nevada: Win
at San Jose State: Loss
at Boise State: Loss

Again, this is my preseason prediction. Things can change, a game or two can shift, I just thought four wins was attainable. With this schedule above, I think anyone who thought the team would win more than four was setting themselves up for disappointment.

This is a rebuilding year for the Aggies. A major rebuilding year. Forget year, this team needs years to rebuild. I know fans don't want to hear that and some simply won't understand, but this is a major project at NMSU.

Lets take a look at how I thought things would shake out this year throughout all the areas of the field and how they are going three games into the season:

Quarterbacks
I thought the Aggies would get more out of this position, but not by much.

I knew that either player, Jeff Fleming or Trevor Walls, would have their hands full in their first year as Division I starters. Then again, I thought the offense would move the ball better than it has. I didn't expect the unit to be like the Air-Raid from seasons past, I simply thought that they would be more methodical and move the chains better. The unit hasn't done that to this point and some of the blame for the offense's shortcomings needs to fall on the quarterback's shoulders.

Running backs
This unit is just about on par with what I pictured, particularly when considering NMSU hasn't gotten much out of its passing game so far.

Seth Smith has been a surprise, while Marquell Colston and Tonny Glynn have been steady, although not spectacular.

Still, this threesome has been the most consistent part of the Aggies' attack.

Wide receivers
This unit has been obscure to me.

No one has really stood out. Todd Lee has been a contributor. After a decent first outing, Marcus Allen has disappeared. Where has Darrius Preston gone? I liked him in fall camp but he hasn't even seen the field so far this season.

NMSU has done a poor job of finding speedster Marcus Anderson down field. He's one of their few offensive weapons who can really strike fear in a defense, although he has been a non factor.

At tight end, Kyle Nelson has had a problem with drops since the beginning of fall practices. Kyle Hipp's a big body who hasn't been involved in the passing game.

Offensive line
I feel this group has done a good job in pass protection and a serviceable job on run blocking.

There have been some untimely penalties on offense this season and some of those mistakes have fallen on the line.

Again, we knew what we were getting out of this unit coming into the year. An undersized group who would try to play together and go eight to 10 men deep.

They haven't been overpowering, but it hasn't been terrible either.

Defensive line
Again, this group is undersized.

The defensive tackle position, to me, has been a disappointment. I thought E.J. Cannon would be in for a big year, although he has tailed off after a good start to fall practice. Junior college transfers Jon Finau and Vincent Federico haven't made an impact.

Defensive ends Donte Savage, Kawika SHook and Pierre Fils have had some moments. But there hasn't been enough pressure on the opposing quarterbacks through the first three games either.

This group played its best against Prairie View A&M and didn't have as much success against Idaho and UTEP.

Linebackers
I must admit, this is one area of the team I do not have a great feel for.

I know the first game of the season against Idaho they had some struggles. Still, with the exception of some big plays, I feel NMSU has done a decent job defending the run this year.

I also know the team has some emotional leaders on this unit.

Coming into the year, I thought the group would struggle with its size but also come to play every time out and rely on veteran savvy.

Secondary
Right off the bat, Stephon Hatchett has surpassed my expectations. If anyone is looking for an Aggie jersey, scoop up a Stephon Hatchett. The name alone would sell, but he's been a productive player as well.

Davon House has had two good games and struggled some against Prairie View. Chris Buckner and Jonte Green have had their ups and downs.

While Hatchett has exceeded my expectations, House has just about met them. The No. 2 cornerback spot and the nickel corner, I thought NMSU would get more out of. But the season is still young and I feel the group can still grow and be a team strength.

Kicking
Kyle Hughes has done a good job punting.

The Aggies haven't had a field goal kicker since I came to Las Cruces 2 1/2 years ago.

I thought coming into the year that Hughes would hold his own as a punter and I did have concerns about the team's placekicking situation.

Before I go, I really should say that while I didn't expect the Aggies to be a dominant team this season, I also thought they would be a smart team.

The most worrisome aspect for NMSU so far, to me, has been the penalty problems the team has experienced. I didn't think the group would be undisciplined or beat itself, but that has happened a few times this year. I certainly hope that gets cleaned up.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Everyone keeps talking like the Lobo game is winnable..lol. I know the Lobos are down this year, but they will not lose to NM State on their home field. I really can't think of anyone worse in the FBS than NM State...the Aggies are pretty bad this year.

The seniors are not into it and the Aggies are losing regardless. I say put in some of the young talent and let them get some experience and build for the future. Guys like Hall, Rust, Clay...they should all be getting major time right now. Most of the seniors and upper classmen need to ride the bench.

SM said...

The thing that worries me about the Aggies is that they will mail it in if they can't take one from either UNM or SDSU. UNM is pretty awful this year, but we rely on young and inexperienced players far more than they do. SDSU just got blasted by Idaho, which makes me think that is a winnable game.

One blogger in the previous thread noted that we have to get points out of our kicking game. He is absolutely right. There were a couple times we drove into Miner territory Saturday and could not put points on the board. One was a missed field goal, the other we had to go for it on 4th and long. Bottom line is that this team needs points every time it gets within the other team's 30-yard line.

I have a sneaky suspicion the Aggies may lose the rest of their games. The Utags were one team I thought we could take, but they played Utah and TXA&M very strong. Obviously, Fresno, La. Tech and Boise will take us. Our chance to win a game will be either UNM, SDSU, SJSU, and maybe Nevada or USU.

Let's be patient and look for signs of progress, not necessarily victories or moral victories. If we see more disciplined play, better ball control, and guys doing their jobs, then it is a sign we are moving in the right direction and we just need Walker to get the players he needs.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:53. go to the sun belt conference and you will surely find a worst team. not many but you will. as for the post. i feel is pretty close. and i definately agree with the penalties and undisciplined aspect of the aggies game. its clear that we dont have much talent and every aspect of the aggies game is in transition but i didnt expect DW team to be so undisciplined and shoot themselves in the foot. i believe he is way better than mumme however these penalties worry me and are starting to question his abilities as a coach. if the ags just play more disciplined they might have a chance to win at least another game or two.

Anonymous said...

I always said, three wins this year. I'm a little dissapointed that we are 1-2 vs. 2-1 that I predicted.

I tell everyone that goes to the games w/ us, that Coach Walker was left with nothing, has the toughest job in 1A football, and we need to be patient!

The defense is playing hard but are undersized and hopefully will get better as the season goes.

The offensive woes are mainly at the QB position.
I hope Rosenbach uses both QB's in certain situations. I think this will give us a better chance than just going with one guy.

Overall, I like the play calling but, QB play, MUST get better!

Anonymous said...

Year 1, - terrible
Year 2, - not as bad as year 1
Year 3, - not as bad as year 2
Year 4, - first winning season in 50 years.

Anonymous said...

I think all of us need to lower our expectations and look at the fundamental progress of the team/ staff.

1). Are they getting better each week?
2). Are they mentally tough or will they dial it in when the going gets tough?
3). Have Mumme's players bought into Walkers philosophy or does he have to start from scratch with his own player?

We all have to remember that the previous staff dialed it in 1/2 way into the season and kids are infected by the "quitters/ losers syndrome."
Does the new staff have the cure or will he have to clean house?

Anyways, just show up to the games, win or lose!

Jefe

NMSU Phantom said...

It is easy to say this is a total rebuilt season, don't expect much. As a fan you can't afford to say that. Especially, when for general tickets for kids are what they are. I believe if you want more people to get hooked on your product you better bring a good show to the audience.
I think the last time NMSU broke attendance records was when Jim Paul was AD and he always had some kind of promotion going on. First of all I will say I never agreed when Jim was selected as AD, especially him being a UTEP graduate, but the fact of the matter is he brought people to the stands!
So this is more directed at Dr. Boston, you want people in the stands you either get a good product going or get in touch with people that know how too!

As for football, I believe in letting Coach Walker bring in his own talent before judging him as a coach.

Anonymous said...

Well, I understand that there are some faithful fans on here and people are trying to see the bright side of things...but seriously, I want this football season to fly by and I want basketball to get here as quickly as possible. We haven't been to the NCAA in a couple years, but at least we know that there's always a chance in basketball.

Anonymous said...

Coming into the season I truly didnt expect much from this team. Not because its what I have come to expect but because of the fact that its a new coach. New coaches hardly ever peform well their first year and especially not in a program like ours. I was not as optimistic as Teddy in predicting 4 wins but rather stuck with 2. So far there have been some bright spots but generally speaking the team has been disappointing. Coach Walker is also still learning and hopefully the play calls and decisions that he make can better the team.

Everyone has complained about the ticket prices and fairly so. They have gone up and if you guys notice there are no longer any free give away items at events. If you want to watch a good sports team then dish out 5 dollars for the volleyball team. Their not as good as years past but you wont complain about them.

GS

Anonymous said...

This football program is in dire straights and it has nothing to do with Coach Walker. This is all the doings of Boston!!!!!

Try this.
First game of every season needs to start with a Bus Ride to Austin, Tucson, Phoenix, or Lubbock,,,,,,Pick up 700K.
Then we play the LoBlows or Slimers at Home.
The we take a bus ride to Austin, Tucson, Phoenix, or Lubbock,,,,,another 700K.
Then we play the Slimers or LoBlows on the Road,,,,,,,

The we start our Conf Season,,,
5 home games and because of the LoBlows and Slimers,,,With ticket prices that are reasonable for our area and SKILL LEVEL we do not have a problem falling under a 15K per game avearge.

We intice recurts about 70K at ASU,,,98K at UT,,,etc, etc,etc, and 2 trips to Hawaii and grass skirts,,, woo woo!!!!!

Follow this course for a committed amount of time and SELL what you have!!!!!!

I have been around Aggie Sports for along time and the people we hire have always done a very POOR Job so SELLING!!!

Hire some REAL AGGIE's and this program will grow!!!!!!!

As for this season,,,,,Thank Heavans for PV,,,,,,,1-12

nm native

Anonymous said...

NM State volleyball is good. I brag about them to my friends over here in Texas all the time. The women on the volleyball team are way tougher than any of the football players..lol.

Anonymous said...

The biggest dissapointment for me is how undiscipline the team is when it comes to penalties.

But then again, Coach Walker has Hal Dumme's players and thats the reason for the penalties.
He needs to throw out those bad apples in December!

IC said...

Anonymous SEPTEMBER 22, 2009 9:34 AM

The last winning season wasn't 50 years ago. The 2002 team went 7-5, and before that the 1999 and 1992 teams went 6-5. Granted there haven't been many in the last 50 years, but we need to acknowledge those who have won in that time.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you IC, but Teddy was probably in grade school when the Aggies last had a winning record and I get the impression that Teddy thinks because he can remember two seasons ago that he's some expert on NM State history and sports in general..lol.

Teddy said...

Expert!?!? I never said I was an expert!

You're the expert!

NMSU Phantom said...

Anonymous September 23, 2009 11:15 AM

"...Teddy thinks because he can remember two seasons ago that he's some expert on NM State history and sports in general..lol..." AND HOW MUCH OF AN EXPERT ARE YOU. From reading Teddy's articles or blogs I don't see where he says his’ an expert on NMSU Sports. A reporter, reports what he sees and gets from interviews. I think he has been a true professional. Blogs and newspaper articles are totally different people. One is a personal thought and the other is facts. Make the distinction people. I am pretty sure some of you clowns in this blog never went to State. You might be a sports fan, but alum, I seriously doubt it!!!

Anonymous said...

lol