Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wow, wow, wow....A win is a win is a win

Well, it was a great game Saturday night in Albuquerque.

It was ugly, and sloppy and not the prettiest football game in recent memory. But it doesn't matter if you're the New Mexico State Aggies. The team is a respectable 2-2 four games into the season, with one of those wins coming over its in-state rival New Mexico, a 20-17 triumph.

This was blueprint coach DeWayne Walker talked about when coming to NMSU last winter. Run the ball, control the clock, make big plays when necessary and just getting W's. Nothing flashy, no style points. Just wins. They got No. 2 on Saturday.

After the game, the team was euphoric. And everyone passed the buck when it came down to the win. Walker to the players. Offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach to Walker. Davon House to the offense. Jeff Fleming to the offensive line. Marcus Anderson to the team.

They play together and that's a sign of good coaching.

The gameplan: I can't lie, it was a tough game to watch at times.

The Aggies just ran and ran and ran, particularly in the second half. I thought the first two quarters, the team moved the ball all right. Trevor Walls converted some third-down throws to Marcus Allen and the team had a nice rhythm going.

Walker said that Walls' second-quarter interception, a throw in the right flat that was picked by Lobo middle linebacker Carmen Messina at midfield and setup a Lobo touchdown, may have locked to Aggies up a little bit.

Bringing in Fleming late proved to be the right call, as he provided UNM with an entirely different look to defend. And, it was a surprise.

At the end of the day, NMSU scored 20 points, enough to win the game. It's also worth mentioning that Kyle Hughes banged home two field goals and both his extra points while the Lobos missed two field goals, including the 47-yarder at the final gun.

"Too conservative in the third quarter," Rosenbach said. "We were due to get on track. We kept moving the ball but we couldn't finish. Tonight, we were better. And we found a way to win. That's a big step for us."

The team banged away on the ground and leaned on its defense to make plays. The Aggie defense has overachieved this season. They play hard and on Saturday they were walking around with a little bit of a swagger during the game. At times, they were the aggressors.

"That's who we are," Walker said. "I put a lot of pressure on our defense and offensively we can run the ball. We may not score a lot of points, but we scored enough tonight."

The final drive: The Aggies methodically - that word might not even describe it - moved the ball down field for the winning score. A 17-play, 59-yard drive that took 7:00 off the clock. When UNM got the ball back, there were 39 seconds left on the clock.

The Aggies ran tha ball 14 times while attempting just three passes.

"Final drive, we ran the crud out of the ball," Fleming said. "The offensive line did a heck of a job. We just kept running the ball, running the ball, running the ball."

It was by design.

"What I told coach Rosey, I want you to burn all this time," Walker said. "We continued to running the ball and it ended up being our winning drive."

When asked about the winning play, a Fleming 4-yard touchdown throw to Marcus Anderson on 4th-and-goal, Rosenbach said he got a lot of feedback from different members of the coaching staff.

Anderson was the third read on the play.

"We had a lot of help," Rosenbach said. "Just try to listen it and figure out what you got that fits what we're talking about. Jeff did a good job hitting the third (option) on the play."

The offense made the key plays when it had too.

"We've been moving the ball all season," Anderson said. "We've just had problems in the redzone, honestly. Ofcourse, I would love to have more points, I would love to have more catches. But we got what matters most - the win."

Fleming: You gotta give this kid credit, to come in and lead the team downfield when the Aggies were in desperation mode.

Fleming completed 4-of-5 passes for 19 yards during the fourth quarter and hit three receivers on the Aggies' game-winning possession.

"I just need to be ready," Fleming said. "Trevor earned the right to go in there and he didn't play a bad game at all. We were in a little funk. We wanted the change. I slipped on my first play, but I shook it off. I did my job, went in there. Things worked out."

Rosenbach said he wasn't concerning himself with who would get the starting nod next Saturday, when the Aggies visit San Diego State.

"I ain't gonna worry about it right now," Rosenbach said. "I got a four-hour bus ride and I'm going to enjoy this one."

The Lobos: This is a team that's very similar to NMSU, one in transition.

In that spread offense, you need quality receivers and quality quarterback play - obviously. I didn't think Porterie played particularly bad and I felt like UNM could have gone up top more often. They don't seem to have many playmakers at receiver.

As for their running game, there is talent there with Demond Dennis, James Wright and A.J. Butler. I thought, with the exception of two runs for the Lobos, the Aggies did a good job containing them on the ground.

It would have been tough for either team to lose this one. It must hurt for UNM.

Key moments: Some key sequences that may go overlooked but should not.

Kyle Hughes, two field goals. Hughes also punted well and hits the endzone regularly on kickoffs.

Donte Savage, blocked punt, third quarter. The Aggies didn't capitalize on great field position after this play. A 3rd-and-1 inside the Lobo 20 was brought back following a false by Joe Suder and Hughes went on to miss a 45-yarder. Still, it was nice to see the special teams play a factor on the block.

Ross Conner interception on Lobos' first possession, set up a Hughes 42-yarder to get the Aggies on the board first.

Second quarter, Walls hits Marcus Allen over the middle for 13 yards on third down, down to the Lobo 21-yard line. Hughes would hit from 40 on the drive.

Third quarter, Kyle Nelson fumbles, Lobos take over at NMSU 19. When it was all said and done, the Lobos settled for a field goal to go up 17-13. On the possession, Lobo Josh Fussell dropped a pass around the 5-yard line. There was no defender in sight.

Hope everyone enjoyed the game. It was one to remember.


Anonymous said...

I'm happy the Aggies finally beat the Lobos...but it's sad at the same time because both teams are so Hopefully this will spur the Aggies into believing in themselves. San Diego State is a very beatable team.

Anonymous said...

The Walker revolution is well underway in Las Cruces!!

I like the two QB package when the situation dictates. It worked well las night!
The defense had some swagger last night and held when it needed to.

Big Up's to Aggie FB! They did what no Aggie team has done since 2002...beat the hobos!

Let's enjoy this one before we take care of business in San Diego!!


Anonymous said...

In the great scheme of things this game was quite pathetic to everyone else. Two of the worst college teams going at it in a very bad game. But to us this sure means a whole lot. To me its the fact that we beat UNM but most importantly it was on the road in a hostile environment. No matter how bad the team is our guys were able to overcome that and props for that. We have two winnable games coming up and after this win I am optimistic that the Aggies will either go 2-0 or 1-1.

I was not a fan of the qb change. Say what you want, he led that final drive, he completed passes, he led us to victory. Rosenbach said that the reason why they made the change was to give UNM a different offensive look. Well if that was the case, why did he not put Walls in against Idaho? The team sure was in a funk there as well and a better passing game would have helped. In my opinion, Walls should be the starter without any doubt. We already have a up and coming running game and we dont need a mobile qb. We need a passer to complement that running game or else were completely one dimensional and look what happened vs UTEP.

Great kicks by Hughes and big improvement when we needed it, held my breath whenever he kicked it.


Anonymous said...

Being from Waverly,Ohio, I sure was proud to see Trevor get his first start. Now, I see Rosenbach's point in ball "control", but when you get in a funk,you would think he'd open things up a little. Trevor's forte in HS was keeping the defense guessing when he would throw the deep post, seam or hitch and go. I don't know if those routes exist in Rosey's offense. I'm no armchair QB, just wondering if he will use Trevor's strengths, rather than throwing the little stuff. Trevor threw 25 times a game in HS, but incorporated a deadly deep ball that defenses were forces to respect.

Anonymous said...

What a great win for the Aggies! Being from Waverly, Ohio, I was excited for Trevor Walls. I was unable to watch the game. However, I spoke to Trevor's former defensive coordinator at Waverly High School, who watched the game, and he stated that Trevor played pretty well. He also stated that not many quarterbacks could get into a rythm with the "very conservative" offensive playcalling. Hopefully he did not lose the starting job. Maybe the 2-QB system can keep teams off balance?
Joe Hobbs Waverly, Ohio (Home of the Crooked Creek Ducky Derby!)

Anonymous said...

As a long suffering Aggie fan, I want to thank Coach Walker and the FB team.
Thank you for going to Albuturkey and ending the streak! You can't believe how good it feels!

Thanks again and let's take it to the Aztecs!


Anonymous said...

Those from Ohio commenting on the conservative play-calling - keep in mind that Todd Lee, probably the biggest deep threat in the WR corps, was out with an injury - that limited what the Aggies could call down the field in most situations.

But great that you're following Walls - he didn't play bad, and I hope he gets a shot to still contribute this year!

Teddy said...

I can recall one play that the Aggies threw the ball more than 20 yards down field, a Walls deep pass down the right sideline in the second quarter.

The line also had a tougher time blocking for Walls than it did for Fleming. Fleming's mobility is an asset in this respect.

chilero said...


Nice write up. Honestly, the win is nothing to gloat over, but the progress the Aggies are making IS something to be proud of.

We may not win another game this season, but we're a greatly improved team that will continue to build the right way - without gimmicks and without glaring trade offs.

Thanks for mentioning some of the positives that are occurring in Aggie football. It's been too easy to pile on the program for too long.

Anonymous said...

I know we fans should enjoy this one but, I'm already looking forward to San Diego St.

I predict the Aggies will come home with another win.
If NMSU uses the Texas game plan vs. utep, Walls should carve up SDSU 3-3-5 defense (both utep and SDSU run the same D).

Go Aggies!


Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice how many Lobos are from Mayfield or Las Cruces-and that some of them made big plays for the Lobos-it's sad that State squanders so much local talent.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Coach Walker and crew. It may not have been pretty but as someone else said it was a road win, in a hostile environment.

As for local talent when are people going to realize that the one thing a 18 year old boy wants most is his independence. What better way than to take a free ride out of town.

Pistol Pedro said...

Two things: First, to anon 7:18 with another lame "local talent" plea, STATE just beat that local talent. So its not the right time for your post. Although I agree that at least for the same of the local fan interest, we can have a few more local kid, IF they can contribute.

Second, don't let the SDSU record fool you. They are improved, and it will not be easy to beat them. They held a powerful Air Force run attack, without an offesive touchdow over the weekend. And guess who leads the defense over there? Rocky Long. The name sound familiar?

I'm proud of the Aggies and this win. I could see true progress being made. It felt great to celebrate a victory on their field. I even heard a few "wait 'til basketball season cries from their fans. Menzies and Co., please dont let us down!!!

Anonymous said...

This was a needed win and I don't mean to take away from the victory. However, I agree with the person who wrote about State letting local talent get away. NM State could recruit strictly New Mexico and El Paso players and at least win 5 or 6 games every year.

New Mexico prep football is getting better every year and the state has been producing some top notch college recruits in recent years. I really hope Walker will take the time to learn about the local talent and attempt to start signing more NM and El Paso kids.

With more local talent, the Aggies could be the ones winning six in a row in the Rio Grande Rivalry.

NMSU Phantom said...

People stop *itching about the local talent. There are 27 players at UNM from the state and look where they are now!!
All this homers need to go out of the state and see the real picture!!!!! When Las Cruces and Onate get blown by average teams from El Paso that says it all!!!!

Anonymous said...

To Anon 7:18:

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why much of our local talent is at UNM. It's obvious, hs kids want to play in a winning team and that wasn't the case in Mumme's era, or even prior to that. So why do you think Mayfield and Cruces kids chose to play in ABQ rather than stay at home?

SM said...

Great win for the Aggies. It's great to see some Ohio people following Walls. I think he is going to be a very good QB, but I love Walker shaking it up a bit for the last 10 minutes of the game. At that point, the offense had become stagnant and Walls took a huge sack that put us out of field goal range after blocking a punt.

The two QB system can work right if both players know their roles and are unselfish. When I was a senior at NMSU, Coach Samuels ran an effective two QB system with Dombrowski and Pierce (now in the CFL). We were very strong that year (7-5).

I think the play calling will get more liberal as the Aggies gain confidence in Walls. This was a freshman kid in his first start against our bitter rivals on the road. Ambitious play calling could have put Walls in a bad situation early. Plus, the gameplan was to grind it out, control the ball, and keep UNM off the field. I loved the way this game was coached.

Will this be a turning point that catapults us to 5 or 6 wins? Probably not. This team is still rebuilding and we have to keep that in mind. All we can ask is that they show the same toughness they did Saturday, and try to avoid mental breakdowns.

Anonymous said...

The interception that the Aggies had was by linebacker Conner, a MAYFIELD high school alum.

Anonymous said...

Talk about myopia -

It was great to see the Aggies take the win from UNM on the Lobos home field. That is something the team and the fans can be proud of. It is aomething to build on for the next game.

Speaking of the next game, I see that SDSU is a 16 1/2 point favorite. It takes more than one win to get people to think the Aggies have what it takes to win on a consistent basis. I do not think we are there yet, but I do think we took a step in that direction Saturday.

Regarding talent, those people who laud the local talent do not have the full picture. Sure, there are some good players and good teams in New Mexico. Unfortunately, on the national scene, they do not match up well. New Mexico high school football is too diluted to really produce a lot of prime time FBS players. The competition is not consistently strong, and the players do not have the chance to develop against strong competition. There are good players, but too often, they need a couple of years of top competition to really develop.

Can NMSU attract top local players? Maybe. It will be easier with victories over the rivals. One and one this year. Needs to be 2 and zero for some time for the Aggies to become the regional team of choice. Because of the desire to get away from home that is a natural part of growing up, there will always be the local players who choose to go to another school. What we need is to be competetive so that the choice is one that is not driven by a perception that the quality of the football is superior at another university.

One more thought. As I look at the remaining schedule, there are only 2 games that I see as virtually unwinnable (OSU & BSU). NMSU will probably be the underdog in just about all of the remaining games, but there are reasons to think we can steal them. We need to play with the same determination that we saw on Saturday against UNM. We need to avoid mistakes, and we need some luck. How many of those stealable games will we take?
__ @SDSU
__ USU
__ @LTU
__ FSU
__ @UH
__ UNR
__ @SJSU

It's an extremely long shot, but it would not be impossible to pick up five of these games as wins to have a winning season. Too bad we let Idaho get away.

Zach Daugherty - if you are reading this there are lots of Aggie fans that would like you to reconsider your choice and stay and help the Aggies become the top team in the region. You can be independent even though you would be staying in your hometown. You can have the best of both worlds.

Anonymous said...

I am glad we no longer use that 3-3-5 nonsense defense.

The biggest change I see is having a kicker make field goals and extra points.

IC said...

Pedro, Thanks for the heads up on Coach Long. Should add an interesting twist to Saturday's game. I'm shocked that the long time lobo would join a school in the same conference. Let's go out and have a solid week of practice(yes, i'm talking about practice) and have it translate into another W. Possibly a bigger win than this one, since so much recruiting is based out of California, we need to show we can beat their teams if we want to import their talent.


Anonymous said...

Teddy is there anyway you can find out what the local radio stations outside of LC broadcast the Aggie games. I live in EP and last year it was 690, but from what I was told they weren't playing the game Saturday night. I don't know because I made the trip to Abq. But I would love to tune in this weekend while the boys are in SD.


Anonymous said...

NMSU Phantom, you're an idiot. The Las Cruces schools rarely get "blown out" by the El Paso schools and the only reason Las Cruces lost to El Paso-Eldorado was because they lost most of their starters from last year's UNDEFEATED state champs and the fact that Eldorado is pretty damn good. Did you not see that Las Cruces rebounded with a 55-6 win against El Paso-Eastwood? In addition, Mayfield beats the best teams in El Paso year in and year out. Duh!!

I don't live in Las Cruces and where I live some of the best high school football in the nation is played....the Las Cruces schools could compete with any Austin or San Antonio high school.

I can respect most everyone's opinion on here, but I'm sick of your stupid, uneducated comments NMSU Phantom.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:58 PM, you're For a small state, NM produces excellent players and they do compete on a national level...hello. Brian Urlacher, Hank Baskett, Brian Newcombe, Aaron Lewis that plays for the Longhorns, Landry Jones was THE NUMBER ONE prep QB in the country two years ago and now he's getting his chance at Oklahoma. I don't even live in Las Cruces anymore and I know more about the local talent than some of "y'all"...geez, get with the program.

Anonymous said...

Look at the stats
94- Fleming
83.7- Walls

54.9- Fleming
50- Walls
and we all saw how many dropped (in the hands) balls went against Fleming!

96.5- Fleming
35 - Walls

34- Fleming
23_ Walls

Yes, we need a mobil QB!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:34

Stats are just stats, in the end of the day they dont mean anything. Fleming basically had three whole games and his claim to fame was one drive in which we mostly ran the ball. Tell me you watched the game and saw just how conservative the play calling was when Walls was playing on Saturday. If you didnt watch then read some other posts and you will find out that we didnt play too aggressively. Last year we had a pass happy offense and a qb that was not very mobile, they didnt complement each other. How did we perform again? You're basically saying that even though were having an established running game we need another running weapon in our qb. He might get completions but the big picture is that with Fleming we become a one demensional offense. The flip side of the pass happy offense. And all the defense has to do is stack the box like UTEP did and then where do your stats go?


Anonymous said...

Anon 1:53

Take a look at the following entry.

Just because some good players come out of NM or any other state, does not mean that state is a major producer of talent. Exceptions do not negate the general concept.

You are absolutely right: New Mexico is a small state. That is why it would b e foolhardy to attempt to build an FCS team relying solely - or even mostly - on players from New Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 1:49, Eastwood is one of the worst teams in El Paso. They have yet to win a game and could very likely go the entire season without a W.

Anon 1:53, great examples. Except that everyone on here complaining about locals are talking about just that. LoCal, as in LC not NM. No one said bring in the top players from Lovington, Clovis, Abq., Artesia, etc. These guys pretty much want LC, Mayfield and Onate all star team.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:38...I was making a point that NM does produce good players and those players I listed before are NOT "exceptions". I was not literally saying that the Aggies should only recruit NM players. NM prep football is very good and if you live in Las Cruces, it's pathetic that you don't even know about your own area.

Of course NM is not going to produce the same number of college players that bigger states like California or Texas. However, NM does produce many good college players every year..many that end up in the NFL.

Yes, the Aggies beat the Lobos this year...but the Lobos used lots of NM players to beat the Aggies 6 years in a row and also to make several bowl games.

I see nationally ranked high school teams play IN PERSON on a weekly basis and Mayfield or the Las Cruces team from last year can definitely compete with them. If you did any real research you would know that both Mayfield and Las Cruces were ranked in the national top 100 at different times throughout last season. Making the top 100 when there are literally hundreds of thousands of high schools across the country is pretty damn good.

Las Cruces and NM are not known for a lot of things...but the high school football is very competitive and I wish people that don't know what they are talking about would just SHUT IT.

NMSU Phantom said...

GS-- I agree with everything you said!! Fleming has started 3 games and Walls 1. I was at the game and thought that Walls played very good! There were a few drive killers that were committed by the offensive line that should have resulted in more points.

If coach Walker really believes in a BALANCE attack then Walls should be playing!! Otherwise we become one dimensional, as Fleming would rather run than pass first!!

Anonymous said...

I thought Walls played well, being that it was his first collegiate start against a big rival. He was introduced in a game that, though not particularly well-played, was high on intensity. Remember that in basketball, Jahmar Young fouled out and hardly scored in his first collegiate game (at The Pit). It's a factor.

The only problem I had with Walls was that he took too many sacks for big yardage when the line broke down. I think he was just trying to make a play, which I understand. He'll learn to throw the ball away quicker with experience.

Fleming was a nice change of pace at the right time, so I agree with the decision. It helped us win. However, Walls did well, I thought.