Alright, here we go. Everyone's favorite time of week. Prediction time.
I think the Aggies win Saturday night against Utah State 24-21.
I believe NMSU will be able to run the ball effectively. Really, the same as they have all year long, with Seth Smith churning out consistent yardage. I also think the team will throw the ball well, utilizing play-action passing. I've been waiting for NMSU to throw the ball down the field more and believe they will be able to do it Saturday against the UtAgs. The team needs to be able to stretch the field, even if it's with 20-to-25 yard passes and give the running game some breathing room.
The UtAgs will move the ball at times. NMSU needs to bottle up the USU ground game. Diondre Borel and Robert Turbin will get their yards here and there. NMSU need to swarm the ball and make USU work for everything it gets.
A few things to keep an eye on:
Turnovers — I think the Aggies will need to force at least two and not give it away more than once.
Penalties — This is an area NMSU has done better in the last two weeks. If they're inside the 20, the Aggies need to score touchdowns against Utah State. If they settle for field goals, they won't win.
Seth Smith — If he continues to run with authority and the Aggies move the chains and keep the ball away from the UtAgs, they'll have a shot in the fourth quarter.
Trevor Walls — It was the right call to start him. I think the coaching staff needs to loosen the reigns and let him throw the ball downfield when opportunities present themselves. Trevor can get the job done.
Diondre Borel — Utah State hasn't been the same — they've been much better — since he was inserted into the starting lineup last season.
USU offense — They'll look to run the ball, but they'll also throw the ball as well. If NMSU keys on the run too much, Utah State will go to the air, where they are more than capable of doing damage.
NMSU defense — This unit has played better the past two weeks. This game could be a coming-out party for the group, or a harsh reality.
The Aggies haven't played well at home this season. No, I do not count the Prairie View game as a good performance. A win, yes. A good performance? That's a stretch. Saturday's game will be a good test for NMSU.