Monday, October 26, 2009

A look back

Well, Saturday night's game wasn't a lot of fun for Aggie fans.

The bottom line is that Fresno State is a better football team with more talent than the Aggies have right now. It's pretty simple.

Still, early on it felt like the Aggies might make a game out of it. They went up 3-0. The, on the next possession, Pierre Fils sacks Fresno quarterback Ryan Colburn, who fumbled the ball only to see Chris Romero fall on it. Could it be another Aggie upset?

The offense got the ball at the 25 but couldn't do anything with it. And Kyle Hughes missed a field goal.

In the second quarter, the Bulldogs had a long drive that went deep into NMSU territory. Colburn threw a pick, however, to NMSU cornerback Davon House. Huge play again. And NMSU was still up 3-0.

Two plays later, Trevor Walls gave it right back, throwing a pick that was returned 17 yards for a touchdown.

Those were two devastating sequences. And it's deflating for a defense as well. The unit was fighting hard and made some plays. Against a good Fresno State team with a powerful offense. It's a tough situation.


So what can the Aggies do from here on offense? And what's the problem exactly?

Lets start with the second part of the question. I hate to blame the problem on an overall lack of talent or players not fitting into a system properly. Why? Look at the defense. This is a unit that was torn up the last four years but has been better this season. I don't know if the Aggie offense should be putting up 30 points every time out, but surely the team can do better than this. They haven't scored an offensive touchdown in two games! Clearly one needs to wait before truly evaluating the the whole picture. But, so far, it hasn't been pretty.

Quarterback has been an issue all season. And it will ground an offense when their is bad play at this position. People can say what they want about Walls and I have been on his bandwagon this year. But he wasn't doing much when he has been in there. And that interception, it was a critical play. I was expecting to see Fleming.

The reality is that Fleming didn't do much better. He made some plays with his legs early, but Fresno State adjusted and stopped him cold the rest of the way.

Do the Aggies really turn to Tanner Rust? I don't think they should. First off, in spring ball, Rust didn't look ready to me. Throwing him into the fire, making a change just for the sake of change, doesn't make sense. I'd hold onto the redshirt this year.

If NMSU wants to win another game this season, the passing attack needs to be some sort of a threat. 45 yards passing last week. That's it. And there's only so many brick walls Seth Smith can run into before getting hurt. He said following the game that his body felt fine, but he's a physical runner that's taken some shots. And, without the passing game scaring anyone, the Aggie offense is predictable: they're going to give it to Smith. That's tough.

I'll say it again, the Aggies need to throw the ball farther downfield, especially when Walls is in there. That would loosen things up a little, even the the ball fell incomplete.


Anonymous said...

Why are even surprised about the poor QB and WR play?
We talked about it during the Spring and Fall camps.
There's 5 games left and we are still talking about it.

Fleming is the upper classmen and is not the answer...the kid just can't throw.
Walls is just flat out green but, he has three more years left...if he doesn't transffer.

NMSU FB has made major improvements and met some expectation but, will not win another game this year.
We haven't scored an offensive touch down and are dead last in the country in scoring.
This does not give me the warm & fuzzys against OSU, BSU, and Reno.

Anyways, there's one more home game left...go to the game and support the team!

What does attendance look like so far YTD? Are we in trouble?

Anonymous said...

You can't stretch the field without the talent to do so.

We don't have the QB to get the job done. We don't seem to have the receivers to separate themselves from the defense and we don't have the coaching philosophy to make the adjustment necessary.

Leave the redshirt on Tanner, if we are good with the status quo.

SM said...

Can we do an over/under on the number of offensive touchdowns the Aggies score the rest of the year? I say 3. Anybody?

At this point, I think the team is realistically shooting for one more win, either SJSU or Hawaii. For them to win, the special teams has to be much better and the defense has to generate turnovers again. The cold hard truth is that we can't rely on either of these QB's to get anything done. I'm not saying Walls is a failed project, but he is nowhere near ready for D1 football. Nor is Flemming.

Our best bet to get the offense going is for Rosenbach and Walker to get creative. Throw in some trick plays, direct snaps, and other schemes to move the ball. I realize our QBs are not playing well at all, but take a shot down field on 1st down to keep the opposing team's d-backs honest.

Aggie007 said...

Yawn ... I think I speak for most Aggie fans when I say, "lets move our focus to men's basketball." Football is so pathetic and depressing. I hope JY and company can give us something to be proud about.
With football, I can't believe I'm saying this, but it seems like we were better last year than this year. We had receivers who could catch and a QB who was accurate. Does anybody know if DW has a trick up his sleeve for the QB position next year? If it's Walls or Fleming again, I will absolutely pass on season tickets.

JD said...

With the poor play at QB it has been hard to point at any one problem with the offense.

The O-line has played well. Swithing to a power running game from nothing but pass blocking last season.

The running backs have flourished, but it is hard not too when are given more than 75% of the looks.

Wideouts have struggled, but its hard to make plays when there are not any passes coming your way.

No one has pointed out that play calling has been a major factor in the lack of offense.

I understand that they would like to have a ball control offense that eats up the clock, but there has to be a happy medium. We need to call some short pass plays (slants, curls, etc.) early in the game to get QB confidence and WRs involved. Give Marcus Anderson the ball in space and let him go to work. Have we run a screen play all year? Run Run Pass is not a good offense.

How much of that can be directed to talent? If the D can turn it around and change the mentality, the O should easily be able to get a bit of the offense sting that they had last year.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so much uneducated comments! That starts with Teddy. Bandwagon is not the word for his "reporting on the QB's"!

Talk to a retired Head Coach (college) who watched the game. He has no connection to either QB....bottom line Fleming is a very capable QB not being used correctly.

His comment, "Boise would have been in trouble if Fleming played for Fresno".

As for Fleming being an upper classmen, he's a soph! I guess if you say anything above Freshman is an upper classmen, well you get the point!

Anonymous said...

After reading these 5 comments,we are still trying to figure out what to do.I would say giving the ball to Smith is a coach decision.You can't keep handing to same one doesn't take long they have that figured out.I read one of the articles sport sun news'how smart Walls was,Walker focuses on defense,and you can see how well it works.I think the problem is with the,Walker needs to take a hard look at this.

Anonymous said...

You are only as strong as your weakest link. Right now, I'd say that is the offensive play calling.

Look at TR's history as an offensive coordinator. He took the top offensive team in FCS and ran them into the ground. His first year at EWU, when he was carrying on for the previous coordinator, they led the nation. After that the offensive production dropped and dropped again!

Walker want to grind it out. We do not have the personnel to do that without the threat of a long pass often enough to keep the defenses honest. We do not have that going for us at all, and seem reluctant to work to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

A little off topic here but, how about scheduling an opponent where we actually have a chance during Homecoming?!

Last year we played Boise and got blasted 49-0! Add last years game and Fresno and we've been out scored 83-3 in our last two Homecomings!!
That pretty damn sad!

The powers that be need to do a better job when scheduling our Homecoming opponents, especialy on national TV!


Anonymous said...

This late in the season it would be a horrible mistake to waste redshirts ie. tanner rust. What other players are being saved until next year? Anybody know? Can somebody with a better understanding of Timm Rosenbach's past please explain his offensive style? He was a prolific passer as a QB at WSU and it seems like this was his approach at his previous stops. Is the run-first style his? If not, why was he brought in by D. Walker?

Anonymous said...

The coach can let things go as they are, or can decide to change things up. Possible changes:

1. Let the redshirt freshman QB have a shot.
2. Let the two current QBs throw the ball long downfield more to loosen the defense.
3. Learn from Boise and rely on more gadget plays.
4. Run a triple option variation on occasion.
5. Pass on running downs, run on passing downs.

Just some ideas.

Anonymous said...

The play calling is WAAAAYYYY to conservative and yes, it is due to the QB play, but please take a chance once in while.

I agree w/ Jefe and our homecoming opponents. Please get someone that's on par with us!

Next year we get SDSU, LaTech, Hawaii, SJSU and Boise.
Excluding Boise, these are teams we can play with at home but, the brains in the Athletic dept will probably schedule Boise for homecoming!

C'mon, bring in a team where we actually have a fighting chance.

Anonymous said...

Those of you bashing Walls and Fleming simply need to stop smoking the stuff you get across the border. How could any QB get a rythm or be successful in that type of offense. I am from Waverly, Ohio and am always rooting for Trevor. Having not missed an OSU game in 15 years I know what offensive conservatism is. . . . . Coach Tressel invented it. However, Tressel's playcalling is way more liberal than Rosenbach's. If Rosenbach is conservative consider Jim Tressel Micheal Moore. On a good note, I believe there will be more than 200 people from Waverly in the Shoe Saturday chearing for the Aggies. I wish Trevor the best Saturday and the rest of the year. I have a feeling that he won't be in Las Cruces come January. Those of you who don't know, Coach Daniels (former QB coach for the Buckeyes) and Jim Heacock (OSU defensive Coordinator) made trips to Waverly during Trevor's junior year. Trevor just happened to be behind a guy named Pryor on the recruiting chart.

Anonymous said...

If Trevor doesn't want to be in Las Cruces come January, I hope he doesn't let the door hit him on the way out. I10 runs east and west, I25 north and south.

And if the above poster is really intimating that OSU wants him, he needs to really think about scooting back to Ohio and sitting out that year because NMSU will never be Ohio State University in football. One word of warning for the young man, if he thinks Las Cruces is a fishbowl, it's 100 times worse at OSU. Just ask the current QB who is under fire.

Anonymous said...

1st Anon, Man you must know more than the ESPN guys about QB's as they were giving Flemin major props during the game. Went so far as to say he should have been starting! They were MORE than complimentary of his passing... You must have missed the throw, rolling right past the hatch and leaping in the air throwing to the left endzone PERFECT! ESPN said it went thru the hands of the TE and should have been caught, replay confirmed their observation!

Well I guess some guys just don't get it! I know, maybe you should apply for the job!

Anonymous said...

Re: teh first poster's question about attendance, here's the numbers.

Attendance through Saturday's Game was 17,458 per game. That is a little over 57% of capacity. That exceeds the 15,000 requirement comfortably. Last year we were at 17,756, so the two year average will also be ok.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster: I was not stating that Trevor would be going to OSU and as a matter of fact if you are talented QB, OSU is not the place for you. You are absolutely right, OSU QB's are under more scrutiny than the Governor here in Ohio. The point I was making was that OSU coaches rarely make the venture south of I-70 here in Ohio. You got to have serious talent to even get looked at if you play anywhere south of Columbus. Trevor's back up in high school committed to Toledo earlier this year. 6'3" 225 runs a 4.5 with an arm and did not get an offer from the buckeyes. Look at our past QB's. How many have had successful NFL careers. Moreover, from what I know Trevor loves it in Las Cruces. Most of us here in Ohio are simply confused on the offense that Rosenbach employs. It is almost like they are simply giving the defense an four-play break. I guarantee that if he utilized some more pass (even basic)routes other than the screen pass and three-yard out that the Aggie offense would produce more results. Also I have not seen that many drop-back steps used in the shotgun formation. Look at your coverage, take the snap, read the safety and fire away. Walls and Fleming are doing the best they can with what is given to them. Also, AD Boston said that when Walker came in that they were still going to run the spread. What happened to that?

Anonymous said...

I think what my buddy from Waverly (I know who he is!)is trying to get across regarding Trevor Walls is...the folks back home think the system is not a fit. I know that Trevor likes it in Las Cruces...but his family,friends and high school coaches are concerned about his long term future. Most of us think Trevor should be in a UC Bearcat style offense like he was in high school. Trevor is not a sour, self centered kid, but things have got to be tough right now. Neither Walls or Fleming will flourish without getting in some sort of groove with their receivers..period. Trevor was coached in high school by 2 former D-1 QB's who fashioned an offense around Trevor's strenghts while realizing his shortcomings. This will not happen in this system. But hey, if TW's happy with that, then we will support him all the way.

SM said...

To the Ohio bloggers, I think most of us Aggie fans truly hope Walls is successful. He is a big kid with a live arm, and he might be a good QB in the future.

I am not sure that Walker's play-calling is all to blame either. Both Walls and Flemming have very little experience. Walker and Rosenbach's strategy appears to be trying to avoid putting them in bad situations. Hence the conservative play-calling. Do I think we should let Walls and Flemming rip a few down field? Yes. But that does not mean I am right.

I like the strategy of focusing on solid defense and special teams because we do not have the talent or experience to dominate teams offensively. I could not stand it when Mumme would call predictable pass plays every down, not run the ball at all, and fake punt on 4th and 10 in Aggie territory. Has the play-calling become predictable once again? Probably, but what option do our coaches have.

Walls needs to stick it out here. Hopefully we can get some receivers that have good length (I like Lee and Anderson, but they will not be winning jump-balls any time soon), continue improving the run game, find a couple reliable tight ends, and take more shots down the field. Right now, we have an ok offensive line, a decent pair of running backs, but weaknesses everywhere else. Tell Walls to hang in there and see what happens. Regarding putting his future at risk: it is way too early to tell if Walls has a future past the college game, but odds are against it.

Anonymous said...

SM, you have got to be kidding me. This is NMSU where we have not had a successful program in ages and our last bowl game was in 1960. A coach is entitled to play the offense that works for him but he also has to make sure that it works for the team. Sure Mumme had a pass happy offense but he had players for it. The defense was abismal but that is because he wanted to pump his offensive numbers. Now Walker wants to play a very conservative game which is fine, but we dont have the team for it. It takes us out of games because we lack the inability to come back and score. It puts our defense in a lose lose situation because if they dont stop the offense we lose and if they do stop the offense we wont move the ball. Our coaches have the option of mixing things up in the play calling, call more passes and like Teddy says let them throw deep passes. Walls is built for that and even if we dont have the best receivers at least you are trying something different. Pounding the ball works if you have the team for it, we dont.