Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thoughts following the Fresno game

Here’s what I thought following the Aggies vs. Fresno State game on Saturday night.

• The Aggies got off the a horrible start offensively and it led to a 16-0 hole.

Really, you take away that start, and the Aggies played Fresno State tough — Fresno State won 17-10 the rest of the way.

That start was fueled by the Fresno State defensive line having their way with the NMSU offensive front and freshman quarterback Andrew Manley running for his life during the opening possessions of the game.

• The Aggie offensive line got off to a very bad start, but improved as the game went along and blocked for Seth Smith and Kenny Turner, who both had strong games.

The line began blocking better once quarterback Matt Christian was inserted into the game for Manley. Don’t know if that was a coincidence or not, although it seems like Christian has a quick release and that internal clock all quarterbacks need in terms of getting rid of the ball. Manley’s still very young and is growing. And I thought he could have gotten another series or two once the bullets stopped flying.

Back to the O-line though.

When you see a unit work hard and improve like that during the course of a game, it’s a sign of good coaching.

The bottom line is that offensive line coach Jason Lenzemeier continues getting the max out of the minimum. Last year the group was solid enough and this year it has been the most consistent overall unit on the team despite being ravaged by injuries and really having no dominant player, particularly along the interior of the line. But they play hard, block hard and held their own from the second quarter on against a very good Fresno State defensive front.

• Taveon Rogers needs the ball more often.

He has speed and can rip off the big play. He caught one ball last night — a screen pass that went for 50 yards.

The Aggies also got nice games from running backs Seth Smith and Kenny Turner. Seth had 11 carries and Kenny had 15. I’m fine with Turner’s workload, although I think Smith could stand to get 10 more carries. He’s still a very good player for NMSU.

• The Aggies had some good field position, particularly early on in the game, but did nothing with it. If you’re going to spring an upset, particularly on the road, you gotta take advantage of those opportunities. Very simple.

• We can talk about how the Aggie defense played better in the second half, but here’s the thing:

It’s impossible to accurately tell how good you are when you’re either up or down by 30. Sure, Fresno State was trying to score in the second half, but it’s human nature to let up when you know you have the game in hand. I would be more impressed with the Aggie defense if they held Fresno State to three points in the second half during a 20-17 win, not a 33-10 loss.

• At Idaho next week.

My gut tells me the Aggies are going to be competitive.

NMSU will get one more win this year if they keep playing the way they are.

Still, two more is not out of the question.

Three more would be a great way to end the season — going .500 down the stretch and surpassing last year’s three-win total.

That would be pretty awesome.


Anonymous said...

Idaho, SJSU, Utah St. and LaTech are the next games and these are teams we are fairly even with.

I think we can go 2-2 before we face the juggernauts known as, Nevada & Hawaii.

Obviously, we all want wins but, I'm looking for consistend play from the offense, defense and special teams.

PROGRESS, gentlemen, we want to see more PROGRESS!!


Anonymous said...

Let's hope.

Anonymous said...

Fresno State looked awful! This is not the powerful Fresno team of years past. Don't know what that says about the Aggies.

Hopefully we can squeek a win out of SJSU.

Anonymous said...

so did the freshman qb really give up his red shirt year for one drive against unm and three series against fresno and now he is done? really? you pull him and now is watching for the rest of the year chewing up a year. stupid. nice way to manage a kids career.

chilero said...

I agree with Jefe - progress is the benchmark, not wins.

Teddy, Coach Lenz is doing spectacular things. Not only is he down two starters, I believe he's also down one reserve. For a line that had no depth and no stand outs to begin with, he's done an amazing job.

Anonymous said...

Whats up with #5 Padilla. Hes in a sling. Teddy, any insight? Any other injuries we should be worried about?

JD said...

I sat and watched the entire Fresno State game and there was a few points that stuck out.

I think that it is clear to see that Fresno is not at the level they are accustomed to. The Aggies were given great field position but the speed of the game was too much for Manley.

I would have liked to see Manley get more time, but Walker has shown that he is willing to make decisions and stick to them. Manley was given a start and he didn't produce. Walker pulls the plug and inserts Christian, I like the short leash.

The Aggie defense looked like it is showing signs of stiffening. I know the score does not show it but they have played much better when put up against talent closer to their level.

One thing that stood out was Seth Smith. He is obviously the best straight ahead solution that we have at running back. It even seemed to me that Smith looked to the sideline after a big run and was begging for more touches. Why isn't this guy getting 15-20 per game? The defense could use the rest and Turner can be the big play threat on the flanks?

I think Idaho is a little bit ahead of NMSU right now. The Aggies will have to play very well in a lackluster environment. It will not be easy to get this group of California, Arizona, and Texas kids to get up for the Vandals at Idaho. Just ask Chase Holbrook about the Aggies last visit to Moscow......

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:22

I agree with your post. Teddy, you posted on the last one that Manley should be the starter and what not. I dont think it was right to pull him considering how horrible the line played in the first couple of drives. I dont want to see another qb carousel like last year when the team never really had a true leader. I think Christian had his chance to prove his worth and we didnt get a win under him. We didnt really get a win under Manley either but Christian still showed that his accuray isnt all that great against Fresno (overthrowing a wide open Turner). I dont like that Coach Walker keeps going back and forth between qb's in his two years so far. Pick a man and stick with him for the rest of the season. It does no good to constantly be changing that position when we all know that in the end the wins will be hard to come by no matter who is there. We scored 10 points with Christian and never had a shot at winning, would Manley really have done worse than that?


Anonymous said...

Walker understands DEFENSE. He has NO skills as a HC at this point! Not saying he won't learn but his coaching style has had a major negative impact on the offense. He is making the same mistakes as last year! A QB has to play with an open mind, without fear. Walker DOES NOT perpetuate trust or confidence in his players. Until he fixes that, well expect more of the same.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 3:00
It's not that coach Walker does/ doesn't understand offense.

It's the fact that he's still getting his players in place, and the Athletic Dept needs to give him a favorable schedule instead of throwing him under the bus!!

North Texas just fired Todd Dodge.
Now is the time for NMSU to sign a home & home with the mean green!

Speaking of schedule, this is what our 2011 non-conf. schedule looks like:
@ Minnesota,
Plus our 8 conference games.

Keep in mind that if Nevada & Fresno leave this year. That's two home games we lose.
I say, we make up those 2 games with SE Lousiana & North Texas, Texas ST. UTSA, etc.

C'mon Boston,
No more money games! Give CDW a schedule where he can succeed!!