Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thoughts following UNM game

Well, the Aggies needed to beat the Lobos and they did.

Was it pretty? No. Was it a must win? That's a relative term, but you didn't want to be the loser in this one. It meant you might be the worst team in Division I.

The Aggies had some young players step up and when you look at the field, there are some DeWayne Walker recruits who are getting the job done.

Obviously Andrew Manley looks to be a player. We've been talking about it since fall camp and he didn't disappoint in leading the team to the winning field goal yesterday.

Manley should have been brought into the game sooner. The Aggie offense looked like last year's attack - a quarterback draw on 3rd-and-13 in the fourth quarter stood out. Manley enters the game and zips two passes right in there, particularly the 21-yarder down to Marcus Allen inside the 10-yard line. That was a real-deal throw.

But there were other players that stood out to me too.

No. 1 was true freshman defensive tackle Augafa Vaaulu. Vaaulu has the size - 6-foot-3, 295 pounds - to be an impact Division I lineman and he made some plays last night. It looked like he forced a fumble, although it was awarded to Davon House. He recovered a fumble, made three tackles, with one going for a loss. The Aggies do have depth along the line, and I think Vaaulu could be a keeper. He's No. 91, take a look at him next game you're at.

I also think Branden Warner has had a decent year backing up at defensive end. Warner was highly touted coming here last season and didn't do anything. But he made four stops last night and held his own at the point of attack.

Donyae Coleman has been the most consistent defensive player on the team this season at safety.

Tyler Stampler's performance last night was strong - three field goals including the game winner.

And true freshman Davonte Wallace has been starting for most of the season at left offensive tackle.

It's nice to see young players stepping in and making an impact, particularly at the quarterback position. It gives fans hope for the future.


The Lobos are terrible and it showed on Saturday.

Five turnovers? And they were all critical - a muffed punt for the touchdown and how do you fumble late and give NMSU a crack at taking the lead, which the Aggies did?

At some point, players have to stop putting the ball on the ground. The Lobos had three fumbles in the second half and all were critical and gave NMSU great field position. Somehow, the Aggies only got three points out of them.

It's tough, because Mike Locksley really needs his own quarterback running the show. He hasn't gotten that yet.

But you couldn't get off to a worse start to a head coaching career than he has. It just looks like - judging by his team's performance is all you really need to see - that he wasn't prepared for such a big task of being a head coach. And it is a big task, a huge task. It's not even a comparison to being an assistant.


The fan reaction after the game was awesome with everyone piling onto the field.

The place was loud last night in the fourth quarter.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Las Cruces would support a winner. And it would be awesome to see.


Despite both teams bungling around in the second half - the Aggies couldn't complete a forward pass and both clubs seemed to move backwards on offense in the third quarter - Walker said the attitude was still upbeat on the NMSU sidelines.

The third quarter saw the Aggies face a 4th-and-34 and a 4th-and-36; UNM faced a 4th-and-39 and a fourth-and-27.

At one point in the fourth quarter, the Lobos fumbled away the ball at the UNM 28, only to have the Aggies fumble it back to the Lobos at the 25. UNM was up 14-13 at the time.

"We just never lost faith," NMSU head coach DeWayne Walker said. "Our sidelines, they were alive the whole night. The coaches, they were alive the whole night…Our kids fought till the end and we knew it would go to the end. It was a four-quarter game and I was happy to see our guys finish it up with the W."


The defensive line finally got pressure on the quarterback. Donte Savage had a monster game - nine tackles, two sacks, four tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.

NMSU forced five turnovers and recorded two sacks after having none in either category through the first four games of the season.

Sacks and turnovers - those two statistics go hand-in-hand.


Robert Clay was the unsung hero from Saturday's game.

He recovered the muffed punt in the endzone for a touchdown.

He made another nice tackle on special teams on punt coverage.

And he ran hard - 11 carries for 44 yards.

Robert is proving his worth. Without his efforts, the Aggies don't win the game.


Anonymous said...

The coach should have pulled Manley's redshirt after the Miner game, or maybe during, just to get hims some reps. Still, it's good the kid got to play. Maybe next week, he'll get in a little sooner, if not to give the opposing defense someone different to deal with at the QB position.

Anonymous said...

Man, I'm still on a high after beating the hobos!

If the team can keep the games close from here on out...anything can happen!

CDW is building this thing from the ground up!!
There are 55 freshmen & sophomores on the roster and those kids are getting plenty of playing time.
Give them a year!!

The Athletic Dept. needs to help CDW in scheduling teams that we have a shot at beating.

You look at utep this year. They're 5-1 because they have played bottom feeders and have been able to get those wins.

That's exactly what we got to do in the next year or two.
Please schedule Army, E. Michigan, FIU, FAU, N. Texas, Western KY, UTSA, North Texas, etc.

No more $$$ games!!
Please start giving CDW favorable schedule's so he can get this thing around!


Anonymous said...

Interesting article but no mention of special teams play for NMSU. "Interesting" because special teams scored all the points, stuffed nearly all the punt and kick-off returns and had good yardage on their returns. Just thought it should be mentioned but guess we only mention special teams play when they make a mistake. . .

JD said...

Teddy there you go. One win and your blog takes the right turn. There is a glimmer of hope now.

It will be hard for Rust to crack back into the lineup after what Manley did. Heck it might even be hard to want Christian back.

I know it was just two throws, but those were the biggest completions of the season. It was well worth burning up the red-shirt!

Thanks for highlighting some of the young recruits on this team. I think some of the loyal fans needed to know that there is some hope for the future.

Now let's shift focus to next week. I know the chances are slim, but Fresno got dropped by Hawaii. I don't think we will be able to air it out and it seems like that is where their weakness is. Any chance of us being able to hold on defense?

K Aggie '98 said...

Anybody think there were more in attendance than the 21k+ that was reported? I was there and it sure seemed like it to me. NIce crowd. Something has to be done about the aggievision announcers. Glen Cerny often misidentified Aggie players. Showing Jonte Green walking around when they were talking about Taveon Rogers---pathetic. Amateur hour at best. I hope he is not getting paid! Let's not even mention the fact that he says Aggie as if it were spelled ehggie. C'mon!

Anonymous said...

Anybody know if Rust was injured or just got pulled? I have heard/read both versions.

Anonymous said...

We absolutly need to go with Manley from here on out. Christian can back him up. Since we pulled the trigger on the redshirt let him go. He will make mistakes, but we gotta suck it up and let him gain the experience. If we are going to improve next year we have to get his feet wet. I'll take one more win this year to get him to where he needs to be next year.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Aggie Vision announcers and camera men being horrible. It seems like the camera men get faked out more than the Aggie defense. Half the time they are focused on the person without the ball. And god forbid if they throw a deep ball, were lucky if the camera gets there in time. The SDSU game was the worst. Come on guys, if were gonna try and be a competitve d-1 program we need to fix things like that. It looks and sounds shabby, low budget, and downright pathetic. Andrew Manley for president!! Let him fail, let him succed. Let him have a chance to be our future!!!!!

Anonymous said...


The attendance was well below 20,000 and the ticket count was a little more than 17,000. Pan Am does the ticket count after every game and then they give it to athletics who adds anyone they want to to that count in order to make it higher.


K Aggie '98 said...


The students don't have tickets to count and their section was full. I know they count all season tix regardless of "butt in the seat" reality. I will have to disagree with your 17k estimate. The only very empty portion of the stadium was the upper section on the east side. The west side was very full. I would say the stadium was greater than the 2/3 (20,000) capacity and closer to 3/4 (23k). I think we can agree that the crowd was a good one and the students stuck around.

Anonymous said...


I work at Pan American Center so I know what Im talking about. FYI, students get counted because when they enter the stadium their id's get swiped and they count the number that every machine has. My best friend is the manager that does the ticket count after every game and Im sorry but the count was 17,000 not 20