What are the contests to circle on the calendar as the New Mexico State Aggies football season nears?
Here’s a look at five key games, as NMSU gets set to embark on the new year.
Sept. 3, vs. Ohio
This is the most important game of the year for the Aggies, their season opener at home against the Bobcats. A win here for NMSU will give the team a boost of confidence and get their season off on the right foot. It won’t be an easy task, however. Ohio is a tough team — a bowl outfit last season led by former Nebraska coach Frank Solich. They’re expected to be good once again, meaning NMSU will likely have to spring an upset.
Sept. 17, vs. UTEP
The last two years have seen the Aggies get pounded by the Miners. Things need to get turned around — UTEP is largely unproven heading into this year and NMSU needs to keep face against their chief rival. And it’s similar to the Ohio game — a win here, and the Aggies can feel good about their prospects in 2011. A loss will further hammer home the fact that NMSU has a long way to go.
Sept. 24, at San Jose State
The Aggies only WAC win last year came against the Spartans on a last-second touchdown. This year the Aggies travel to SJSU against a Spartans team that should be improved — despite the victory last year NMSU was picked to finish behind San Jose State in the WAC preseason polls. Conference wins are hard to come by for the Aggies, but their league opener this year against SJSU is one they can get.
Oct. 15, vs. Idaho
The Vandals have been a better team in recent years under head coach Robb Akey, but will be vulnerable on the road in this mid-October game. It’s a winnable one for the Aggies, who should stack up with the Vandals.
Dec. 3, vs. Utah State
The final game of the year for NMSU features a home game against their northern rivals. NMSU beats Utah State two years ago in Las Cruces before losing a tight game on the road last season. Again, a winnable game for the Aggies against another team from the WAC underbelly.