Sunday, September 18, 2011

The day after: some more thoughts

Wrote a column on the Aggie running game for Monday's Sun-News. To read it, click here.

I wrote that variation in the Aggie running game would curb opposing team's pass rush on Aggie quarterback Andrew Manley — screen-passes to RBs, draw-run, misdirection and toss-sweeps would not only keep defenses off balance in the run game but would also have them think twice about just coming after the Aggies drop-back quarterback.

Saturday night saw UTEP blitz, blitz and blitz some more.

A few other things that could help….

More short drops. It seemed like the team was still doing long pass patterns downfield despite the fact that UTEP was bringing the heat. A quick passing game and some hot routes would seem help in this regard.

The team also went away from the no-huddle attack after it worked well in the two-minute drill just before halftime. NMSU head coach DeWayne Walker said following the game that he thought there were moments in the second half where the Aggies could have went back to that. UTEP looked uncomfortable defending it and it would surely have disrupted their blitz if ran effectively.


Kenny Turner has taken some criticism for his goal line fumble in the first quarter and drops/route running during the game. No doubt that Kenny didn't have a good game and those plays were big. The goal line fumble could have changed the complexion of a low-scoring game.

A few things to consider….

It's possible the first-quarter fumble affected his game thereafter. Judging from the results I think we can say it's possible.

Also, Kenny, to me, is a space player, on the edge of the defense, one-on-one with a defensive end or a linebacker. Putting him in on goal line situations — in some cases without a true lead blocker — doesn't seem like his game. It's a different world running the ball between 300-pound defensive tackles on the goal line. Just saying. I think the team could have considered Robert Clay and/or Victor Johnson in those situations.

The variation in the running game I mentioned above, to me that's Kenny.


I want to say that despite the loss on Saturday the Aggies are an improved team. I thought the team played hard. These are positive things I'm trying to point out here.

Entering the four-game stretch following the Minnesota game I said four wins would be great, three of four would be fine. The latter is still possible.

Is this a great team? After Saturday's loss the answer has to be no. They had their chances to win a very winnable game and didn't get it done. We talked about the botched goal line chances — not just the fumble but a missed 21-yard field goal. And they settled for three when inside the 10 as well. The Aggies really could have won that game and would have been 2-1. It would have been a giant win. Now they're 1-2 and the general feeling will be ‘here we go again,’ at least from the general fan base in the community.

I still believe this is an improved team.


Some other scores of interest from Saturday….

Ohio — who beat the Aggies 44-24 in Las Cruces — beat Marshall 44-7 in Akron, Ohio. The Bobcats look like a very good team.

Hawaii lost big to UNLV 40-20 at UNLV. Hawaii was BIG favorite in this game and it was a huge upset. Hawaii can have the occasional letdown game when coming to the mainland and this smells like one of those.

San Jose State almost beat Nevada 17-14. Nevada could be down this year — tough to replace Colin Kaepernick. The Aggies play at San Jose State this Saturday.

Louisiana Tech, up on Houston 34-7 in third quarter, lost 35-34. Pretty unbelievable.

UNM lost 59-13 to Texas Tech in a game in Albuquerque. Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege completed 40-of-44 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns. Sounds like a video game.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg


Anonymous said...

Why not run the two minute offense to keep the defense off kilter? It was UTEP coach who at least tried something different to get his team going. Outside of the Aggies fumbling, dropping balls and letting a fake punt work, the play calling was atrocious and unimaginative for most of the game.

If the coach wants fans to enjoy their Saturdays in places other than NMSU's football stadium, he's doing exactly what he needs to do. I know that I'm thinking twice before wasting another 3 hours of my life on an Aggie football game.

Anonymous said...

Turner deserves the criticism.

We all know about the goal line fumble & the 5 dropped passes. However, you also forgot to mention that QUIT on his for an easy touchdown!

You would think that based on his background, he would be tougher!

If he can't catch, he can't help the team. He might as well try out for the womens Track & Field team. I'm sure coach Richburg would find a spot him.

Anonymous said...

After we maded comparisons all week to the 1999 team. The 2011 team goes out makes the same mistakes!

Very frustrating as a fan to watch the defense work their butts off and the offense get their butts kicked in!

CDW, I like you a lot but Mike Price out foxed you with that fake punt.
Let's see if the team can get it together & salvage the season.


JD said...

Teddy I like the direction you are taking. This was a tough loss to swallow but there are some positives.

Jefe I was at the ASU win and the '99 blow out to the Miners the next week. This is totally different.

UTEP was not the better team this time out. For the first time in years we looked like we belonged on the field with the Miners. We had them on their heels. Just take a few looks at there sideline and it was evident.

I stated that my biggest concern was that we are still learning to win and this exact scenario was on my mind.

They ran it down our thoats, but we held at key times. One or two dropped passes are caught, a field goal instead of a fumble and we win.

The fake punt was a killer and the Aggies simply were not ready for it. Could be deemed as Bush League call, but hell "protect yourself at all times"!

Teddy I am sure you will post about this but SJSU seems to be much improved and in about the same situation as NM Stat, heading in the right direction and a vital junction in the programs future???

Anonymous said...

Someone said last week that utep & unm take the rivalry games more serious than NMSU.

I hate to admit but it's true. How do explain a team with all the momentum goes out and loses to a team that is starting a freshman QB, missing their star DT and CB?!! How?!

Man, no wonder NMSU is known as "Futility U" in the football world!

I work in El Paso and I'm just getting eaten alive today!

The fans showed up to the games but the team didn't. Enjoy playing in front of 10K fans the rest of the way!

Thanks for nothing Aggies!

Pissedoff ticket holder

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I don't see the difference between Walkers offense and Mumme's offense:
Both offenses are SOFT, give up plenty of sacks and can't run the ball.

The defense was tired but, kept fighting and got some stops and turnovers till the very end.

Unfortunately, 10 points a game, with no running game, and soft O-line is not going to get it done.

I feel sorry for the defense.
Your counterparts on offense just can't help you stay off the field.

Anonymous said...

A piece of advice for Theodore,stay away from predictions my friend you have a terrible record. :-)

Anonymous said...

I think Walker was happy just to have a one point lead with UTEP playing like they were. He got comfortable with the teams being stalemated as they were. Boy did UTEP surprise him.

Talk about being OUT COACHED. Rookie coach bows to experienced coach.

Anonymous said...

We need to win games when the defense only gives up 16 points. That might be the lowest point total they give up all season long. We can't waste that effort.


Anonymous said...

There are three college football teams not worth watching within 220 miles of Las Cruces. No need to mention which teams they are.

Anonymous said...

And we lose our starting QB. The hits just keep ahappenin...