It looked like the loss of Alexander LaVoy in the second half of the Aggies 34-24 loss at San Jose State on Saturday really hurt NMSU.
I think it hurt in both stopping the run and the pass — LaVoy is a better pass defender than run stopper but is a big body none-the-less. Frankly, it looks like he should be beastly against the run. He's been an upgrade in the middle of the Aggie D and has provided a nice one-two punch with Boyblue Aoelua at linebacker. The Aggie defense couldn't get stops in the second half and SJSU used running back Brandon Rutley and tight end Ryan Otten to do damage.
LaVoy had a boot on his left foot following the game although that can mean a lot. We'll have to see where his status is early this week.
Realistically, the Aggies gave up two big plays that really hurt them in this one.
Brandon Rutley started the game with a 66-yard touchdown run off a simple run up the middle. He went completely untouched on his way to the endzone.
Then Otten's 64-yard touchdown to start the second half.
Did these two plays decide the game? There's no denying they were two huge plays in the contest and gave SJSU 14 of its 34 points.
It's worth mentioning that Otten dropped a ball on the exact same play later in the third quarter.
The Aggies were penalized eight times for 76 yards while San Jose State was penalized once for five yards.
I thought quarterback Matt Christian played pretty well.
He threw the ball pretty good and ran well.
There's no denying his third-quarter interception hurt. It came late in the quarter with each team going back-and-forth on the scoreboard — the score was tied at 24 at the time. San Jose State would take over at midfield and score the go-ahead touchdown — a Rutley 2-yard run.
The Aggies didn't do anything offensively after that, granted No. 1 receiver Taveon Rogers was out of the game after falling hard on his tailbone.
Also, Christian is going to get hurt too if he keeps taking hits. He took some shots on Saturday — he ran the ball a lot out of the run-option and was effective doing it but he's also at risk. He got down once before being hit and, frankly, didn't look comfortable doing it. And I thought he was lucky not to get dinged a few more times during the game. I don't know what the plan is if Matt goes down but he was cramping during the fourth quarter and the team didn't seem eager to bring in a backup at that point. He either has to stop running or needs to be more careful. The team ran the ball better on Saturday out of the run-option — 185 yards on the ground — and Christian had something to do with that. He also had a nice touchdown run in the third quarter to tie the score at 17.
Kenny Turner had a good game on Saturday — 129 yards rushing including a 78-yard scoring run in the third quarter to put the Aggies up 24-17. He also scored on an 18-yard TD reception in the second period. This helped take away from the sting after his performance last week against UTEP. Sort of.
Taveon Rogers is a big-time player — five receptions for 120 yards and really some fine receptions downfield. He still produced at a high level despite the quarterback change and was a go-to player once again. Hopefully his tailbone injury isn't serious.
Boyblue would have had another interception this season but the play was wiped out because of a Donyae Coleman defensive holding. Three plays later, NMSU recovered a San Jose State fumble.
I wrote in last night's blog entry that the Aggies had to hold San Jose State to under 21 points and they'd have a shot at the win. They weren't in the ballpark.
NMSU has to beat New Mexico this week.
The Lobos lost to Sam Houston State — an FCS school — 48-45 in overtime on Saturday night to move to 0-4 on the season.
Then, the Mike Locksley nightmare continued when four minors were found intoxicated while driving his SUV before Saturday's game.
Things keep getting worse for the Lobos, even when it seems impossible for things to get any worse. How is this even possible? And how does Locksley still have a job there?
Anyway, I think it's a scary game for the Aggies because there is going to be pressure on them to win. It can't get any worse for UNM — they just lost to Sam Houston and their head coach looks to be halfway out the door. And they've lost to the Aggies the last two years. NMSU is expected to win the game. Again, in an odd way, there is pressure on NMSU going into this weekend's contest.
Two weeks ago, we were talking about the Aggies possibly being 5-1. Now, they're 1-3 and desperate going into their rivalry game against the Lobos.