First off, quotes following Saturday's game: Click here.
For the game itself, it was odd at times and not particularly pretty. Upon leaving the stadium I realized it was also entertaining.
And the Aggies needed the win. We all know that the second half of the season is tougher for NMSU — the team will likely be underdogs from here out.
By beating Idaho, the Aggies now move to 3-3 on the season, 1-1 in conference play. They let one get away against UTEP earlier this year — they really should have four wins. OK, now they're going to have to upset a team or two. I think four wins would be a very good season for the Aggies and five would be a great season.
Much of the first half was tough to watch.
It was literally about breaks on special teams: a fumbled kickoff by Idaho led to NMSU's second TD; moments later, a muffed Aggie punt by true freshman Austin Franklin inside the NMSU 10-yard line led to a short Idaho scoring run; and then the ensuing kickoff was returned 101 yards by Taveon Rogers to put NMSU back up two scores.
It was 21-7 with just over five minutes into the game, and the teams had combined for just 100 yards at that point….Strange.
Quarterback Matt Christian got hit and came down on his left shoulder — he left the game and did not return.
True freshman Travaughn Colwell played well in the second half — particularly when considering that he's a young player.
He managed the game and showed athleticism — threw on the run, good play-action fake.
I liked his 1-yard TD throw to Kemonte Bateman and he later hit Bateman deep for a 50-yard gain. All tolled, Colwell threw for 100 yards and led the team to 10 second half points.
I give the defense the game ball in this one — thought it was arguably their best performance of the season.
A goal line stand to win the game — that says a lot right there. Forcing four turnovers and, really, special teams was responsible for all three Idaho touchdowns.
Safety Donyae Coleman is having a good year — his four interceptions lead the WAC and he stripped and recovered Idaho's fumbled kickoff early in the game.
Kenny Turner was huge for the Aggies.
He was a workhorse running back for NMSU — 25 carries, 171 yards and a touchdown. Don't think the Aggies win this one without Turner.
Since being moved back to running back three games ago he has rushed for 409 yards on 66 carries and has scored three touchdowns. He looks at home.
Idaho is not a very good team.
A few things I noticed:
• Quarterback Brian Reader came off a shaky outing against Louisiana Tech and he didn't play well last night against the Aggies. He overthrew a bunch of WR in the intermediate and deep passing zones. He connects on those, it's a different ballgame.
• Why kick it to Taveon Rogers? He kills teams on kick returns. This isn't a secret at this point — it's Week 7. Rogers returned a TD 101 yards to the house on Saturday.
• I like running back Princeton McCarty but felt he was underutilized. He led the Vandals on the final drive downfield and finished the night with 116 yards on 25 carries and had a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD.
Special teams nearly cost NMSU the game.
Having a kick and punt returned for touchdowns? Unacceptable.
Muffing a punt inside your own 10? Not good.
Tyler Stampler missed another field goal — this one from 39 yards out.
I thought punter Jake Capraro was good — he's improved. And Rogers is obviously a beast in the return game.
We've said it 100 times, the Aggies aren't good enough to be bad on special teams.
If they want to steal a game or two down the stretch, they NEED to get better here. Have to.
Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg