Sunday, October 30, 2011

Looking back: Saturday's Aggies vs. Nevada game

Lets start this post off by saying the halftime adjustments made by Nevada were the key to Saturday's game — a game NMSU lost 48-34.

The Aggies ripped through the Wolf Pack in the first half because Nevada elected to play a lot of man-to-man defense in the secondary without much help from their safeties. They brought the blitz but couldn't get to NMSU quarterback Matt Christian, who threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and Taveon Rogers had six grabs for 177 yards and two TDs. The Aggies couldn't run the ball, and it didn't matter early — they had their way offensively.

The Wolf Pack dropped their safeties to guard against the deep ball in the second half and played more zone coverage.

They were able to get to Christian more and NMSU still couldn't run the ball, taking the play-action pass out of the game.

NMSU gained just 173 yards in the second half while Christian was sacked three times and threw three interceptions.

Did Christian's injury affect his performance? The Aggie offense didn't look very good in the second half and Christian was pressured more and wasn't as decisive with the ball — it could have been Nevada's adjustments, his injured shoulder, or both.

The Aggies didn't run the option often on Saturday and in turn didn't run the ball nearly as effectively — 29 carries for 48 yards — as they have the past four weeks.

I want to say this: I do not think Christian should play next week at Georgia. What for? Someone has to get thrown to the wolves in that one, but it shouldn't be a hurt quarterback. I'm thinking about his health, first and foremost.

I thought Trevor Walls looked good when he stepped in there — I know, it was for just two throws. But he ran the screen pass well to Kenny Turner and hit tight end Jackson Kaka underneath. Gotta give Walls credit, a kid who came to NMSU as a QB and is now the team's tight end. He didn't leave, stuck with it and is still a player on the team.

Just back to Christian quickly — no doubt that he's a gutty performer that has put it on the line for the Aggies. He was on the money in the first half of Saturday's game.

Did the Aggie defense get tired?

I could understand why — they were on the field a lot in the second half.

Nevada ripped off two long runs and it seemed that the pressure on Fajardo tailed off as the game wore on.

Head coach DeWayne Walker said that defensive tackle Walton Taumoepeau couldn't go because of a knee injury and middle linebacker Alexander LaVoy didn't seem to see the field either.

Kicker Tyler Stampler missed two extra points.

The Aggies have looked at backup kicker Brock Baca in recent weeks, why not give him a shot? Could he do worse? He can make an extra point.

The Aggies gave up 683 yards of total offense.

The first half was one of the best two quarters I have seen the Aggies put together. They played right with the Wolf Pack and were on clicking offensively.

They gave Nevada a scare. The Aggies are playing in closer games and it would be nice if they could get one down the stretch of their season.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg


Anonymous said...

The Aggies play hard and have some talent. They are fun to watch even when they are behind. Now they have to play a team that should not be on the schedule except for the money thing. If more Las Cruces fans would show up for the games maybe we would not have to play a team like Georgia. This group of Aggies deserve better support but of course they will not get it. And the wheel goes round just like always. Still I enjoyed the game and respect the players who played hurt and gave it their all.

Anonymous said...

Your right Teddy.
Matt Christian and Buck Pierce are two of the toughest QB's to wear the Aggie uniform!!

I agree that Matt Christian should not play the $$$ game vs. Georgia.
I wonder if Boston is kicking himself for continuing to throw coach Walker under the bus with all these $$$ games?!

Trevor Walls is the poster boy for the ultimate team player!


Anonymous said...

Same old NMS on their way to another losing season. Some who wear crimson colored glasses say they're an improved team . I see a baloney sandwich on day old bread.

JD said...

Anon 8:41 is extactly what the first post is talking about. This team is the playing hard and is proof that the program is much improved. CDW has done an outstanding job.

Need to give him an extension and plan on giving him some help in scheduling. Jefe is rigt on the money. Boston needs to be very careful in scheduling next season.

The main goal of the program needs to be getting to a bowl game and next year is the best chance they will have in a new watered down WAC. NM State is already slated for Ohio, UNM, UTEP,and BYU next year. They have a shot and having a winning season, just need Boston to make sure we schedule games where they can be competative maybe a McNeese State or Cal Poly?

Anonymous said...

Boston is fool. DW is a good guy and a solid coach, trying to figure out how to put it all together in a place where football has been bad for a long long time. i feel bad for the guys when no one is in the stadium and it very bad to see when watching on espn3. Boston is a joke, still, and we need to take a good hard look at him and what he has done in his time there. who in the world plays a money game this late in the season? Boston does. Give DW a long contract extension for having to deal with this clown. Go Aggies.