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.
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