Friday, November 18, 2011

Walker talking bowl chances, and a prediction for Saturday’s Aggie football game

First off, I asked head coach DeWayne Walker if he’s been talking about bowl games with this year’s Aggie football team. At 4-6 on the season, NMSU has to win out, starting with Saturday’s game at BYU. Next week the team will travel to Louisiana Tech — which should be a very difficult game — and then will wrap up its season with a home finale against Utah State.

Walker said he had refrained talking about a bowl game with his team until last week leading up to the Fresno State game. Here’s a quote from the coach.

“I did last week, started it last week. I showed them the University of Washington’s schedule last year. They had to win their last three or four games to be bowl-eligible (the Huskies won three straight and then beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl). They know. It’s a three--game season, and a one-game season. A one-game season means take one game at a time. And then if we win three, then we will be bowl-eligible. If it doesn’t happen, then we still gotta play for respectability.”

It starts Saturday night for the Aggies.

It will be cold in Provo, Utah — weather forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low 30s at kickoff.

I think BYU — who is favored by 23 points — has a very good offensive line and a handful of running backs. Quarterback Jake Heaps will get the nod with starter Riley Nelson is out with injury. Nelson is a dual threat quarterback and ran out of BYU’s wildcat formation. His absence should help the Aggies.

NMSU has moved the ball well on just about every opponent they’ve faced this year — even against Georgia, despite scoring just 16 points in that game. Barring any major weather trouble, I think the Aggies can move the ball once again on a good BYU defense.

I have a hard time seeing the Aggies winning in Provo, but I also think they can keep it competitive. Certainly within two touchdowns.

My prediction: BYU 35, New Mexico State 24

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

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