The Aggies will need to play a COMPLETE game tonight. Four quarters of football, where they control the clock and the game’s tempo. Running the ball effectively is a must. NMSU ran the ball 16 times for 53 yards in the first half against Ohio. They finished the evening with 30 carries for 71 yards. The Aggies need to take those first-half numbers and replicate them the whole game.
The belief here is that they’ll be opportunities in the short-to-intermediate passing game. UTEP will look to take away the Aggies deep-passing attack — similar to how the Miners did last year with a pressure-based scheme — which means NMSU will have to look short. Quarterback Andrew Manley will need to play possibly his best game as an Aggie — he just won’t have much margin for error. We hate to say a player must perform perfect, but in Andrew’s case, it could very well ring true. He’s going to have to be superb tonight.
We remember last year’s Miners game and the first thing that comes to mind is special teams. UTEP was exceptional, and the Aggies were not. In most respects that was the game in a nutshell. This is always a key to watch and it will be no different tonight, where NMSU has to at least be head-to-head with the Miners.
The logical pick in this football game is UTEP. They’re 12-point favorites for starters, on their home field in the Sun Bowl. Secondly, so much has to go right for NMSU to win.
With that being said, we’ve been hearing all offseason the Aggies believe they’re a bowl team. We know how important this season seemingly is for Aggie football. And, at 1-1 on the year and with the schedule that lies before them, we understand the importance of this particular game.
Upsets do happen in college football. This would qualify as such.
My prediction: New Mexico State 30, UTEP 27