Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Aggies host San Diego State: Mid-week primer
The New Mexico State football team hosts the San Diego State Aztecs this weekend, with both teams searching got their first wins of 2013.
I do believe an Aggie victory will be a tall order in this one. Although I also believe it’s doable if things fall into place for NMSU.
For one, the entire team is going to have to turn it up a notch - in some cases, a couple notches - in all three phases of the game.
The Aggies could greatly use an early lead in this one (they’ve held a lead for just 40 second so far this year, during their Week 1 game at Texas). They have to hope their running game continues it’s momentum from last week’s 187-yard performance against UCLA, and that whoever is playing quarterback (don’t be surprised if it’s senior Andrew McDonald, after King Davis III took a big hit last week against the Bruins) can take advantage of San Diego State’s blitzing defense.
Defensively, the Aggies have been a hard team to figure: they’ve forced nine turnovers (matching last year’s total) and have played tough at certain points of the season (first-half showings against Texas, Minnesota and UTEP all come to mind). With that being said, they’ve given up a boatload of yards and points: they rank last in the NCAA in rush defense (323.0 yards per game), scoring defense (50.3 points per game) and total defense (605.5 yards per game). It would be nice to see them play with the lead, but first and foremost the team needs to cut down on big plays surrendered.
And special teams must improve across the board for the Aggies to truly improve in 2013.
It won’t be an easy contest. San Diego State is 17.5-point favorites and, despite an 0-3 record of its own, could be primed for it’s first win (last week, the Aztecs narrowly lost to Oregon State). The team is well coached, particularly defensively, under Rocky Long (a three-man front, with different looks from a blitzing linebacking unit). And they’ll play smash-mouth football offensively, with a true fullback on the depth chart.
Again, NMSU will need to play it's best game of 2013 and hope the Aztecs continue to stay off rhythm. But no one will debate that a win here would be huge for the 2013 Aggies.
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