Offensive gameplan: How the Aggies come out and attack the San Diego State defense will telling. Does NMSU try and re-establish the running game? Or do they look to come out and throw the football to the short and intermediate routes of the field? Senior quarterback Andrew McDonald could very well be the starter Saturday (freshman King Davis III was knocked out of last week’s game at UCLA following a big hit). Either way, protecting the starting signal caller against a blitzing Aztec defense will play a major factor. For those wondering, former quarterback-turned-wide receiver Travaughn Colwell is No. 3 on the QB depth chart.
Asserting themselves: The Aggies have seldom if ever led this season (they were up 7-0 for a 40-second period during the first half at the University of Texas). If they can get up early and use a ball-control attack, it would be a nice plus for a defense that hasn’t had such benefits in 2013. The Aggies got their running game going last week against UCLA (187 yards on 41 carries), and they’ll likely need similar success tonight to have a shot against the Aztecs.
On paper: The Aztecs are a good mid-major program, located in the fertile recruiting base of Southern California. They’ve been to bowl games three-straight seasons, and could be primed for their first win of the season tonight (they enter the game with an 0-3 record). SDSU is somewhat of a throwback team (they play with a true fullback on the offensive side of the ball) and the contest could very well start along the lines of scrimmage - the Aggies defensive front-seven against the Aztecs running style, and the NMSU offensive line holding up against SDSU’s blitz-heavy defense.
Best game yet: With the above key as a backdrop, the Aggies need to step their game up across the board - a notch on offense, a couple notches on defense and a number of notches on special teams. The Aztecs do in fact come into the game as 17.5-point favorites. With that being said, the Aggies must take it to another level, and certainly must win the turnover battle head coach Doug Martin has so often talked about.
A much-needed win: The Aggies have played a challenging early-season schedule, with the only real winnable game thus far on the docket being a 42-21 home loss to UTEP. With that being said, a win would do wonders for the program, as NMSU enters with a 15-game losing streak dating back to last season. While the first four games of 2013 haven’t necessarily been easy, the Aggies are one-win away from starting a turnaround, under a first-year coaching staff.
If you go
Who: San Diego State (0-3) at NMSU (0-4)
What: College football, Week 5
Where: Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces
When: Tonight, 6 p.m.
Radio: KGRT-FM 104; Vista-FM 98.7 (Spanish)
TV: AggieVision, Comcast Cable channel 4
Spread: NMSU plus-17.5
Weather: Sunny, temperature in the low-70s
Tickets: Go to or call the Pan American Center ticket office at 575-646-1420. Purchase tickets online at www.ticketmaster.com. Aggie Memorial Ticket windows open at 3 p.m.