Monday, October 7, 2013

Aggies ran out of Albuquerque by rival UNM

(Kasey Carrier and the New Mexico Lobos ran through the Aggie defense on Saturday evening, accumulating a total of 541 rushing yards/Photo by Robin Zielinski)

Saturday night's Aggie loss - a 66-17 dismantling at the University of New Mexico - was an embarrassing performance.

Simply put, the team played poorly on offense, terribly on defense, and continued the special teams breakdowns that have existed this season. In short, nothing went right for NMSU in Albuquerque.

On paper it was a bad matchup for the visitors. The Lobos came into the contest with a very effective - and unorthodox - rushing attack, ranked third in the nation with 324-yards-per game on the ground. The Aggies, in turn, were dead-last in the FBS in rush defense (giving up 300-yards-per game on the ground) and it showed. UNM wracked up an astounding 541 yards via the ground game on Saturday night, and the 66 points was a Lobo record in the Rio Grande rivalry.

It should be noted, such an output isn't necessarily out of the ordinary for the Lobos this season.

After all, the week before saw New Mexico rush for 497 yards on 59 carries against UNLV; and earlier this season, the team tallied 395 rushing yards on 57 carries against UTEP. So UNM running wild on an Aggie team that's had trouble stopping the run since spring and fall practices was, frankly, a fairly predictable scenario.

The difference is that, while the Lobos should continue scoring points in the Mountain West Conference, their defense can be had. UNLV, for instance, may have had trouble defending the UNM ground game, but the Rebels managed to put up 56 points in the contest (and won by 14).

And, while expecting the Aggies to score that many points was simply unrealistic - the team hasn't topped 21 in a single game this season - their 17-point showing wasn't nearly enough, and was a disappointment. For NMSU to have any shot in Saturday's game, putting up at least 30 points seemed necessary. And the reality was, after falling behind 21-0 in the first quarter, any hope at a comeback was essentially lost: the Lobos weren't going to be stopped (UNM scored on its first six possessions of the contest) meaning the Aggies would be in catchup mode, likely, the entire night.

Of course NMSU would eventually score, when a 13-play, 75-yard drive ended with an Adam Shapiro 4-yard run, slicing the deficit to 21-7. There was some hope.

But it was dashed when Carlos Wiggins returned the ensuing kickoff 100-plus yards for a UNM touchdown - a massive gap formed in the middle of the NMSU coverage unit as Wiggins took off, unthreatened, the other way.

From that point forward, the game was essentially over, with the Lobos taking a 42-14 lead into halftime and the Aggies never truly being in the contest.


Where does NMSU go from here?

For starters, the team needs to get a win or two this season. After their bye this weekend the Aggies have six games remaining on their 2013 schedule, and the best chances at victory - at least on paper - would seem to be home games against Abilene Christian (Oct. 26) and Idaho (Nov. 30). Other contests include home games against Rice (Oct. 19) and Boston College (Nov. 9), along with road affairs at Louisiana-Lafayette (Nov. 2) and Florida Atlantic (Nov. 23).

One can also expect more from freshman quarterback King Davis III in the second half of the season.

The team inserted Davis as its starting quarterback two weeks ago at UCLA, only to see him take a number of big hits, one of which caused a concussion.

NMSU head coach Doug Martin said he held Davis out this past weekend because of that injury (when asked if anything else was bothering Davis besides the concussion, Martin said no). In any event, the coaching staff clearly wants to see what the true freshman can do and has made it clear they haven't been thrilled with the club's offensive production to this point of the season.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg


Anonymous said...

Ted, I don't know how to stay positive anymore. I mean I used to argue with friends about keeping them FBS status but at this point were looking at another 1-11 or 2-10 season. If we beat Idaho, they will be the first win against another FBS team since 2011? Like I'm curious to know when you interview these players are they ok with loosing this much? Do they not want to do anything about? How do they sleep at night knowing that some of these players who are srs have only won 7 total games in their career ( If I remember correctly: 2-10, 4-9, 1-11, currently 0-6)

Anonymous said...

Is Coach Martin willing to have tryout's this week?

If yes, I'll take my 40 yr old butt to Aggie Memorial and give it a go.
We can also have the cheerleaders and band join me?

We can't do any worse than the current bunch of D1 wannabees that go out & tarnish our beloved university's name on Saturdays!

Glad to have a bye week and worry how bad the score will be!!

Anonymous said...

A win against Abilene Christian??!! Think again!

0-12 is starring us dead in the face!

Anonymous said...

The team's performance after six losses is like that of a kamikaze pilot on his 50th mission-involved but not committed.They played as if they're ready to surrender the rest of the season...

Anonymous said...

Since the Spring.
I have said we needed to be patient with this team/ schedule. What we should look for is improvement on a weekly basis.

That was the only thing that I wanted to see....weekly

66-17 loss to a 1-3 team is INEXCUSSABLE!!
This unm team doesn't come close to Texas, UCLA, Minn.

Where is the improvement that we want to see?!!
I haven't missed a home game in 5 yrs but, if this pathetic showing keeps up. I will just donate my season tickets away and save myself the ulcer!!

Light a fire, Coach MARTIN!!


Anonymous said...

Jefe's right. Where's the improvement??

Yeah, we see bit's & flashes but, the team has remained stagnant, for the most part.

You think attendance was bad? After the TETWP game (Las Cruces does a nice job of supporting)...Aggie Memorial will be a ghost town.

You can say all you want about supporting the team but, 16 straight losses and 50 point loss to the lowly lobos, take a toll on the fan base.