It's another busy week for New Mexico State athletics. Football is taking on the Ohio Bobcats in Athens, OH, volleyball heads to Fort Collins to take on Colorado State, Pepperdine and Florida International, soccer finally christens their home stadium on Friday when they take on Sam Houston State. Cross Country and men's golf are also in action this weekend.
First though we'd like to offer our best wishes to our good friend Kyle Doperalski. For those of you who do not follow Aggie women's sports, Kyle has been the radio and television play-by-play man for the past several seasons and has really infused the broadcasts with his knowledge and genuine excitement for the women's sports (and for those who have followed the women's basketball program during that time know that it hasn't always been easy to get excited). Kyle broadcast his final game for the Aggies this past Saturday as the Aggie volleyball team fell to Northwestern 3-1.
Kyle has accepted an Associate Athletic Director position at North Dakota and he will be in charge of External Operations. It's a tremendous opportunity for Kyle and his family and we cannot think of a more deserving person than him. He is hands down one of the hardest working people that you will ever meet. If you've ever walked by his broadcast location at the Pan Am and seen his prep sheets, you know what we're talking about. If we put half as much effort into preparing for an exam in college as he does prepping for a single game, we'd have graduated with honors (but that's another story for another time).
On a personal note, Kyle is a great person and a great friend and he'll be sorely missed on Aggie volleyball, women's basketball, soccer and softball (and occasional football and men's hoops) broadcasts as well as on the NM State Sports Weekly show and New Mexico State's loss is certainly North Dakota's gain.
Now that we've put away the Kleenex boxes and dried our eyes, it's time to get back to business. The Aggie football team has a gargantuan task ahead of them this week as they face an Ohio club that is fresh off a monumental defeat of Penn State in Happy Valley. Certainly the strength of Penn State's team was diminished by the offseason transfers following the NCAA's sanctions, however, it's not like Penn State is a bottom of the barrel club.
The fact is that Ohio is just a better team and nearly every college football expert agrees with that statement. Bobcat QB Tyler Tettleton was named the MAC's Offensive Player of the Week after going 31-of-41 for 324 yards. The Bobcats also ran for 172 yards as a team. The Aggie defense has their work cut out for them, particularly with Tettleton's ability to pull the ball down and run.
The good news for the Aggies is that they've seen Tettleton and the Bobcat offense before in last season's opener so they should know how to gameplan for Ohio. The question will be whether they can successfully execute said gameplan.
Offensively the Aggie passing attack is better (at least on paper) than Penn State's and the Aggies should have some success through the air. Where the Aggies must drastically improve is on the ground. They've got to get the ground game going early. They won't be able to rely as much on the big plays as they did against the physically under-matched secondary of Sacramento State.
The Aggies also need to put together some sustained drives, even if those drives end up in a punt. The Aggies had just one drive, the final drive, that lasted more than six plays. The Aggies need to be able to put together a few eight to ten play drives that chew up the clock.
One thing that might play into the Aggies' favor this week is that they might be able to catch Ohio coming off a high. The Bobcats may underestimate the Aggies just a little bit especially considering that they pretty much handled the Aggies in last season's meeting.
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