We've turned the page on September and with the dawn of the October hopefully a new beginning for a couple of Aggie teams who suffered through a tough month. The Aggie football and soccer teams in particular did not fare well in the ninth month of the year with the football team going winless in the month of September and the soccer team won just once, right at the beginning of the month, ended the month of September on a 551 minute scoreless drought which included yesterday's 1-0 loss to San Jose State in overtime.
It should be noted that one team at New Mexico State did have a great September and that team was Aggie cross country. The women recorded two first place finishes and fifth place finish while the men recorded two second place finishes and a sixth place finish.
The Aggie volleyball team was also fairly successful in the month of September going 7-4, however, even the spikers weren't immune to some poor play in September. The Aggies lost at UTEP this past Wednesday, their first loss in the I-10 rivalry series since 2004 spanning 14 matches. The Aggies also suffered through some uneven play throughout the month. The Aggies had strong first sets against both Pepperdine and Colorado State winning 25-16 and 25-19 respectively but dropped the next three sets to lose both matches. The Aggies were also pushed to five sets by Seattle (actually losing the first two against the Redhawks before rallying for three straight) and Idaho (winning the first two, losing the next two then winning the fifth), they also lost a 20-11 lead in the first set against Louisiana Tech but went on to win the next three sets. Despite the ups and downs there were certainly more ups than downs for the Aggie volleyball team as they wrapped up the month with a strong showing against Denver on Saturday. The Aggies have a showdown with Utah State in Logan on Thursday night as well as a trip to San Jose against an improved Spartan club.
Aggie football looks to bounce back after another disappointing loss. The Aggies fell 35-14 to UT San Antonio in the Tough Enough To Wear Pink game on Saturday night. The Aggies were looking good early on, the first two drives saw the Aggies play aggressively on both sides of the ball and the Aggies held a 7-0 lead and had just forced a Roadrunner punt. Austin Franklin went back to receive the punt, waved everyone off and called for a fair catch. The ball hit the ground and softly bounced sideways where Franklin tried to pick up the ball but was unable to corral the pigskin and UTSA jumped on the live ball and recovered it. The Roadrunners scored on the very next possession and the entire complexion of the game turned in favor of the Aggies. Had Franklin just let that ball go and the Aggie offense been able to take over, there's a good chance the Aggies would have gone down and scored. Their previous possession had shown a lot of diversity, good play calling and had pretty much kept UTSA's defense off-balance. Instead, the Roadrunners took the momentum and never let go.
One thing is clear about this Aggie football team. Much like the 2010 version of the club, this year's version is very fragile from a mental standpoint. It seems like one bad play snowballs into a multitude of bad plays and the Aggies just aren't able to recover. The 2010 team suffered from this problem as well. The other issue the Aggies are having is on offense. It seems like when the opposing defense decides to turn up the heat from quarterback pressuring standpoint, the Aggie offensive line isn't able to protect Andrew Manley and the offensive production drops precipitously.
This week the Aggies travel to Moscow, Idaho to take on the Vandals who much like the Aggies are really struggling. This represents the Aggies' best chance for a win for the next month and a half as the Aggies will start their brutal five-game gauntlet following the trip to Moscow. The next five opponents are 16-7 overall and you'd never guess but the team with the worst record of those five is Auburn at 1-3. The WAC trio of Utah State, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State is 12-2 (and five points away from being undefeated), you read that right, 12-2. In fact, if you remove New Mexico State and Idaho (a combined 1-9) from the WAC, the league is a ridiculous 19-4.
The Aggies really need to win this game on Idaho or the scenario which we described back on September 17th could very well become a reality.
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