Know The Foe

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Know The Foe

Know The Foe :: Wolf Pack Q&A With The Reno Gazette-Journal's Chris Murray

Know The Foe :: Nevada
Know The Foe is back this week and with the Aggies hosting Nevada on Saturday for Homecoming, we've enlisted the help of Chris Murray from the Reno Gazette-Journal. Chris covers Pack football and basketball and his blog is one of the best in the business and his coverage of the WAC will be sorely missed when the Wolf Pack jump ship to the Mountain West next season.

After starting out 1-3 (albeit against some very very good competition) the Wolf Pack seem to have really found their groove.  Two outstanding defensive performances against UNLV and UNM (two horrendous teams but still...) gave way to a solid all-around performance against Fresno State.  What's been the biggest reason for the current three game winning streak?
The biggest difference has been the schedule. In addition to playing three really good teams (Oregon, Boise State, Texas Tech), Nevada was on the road for its first four games. Getting back home against some poor opponents has helped heal the wounds. But Nevada's defense also has been greatly improved, especially on pass defense. The Wolf Pack also has zeroed in on one quarterback (freshman Cody Fajardo) rather than toggling back and forth at the position. But mostly it's been the schedule.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Vandal Q&A With Vandal Nation's Theo Lawson

Know The Foe :: Idaho Vandals
The Aggies are back from their bye week and looking for a second straight victory. The Idaho Vandals visit Las Cruces for the Tough Enough To Wear Pink game. This week we've enlisted the help of Theo Lawson, the current editor of Vandal Nation, the Idaho Argonaut's outstanding sports blog, to give Aggie fans an idea of how the Vandals' season has been going and what they can expect to see on Saturday night when the two teams square off.

The Vandals have started the season 1-5, what's been the biggest factor in the slow start to the season?
Idaho lost a number of seniors from last season's team, a number of them were signed as NFL free agents and three were drafted to NFL squads. As Nate Enderle's back-up, Brian Reader has had some big shoes to fill and has yet to settle into the Vandals' offensive scheme. Our running game took a big hit with the injury to ASU transfer Ryan Bass who is questionable for Saturday's game and Princeton McCarty, Troy Vital and Kama Bailey have struggled thus far, forcing Idaho to turn to Reader and the passing game. Problems within the secondary plagued the defense the first couple of games but as a whole, the defense was solid against Virginia and La. Tech. An injury to senior captain Michael Cosgrove has set the defense back but he should be healthy this weekend.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Lobo Q&A With The Daily Lobo's Nathan Farmer

Know The Foe :: UNM
It's time for the Rio Grande Rivalry game between the Aggies and Lobos. New Mexico State owns a two-game win streak in the series and is looking to make it three in a row when they face the Lobos in Albuquerque on Saturday. We've enlisted the help of the Sports Editor at UNM's student paper, The Daily Lobo (no relation to The Daily Aggie) to give Aggie fans an idea of what to expect from the Lobos on Saturday and what, if any, impact the firing of Mike Locksley might have on the Lobos on Saturday.

Obviously the biggest news out of Albuquerque was the firing of Mike Locksley.  Have you noticed any difference in the mood around the team with the change at the top and what changes if any do you expect to see from the new interim head coach?
 The team actually seems a but down at the moment from what I can tell even though Locksley seemed to be a pretty bad coach the players really cared about him and respected him.

Have you noticed any change in the attitude towards the football team coming from the student body and fans in general with the firing of Locksley?  Are students and fans more/less excited about the team now?
I think the firing could not have come at a better time.  Everyone is pretty fired up with the game against NMSU on Saturday and I expect the biggest turnout of the year.  There have been a lot of Facebook events made to get students and residents of ABQ to the game.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Spartan Q&A With The San Jose Mercury News' Jeff Faraudo

Know The Foe :: San Jose State
Fresh off a disappointing loss to rival UTEP, the Aggies head to the Bay Area to take on the winless but much-improved San Jose State Spartans. While the Aggies were handing a loss on the Big Ten's Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Spartans were hanging tough with the Pac 12's UCLA and the Spartans narrowly lost to Nevada last weekend. We've enlisted the help of SJSU beat writer Jeff Faraudo to help give Aggie fans an idea of what to expect when these two teams take to the field on Saturday afternoon.

San Jose State is 0-3 on the season but after a rough game against Stanford, the Spartans have had a couple of close games against UCLA and Nevada and had a couple breaks gone their way they could easily be sitting at 2-1.  How much have the Spartans improved over last year and is this a team that's on the verge of a breakout? 
Their record notwithstanding, the Spartans clearly are better than a year ago. They are deeper and stronger and benefit from being in coach Mike MacIntyre's system for a second year. Injuries stripped away all their depth on the defensive line a year ago, but now they have 21 d-linemen in their program. They also have the full complement of 85 scholarships for the first time, having rectified some long-standing academic shortcomings. They believe they are close to making a breakthrough and that seems reasonable based on the progress they've made in each game so far. They aren't a conference title contender, but they should begin to win some games.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Miner Q&A With Miner Rush's Adrian Macias

Know The Foe :: UTEP
It's the Battle of I-10 rivalry week and that means it's time for a Q&A session with our friend, founder and editor of, Adrian Macias. We've enlisted his help to give Aggie fans an idea of what to expect from a battered and bruised, yet still very dangerous, UTEP Miner squad when they invade Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

The Miners struggled against Stony Brook in the first game of the season needing OT to win (but hey, a win is a win) and then played a close game against a pretty good SMU team on the road in the second week of the season.  Which Miner team do you think we'll see on Saturday?
Good question.  I think the answer is none of the above.  Simply because we don't have any idea what the team will like with Jay Hall at quarterback.  UTEP closed their practices this week to add some intrigue to what the offense will look like.  The Miners will have to try and establish the running game to protect Hall, but the Miners have averaged under 1.5 yards a carry through the first two games.  UTEP's defense has played well but has had no support from the offense.  If the offense can sustain a few drives, I think we'll see a close game.

The biggest news for UTEP is obviously on the injury front.  What will the loss of starting quarterback  Nick Lamaison and defensive lineman Germard Reed.  What do Miner fans expect out of their replacements?
Jay Hall has talent and is more athletic than Lamaison.  But, he wasn't accurate in his first action at the FBS level and with the running game struggling like it is he might be asked to throw far more passes than UTEP coaches would like.  I think we can expect turnovers. He has two very talented receivers in Donovan Kemp and Mike Edwards at his disposal.  So, hopefully, he can make enough plays to keep the chains moving when he has to.

Reed is going to be hard to replace.  His backup is Marcus Bagley who is a huge, 6'1, 330 lb DT who played a lot of downs last year as a freshman.  In fact, Bagley started the last 5 games of the 2010 season as a true freshman.  Depth up front is always key, but Bagley is someone the coaches can depend on.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Gopher Q&A With The Minneapolis Star Tribune's Phil Miller

Know The Foe :: Minnesota
The Aggies head to Big Ten country this weekend to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Both teams are coming off of season opening losses but both teams had some bright spots in their first games. In this week's edition of Know The Foe we've enlisted the help of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Phil Miller to give Aggie fans an idea of what to expect on Saturday when the two teams take the field.

Minnesota is coming off a close loss to USC on the road.  What impressed you about the team's play in the first game and what differences have you noticed between last year's team and this year's team after one game?
It's pretty basic: Tackling. They tie up and bring ball-carriers down, something simple but problematic for a lot of bad teams, and it's a big difference. The number of broken-tackle big plays was way down.

Continuing a little bit off the last question, this is Jerry Kill's first season as head coach at Minnesota, what changes have you noticed thus far between him and the previous coaching staff in terms of attitude/coaching style?
They make adjustments, they make the kids better and they hold people accountable. Kill is a big believer in living up to your responsibility, and he's getting the players to understand that there is no cutting corners.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Bobcat Q&A With's Joshua Fraley

Know The Foe :: Ohio's Know The Foe segment is back for its fourth season and we're ready to usher in the 2011 New Mexico State football season. We've gone inside enemy lines and recruited Joshua Fraley, an Ohio University senior, and the "eye in the sky" for the Ohio University Bobcats. Joshua has spent the past few seasons as the film assistant responsible for recording all the action at practices as well as on game days. Joshua has been filing daily reports from Ohio's fall camps on the official website of the Ohio Bobcats,

What kind of quarterback is the new starter, Tyler Tettleton, is he a drop-back passer or more of a dual threat quarterback?
Tyler has the style of a pocket passer.  He is an accurate thrower and has great footwork.  I feel as if the coaching staff will demand him to be varsitale with the ball though.  From what I saw from last years offense and this year at camp the Bobcats might be running some options during games this season.  

Coach Solich came from the Nebraska program, offensively does the team run much option, something that Nebraska was famous for? 
The option may be used this weekend.  The more interesting question is which quarterback will be running the option.  The Bobcats have another mobile and dangerous quarterback Phil Bates.   The Bobcats used Phil last year in a high percentage of their option plays.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Spartan Q&A With The San Jose Mercury News' Elliot Almond

Know The Foe :: San Jose State
The San Jose State Spartans invade Las Cruces on Saturday for NM State's Homecoming. The Spartans are 1-6 on the season but have faced a murderer's row in five of their first seven games. We've enlisted the help of the San Jose Mercury News' Elliot Almond who covers the Spartans to give Aggie fans a look at the Spartans and what to expect on Saturday afternoon.

SJSU is off to a 1-6 start, much like the Aggies, though they have probably a much tougher schedule up front than the Aggies have. Those games have taken a huge toll on the Spartans' lineup losing 15 guys to season ending injuries.  Have there been any positives at all that the team has been able to take from the first seven games?
Surprisingly, San Jose State can point to a number of positives from a schedule that included five AP top 25 teams in the first seven games. Number one is financial stability. The first two games of the season, at Alabama and Wisconsin, are the proverbial “body bag” games in which the Spartans played for cash. The game at No. 13 Utah was the end of a home-and-home series so it wasn’t the big payday game some might think. As unsavory as it is, a school such as San Jose State needs the body bag games to remain solvent at the FBS (formerly Division I-A) level.
Some promising signs have surfaced with regards to building a football program too. Mainly 18 freshmen (including redshirts) have gained invaluable experience. Whether this translates to success down the road we’re not sure. But it is doubtful the young players will be frightened by anything else they see in their careers after what they already have faced. It bodes well for the future.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Lobo Q&A With The Daily Lobo's Ryan Tomari

Know The Foe :: UNM
The 101st renewal of the Battle of I-25 may not be the sexiest matchup of the season in college football this season but as The Daily Lobo Sports Editor Ryan Tomari succinctly put it, "It's still Lobos and Aggies," and it's still the biggest football game in the state of New Mexico. We've enlisted the help of Ryan to help Aggie fans get to know the Lobo football team a little better before the game on Saturday.

The Lobos and Aggies are a combined 0-9 heading into Saturday's rivalry game in Las Cruces, given the tough start for both teams, what is the mood in Albuquerque surrounding this game?
The mood in Albuquerque: When does basketball season start? The fact that head coach Mike Locksley has posted back-to-back 0-5 records isn’t sitting well with a majority of UNM boosters and fans. Not to mention, he is 0-1 against the Aggies. Another Locksley loss to NMSU on Saturday could be unhealthy for Lobo faithful.

With the two schools being separated by just a three hour drive, are Lobo fans planning to make the trek to Las Cruces this year or are they planning to sit this meeting out because of UNM's 0-5 record?
It’s still Lobos and Aggies. Lobo fans will make the short drive down south and cheer on UNM, especially students at UNM.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Bronco Q&A With One Bronco Nation Under God & Blue Turf Nation

In honor of the Aggies hosting the highest ranked foe to ever grace the turf at Aggie Memorial Stadium, we have enlisted the help of not just one, but two outstanding Boise State bloggers. Kevan from One Bronco Nation Under God and Cliff from Blue Turf Nation both agreed to participate in this week's Know The Foe.

Boise State, the WAC's best (and probably last) shot at a national championship game appearance, is off to a 3-0 start and has navigated past the Virginia Tech and Oregon State hurdles and sit ranked No. 3 in the country, how much pressure has been "released" having gotten past the first 1/4 of the schedule unscathed and are any Bronco fans even remotely worried about a "letdown" as they face the next four opponents who aren't exactly the best of competition (and by letdown, we mean, Boise State winning any of those games by less than 10 points and allowing the pollsters to thumb their noses in Boise's general direction)?
OBNUG: Boise State fans come in very many different shapes and sizes, both literally and figuratively. Ask a question about what the BSU fan base thinks on a certain topic, and you are going to get a ton of different answers. A lot of fans are completely blind to the idea of a letdown by the Broncos in the next four games. Quite frankly, they stopped really following the team after the Oregon State game and they might start following again during bowl season or possibly the Nevada game.

The rest of us know that there is always an opportunity for a letdown and that you have to play every week one week at a time. This is a fear that Coach Pete has instilled in us. Also, Boise State only beat UC Davis by 18 last season, so yeah, anything's possible.

BTN: Boise State will most likely not look at the target on their back through the balance of the season. They have been known to look past opponents, UC Davis comes to mind. That was then and I think this team is focused on performing at a higher level. As for a letdown, after the last month of hype and media attention I think Boise State will enjoy flying under the radar as they look to Nevada for a WAC championship and the gateway to their Rose Bowl appearance with #3 Oregon.  Continue Reading This Post >>