Know The Foe

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Know The Foe

Know The Foe :: Jayhawk Q&A With KUSports.com's Matt Tait

Know The Foe :: Kansas
The Aggies travel to Lawrence, KS to take on BCS foe Kansas. We've enlisted the help of Matt Tait who covers the Jayhawks for the Lawrence Journal-World to give Aggie fans a look at this Saturday's opponent.

The Jayhawks are 1-2 on the season under Turner Gill, they opened up his tenure with a 6-3 loss at home to North Dakota State followed by a 28-25 upset victory over then No. 15 Georgia Tech and followed that up with a 31-16 loss to Southern Miss on the road.  Obviously the Jayhawks aren't as bad as their 6-3 loss NDSU, are they as good as their victory over Georgia Tech and how much can you blame their loss to Southern Miss on A) playing on a short week and B) a young team experiencing the hangover of an upset victory and what is your feel for where the Jayhawks are headed this season?
I really don't think the loss to Southern Miss had much to do with the short week. Did it have something to do with playing on the road? Probably. You're talking about a team starting a freshman at tailback and a red-shirt freshman at quarterback. There are plenty of other young guys on the field, too, who surely were in awe of their first road experience. Overall, I think KU has a chance to win six games this season but I have said all along that if they do it has to be considered a wildly successful year. The schedule, while never easy in the Big 12, is not that challenging and some of KU's key games are at home. Until they prove otherwise, it appears that this will be a team that responds well to tough defeats but maybe can't quite keep it rolling after victories. There's a lot of season left to still answer that question, though.  Continue Reading This Post >>

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

Know The Foe :: UTEP
This week the Aggie football team will travel to El Paso to take on I-10 rival UTEP. We've enlisted the help of Adrian Macias, founder and editor of MinerRush.com to give Aggie fans a look at the UTEP football team and what to expect from the Miners on Saturday.

The Miners are 1-1 on the season but after last week's loss to UTEP, you'd almost think the Miners were 0-2.  What's your feeling on where the Miners are headed this season?
That's a very keen observation.  The Houston loss was definitely a punch to the gut for us.  We realize that many people outside El Paso didn't think much about the 2010 UTEP squad, but those of us who really follow the team knew that if he had even minimal improvement on defense it could be a very special bunch.  Afterall, we have five seniors on the offensive line, the nation's second leading returning rusher, and a senior (four-year starter) quarterback.  Most Miner fans knew the new defense would need some time to gel, but we definitely expected a shoot-out.  Losing Donald Buckram for that game, and the fact that it got so lopsided at the end, was very deflating.   Of course we also lost arguably our best defensive player, Braxton Amy, with a torn ACL too.  It was about as awful a start to the season as we could have planned on.

That said, the offense is moving the ball.  We're seeing some of the new guys on defense show signs of talent (notably Travaun Nixon at CB) and the schedule sets up in a way that should allow the defense some time to come together.  I think UTEP should pull of a string of wins in the coming weeks.  If the Miners get by NMSU, and Buckram looks healthy in his return, we can move past the sting of the Houston loss.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Aztec Q&A With The San Diego Union-Tribune's Brent Schrotenboer

Know The Foe :: San Diego State
The 2010 Aggie football season opener means it's time the return of our Know The Foe feature for its third season. The season opener against Mountain West Conference foe San Diego State gives us the opportunity to talk to Brent Schrotenboer who covers the Aztecs for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Aztecs are entering year two of the Brady Hoke era, what differences if any have you seen in team's attitude/coaching strategy from last season to the opening game of this season?
Two things stand out: 1. A better understanding of the offense and defense. 2. A heightened sense of expectations on the team as a result. The team is more businesslike than it has been in previous years. That’s an important step.

How much should Aggie fans read into SDSU's 47-0 victory over Nicholls State? Sure, Nicholls State is an FCS team, but SDSU hasn't manhandled a team like that since the Idaho game in 2008.
I don’t think you can read much into it except that a wins helps build momentum and confidence. We don’t know yet how much this team has improved or how good it can be based on a game like that. But being 1-0 for the first time since 2004 is another important step for a team that hasn’t been to a bowl game since 1998.  Continue Reading This Post >>

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

Know The Foe :: Boise State
This week's gridiron clash is the 2009 season finale as the Aggies invade the Smurf Turf in Boise, ID. We got the lowdown on the Broncos from Kevan at One Bronco Nation Under God, the laugh-out-loud funny but always informative Boise State football website.

The Broncos are 12-0 and hoping for a BCS bowl game for the second time in four years. If Boise State beats the Aggies, do they deserve a BCS game?
Call me old-fashioned, but I think any undefeated team deserves a shot at a BCS bowl game, especially a team that got looked over the previous year by the BCS committee. Going undefeated is a tall task in today's college football. I would even vouch for the inclusion of an undefeated Sun Belt team in a BCS game. Well, any team except for Louisiana-Lafayette because I'm not entirely convinced they are a real school.

Boise State has done everything asked of it to qualify for the BCS. The Broncos are playing by the rules, they are winning, and they are saying all the right things. If Boise State doesn't get in this year, it would be the equivalent of Fast and Furious not getting an Oscar nod. Actually, bad example. How about that Where The Wild Things Are movie? People liked that one, right?  Continue Reading This Post >>

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

Know The Foe :: Nevada
After starting out 0-3 and whispers about the high powered Pistol offense being impotent, the Wolf Pack have responded in a huge way winning seven in a row and are lighting up the scoreboard averaging a staggering 50 points per game during the win streak. What's been the difference between the first three weeks and the last seven weeks for the offense?
There are three factors to the change in the offense. 1, they're not playing the caliber of teams they played in the first three games; 2, they're much better at limiting mistakes (at one point minus-12 in turnover ratio, now minus-2 and cutting penalties in half); and, 3, they're just come together better with the existing pieces to the pistol and the new additions. Kaepernick is running the offense very effectively.

Lost in all that scoring is the Nevada defense which has allowed just 42 points in the last three games. How much of that has been a byproduct of the three opponents (Hawai'i, San Jose State and Fresno State) and how much of that is Nevada's defense just being plain good?
The run defense is good. The pass defense isn't good yet, but it's getting better. Of their top four corners, three have very limited experience and they've simply grown as the season has gone on. They've also simplified their defense which allows safety Jonathon Amaya to be a little more free-wheeling, and he's making impact plays.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Warrior Q&A With The Warriors Will Throw's Tombo Ahi


After starting out 2-0, the Warriors went through a six game losing streak and suffered a tough tough setback losing senior QB Greg Alexander. The offense didn't score much but in last week's game against USU it looks like the Warriors have found their groove again on offense. What was the difference?
I think it was a combination of Bryant Moniz hitting his stride in his fifth start and the running game just going crazy. The offense hasn't looked that good since Washington State. Teams must now have more respect for the UH run game, which should help Moniz's development. He's been looking better with each game.

The defense seems to have played well the last couple of week holding a very high powered Nevada team to 31 points and then holding Utah State's rushing attack to just 102 yards net. What's been the key for the turnaround?
The defense has always had talent, but has been decimated by injuries this season. It's also a fairly young defense. I think just playing together throughout the course of the season has allowed them to gel. There's also been some new defensive packages introduced recently that seems to have had a good impact.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Buckeye Q&A With The Columbus Dispatch's Ken Gordon

Know The Foe :: Aggie Q&A With The Columbus Dispatch's Ken Gordon

This week's gridiron clash features the Aggies' first ever trip to Columbus, Ohio. We got the scoop on the Ohio State Buckeyes from Columbus Dispatch Ohio State beat writer Ken Gordon.

The Buckeyes and Aggies meet for the very first time on the gridiron this Saturday. What's the current state of the Buckeye squad?
This has been something of a transition year for the Buckeyes, particularly offensively, as they lost most of their skill-position players and entered their first full year with QB Terrelle Pryor at the helm. They have definitely suffered some growing pains, including a shocking upset at Purdue two weeks ago. They rebounded with a solid win last week, and defensively, they've been very solid all year, but overall, this is far from a juggernaut.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Aggie Q&A With True Blue A's Scott Ficklin

Know The Foe :: Utah State

This week's gridiron clash features the Battle of the Aggies as Utah State invades Las Cruces to take on our New Mexico State Aggies. We got the lowdown on the northern Aggies from Utah State student blogger Scott Ficklin of the brand new Utah State blog True Blue A.

Utah State comes into this game 1-3 but all three losses have been on the road and all three losses have been to high level opponents. What would you say the expectations are for Utah State heading into conference play?
Utah State has been at the bottom of the college football world for more than a decade. The Aggies only have 6 wins in the past 3 seasons, 4 of which were over fellow bottom dwellers Idaho and New Mexico State. However, this season seems to carry expectations that do not correlate to the previous results. Aggie fans seem to expect a winning record in WAC play this year. The WAC boasts 5 of the nations top 20 offenses, and Utah State finally has an offense that can keep up, if not outshine, conference opponents. Most fans and critics have written off the Boise State game as a loss, but see the rest of the conference games winnable. Personally, I would be happy with a 4-4 conference mark and this would exceed expectations even, but I could see the Aggies having a chance to win 5, 6, or even 7 games in WAC play this year.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Lobo Q&A With The Daily Lobo's Isaac Avilucea

Know The Foe :: New Mexico

The 100th renewal of the Battle of I-25 gives us the opportunity to talk to Isaac Avilucea of The Daily Lobo, UNM's student daily newspaper. We asked Isaac to answer this week's Know The Foe Q&A to give Aggie fans an idea of what they can expect to see from our hated rivals to the north when the Aggies travel to Albuquerque on Saturday.

The Lobos come into this game having been blown out in their first three games. What is the mood around the Lobo locker room and is it any different this year in preparation for the Rio Grande Rivalry game than it has been in seasons past?

Is there the feeling that this a must-win game for the Lobos three games into the season?
If you eat at the trough of public-relations quotes — no. In my opinion, the Lobos face, if not the worst, certainly one of the most beatable teams on their schedule in the Aggies. After that, the Lobos are at Texas Tech and Wyoming, before returning to face UNLV.
Considering that they’ve lost by an average of 31 points — and haven’t been semi-competitive — you’d think they’d need a sports psychologist on call around the clock. But they’ve been relatively upbeat. That’s all Mike Locksley. If there’s one thing he’s not, it’s the King of Blues.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Miner Q&A with The El Paso Times' Bret Bloomquist

The 87th renewal of the Battle of I-10 gives us the opportunity to talk to one of the hardest working journalists around, Bret Bloomquist, the UTEP beat writer for The El Paso Times. Nobody outside the UTEP coaching staff knows the Miners better than Bret Bloomquist so we had him answer this week's Know The Foe Q&A to give Aggie fans an idea of what they can expect to see from our hated rivals to the south when they invade Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

The Miners come into Saturday's game off of back-to-back losses to start the season but one of those games, Buffalo, probably should have resulted in a 'W'. What's the mood around the football team this week as they prepare for the Battle of I-10.
They were 0-3 last year and bounced back from it. They are frustrated but also glad they are playing an arch-rival that will be easy to get up for.

Since Aggies have won the last two meetings, in your opinion does that place any added pressure for this game beyond the normal rivalry and would this be a "must-win" game if UTEP were to have started 2-0 or 1-1?
UTEP really, really feels it has to get to a bowl and will need every win they can to get to 6-6 or 7-5. This is certainly one they have to win regardless of any rivalry or bowl implications. They probably can't get to six if they lose this and they know that.  Continue Reading This Post >>