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The Daily Aggie :: 09/18/10 | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

The Daily Aggie :: 09/18/10

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The Aggie soccer team cruised to an 8-0 victory over the SWAC's Alabama A&M last night and in the process tied a school record for goals scored in a game, one they set against Prairie View A&M another team from the SWAC. Crystal Burns scored two goals, the first coming in just the second minute of the game. We're not 100 percent sure but we think it may be the earliest the Aggies have ever scored a goal in a non-exhibition game.

Burns' second goal of the game was a rocket shot that grazed off the goalkeeper's hand and hit the underside of the left corner of the post.

The Aggies have now scored 21 goals this season through seven games, they scored just 23 all of last season. Perhaps even more encouraging for the Aggies is that they have 16 assists on those 21 goals. Three of last night's goals came directly off restarts in play, Crystal Burns' first goal on a free kick and the two Aggie penalty kicks. If you take those three goals out of the total the Aggies have 16 assists on 18 goals.

The Aggies improved to 4-1-2 on the season and will take on Lamar tomorrow at high noon. The Cardinals were in El Paso last night to take on UTEP and lost 6-1.

The Aggie volleyball team dropped both matches they played on Friday. The Aggies lost 3-1 to Pepperdine in their morning match but more importantly, they lost Kelsey Brennan for at least the near future. Brennan landed on an opposing player's foot in the second set with the Aggies up 26-25 and the Aggies and Waves in the middle of a point. Play was halted and after Brennan was helped off the floor (thankfully no stretcher involved) the Waves won the next two points to go up 27-26 and would go on to win the set 28-26.

We don't know her status but we do know that she did not break anything which is good news for the Aggies. It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that the Aggies are a much different team without Brennan in the middle. The Aggies are now down two starters (Stephanie Ziegler and Kelsey Brennan).

The Aggies dropped the nightcap against Texas State. They were swept 3-0 but lost the first two sets in extra points. It was a very strange match statistically, the Aggies finished the match hitting .311, Kayleigh Giddens had 23 kills and hit .425 (a very very good hitting percentage), none of the Texas State players finished with more than seven kills, the Bobcats hit .267 but the Aggies were swept. Unfortunately for the Aggies, they struggled at the service line both serving and receiving. The Aggies were aced 10 times by the Bobcats and the Aggies committed 12 service errors. If you subtract the six aces the Aggies had and five service errors the Bobcats had, that's 11 points the Aggies gave away in a match that was determined by a total of seven points. That's the difference between the Aggies sweeping the match last night and the actual result, the Aggies getting swept.

The Aggies will try to end their five match losing streak today against Arizona. The last time the Aggies lost six matches in a row was the 1999 season, Coach Jordan's second season. The only longer losing streaks came in the 1998 season when Coach Jordan's teams had losing streaks of eight matches and seven matches during the season. It is a rare occurrence when the Aggie volleyball team is mired in a losing streak and losing two starters has certainly not helped. It should be noted that the Aggies lost four in a row in non-conference play in 2008, went into conference play at 5-6, proceeded to tie for the regular season WAC championship with Hawai'i and won their first NCAA tournament match. Coach Jordan's team ALWAYS get better as the season goes along and we don't expect this season to be any different.

Today's match is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. first serve. Streaming video will be available for a fee via the Arizona athletic website. Streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required). The match can also be heard on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces. Live Stats will also be available.

And last but certainly not least, the Aggie football team is in El Paso for the Battle of I-10. The Aggies are looking to win in El Paso for the second time in the past three seasons and they're also looking to get their first win of the 2010 season.

The Miners are hoping to rebound from a disheartening 54-24 loss to Houston last week on national t.v. (ESPN2). Injuries will play a key role in this game as the Miner offense could receive a big boost with the return of their star running back Donald Buckram. Defensively, the Miners are looking for replacements in the secondary as they lost two starters for the season, safety Braxton Amy and corner Traun Roberson. Meanwhile, the Aggies will be without starting offensive lineman Sioeli Fakalata.

The Aggies need to be able to run the ball against the Miners. This is a UTEP defense that was gashed on the ground by Houston last weekend. It could be a big day for Kenny Turner and Seth Smith who were limited to less than 60 yards last week. The Aggie passing game should be able to also flourish in their second game of the season. The Miner defense was also torched through the air (albeit by one of the nation's top offenses) but the Aggies were able to move the ball effectively through the air last week against SDSU in the team's very first game under new offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar. It's also a game against a more traditional Miner defense, the 4-3 as opposed to SDSU's 3-3-5 which Coach Walker admitted will be a bit easier for Dunbar and offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier to gameplan against.

The Aggie defense needs to get off the field on third down. If there is a repeat performance of last week's 9-for-19 against SDSU, it will be very difficult for the Aggies to win this game.

The Aggies must also keep turnovers to a minimum. The Aggie offense did a good job last week. They didn't have a single turnover. However, special teams (as Coach Walker said after the game) "killed them." With the Aggies down 34-21 midway through the 4th quarter, Donyae Coleman muffed a punt. SDSU recovered and scored the "nail in the coffin" touchdown. It was the Aggies' lone turnover of the game but it was costly.

It will be very interesting to see how quarterback Matt Christian handles the environment in the Sun Bowl. It's going to be very loud and very hostile in the Sun Bowl tonight. This will likely be the largest crowd that Christian has ever played in front of. Noise can and will definitely be a factor for the Aggie offense tonight. How they manage it, particularly early in the game, will be something to keep an eye on.

If you're making the trip to El Paso for today's game, the El Paso Times has some tailgating rules for you.

Today's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. Streaming video will be available via Miner All-Access (for a fee). Streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required). The game can also be heard on the Aggie Sports Network in New Mexico. We'll also be providing updates via Twitter (follow us: @AgsBleedCrimson).

On to today's links...

Aggie Football
Adrian Macias of MinerRush.com predicts a 38-21 victory for UTEP.

Bret Bloomquist of the El Paso Times writes that this game will be decided by whichever team's defense steps up.

Bret Bloomquist also talks about the "friendly" rivalry between the Aggies and Miners.

Adriana Chavez of the El Paso times talks about the showdown for fans.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News says to expect more from the Aggie ground game today.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News features wide receiver Marcus Allen.

Teddy Feinberg blogs his five keys to today's game.

Aggie Men's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News blogs a very early prediction for the Aggies.

Aggie Volleyball
The Pepperdine athletic website recaps the Aggies' loss.

The Texas State athletic website recaps the Aggies' loss.

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