The Daily Aggie :: 11/19/11

It's game day! The Aggie football and men's basketball teams are in action tonight and both have big games. The Aggie men's basketball team opens their home schedule with a rivalry game against UTEP at 6:00 p.m. (MT). The Aggies are coming off a 62-53 victory over in-state rival UNM, their first win in the Pit since 2002. The Aggies also played one of their best defensive games under head coach Marvin Menzies. The Aggies are looking to end a two game losing streak against UTEP and a two-game home losing streak to UTEP.

The Miners' roster consists of seven freshmen, two sophomores and a junior. This is undoubtedly one of the youngest Miner teams the Aggies will have ever faced. That should be a huge advantage for the Aggies tonight. With the home crowd, the Aggies' defensive full court pressure and pressing style and their new man-to-man defense, the Aggies should be able to wear the Miners down throughout the course of this game.

The Aggies were able to turn the Lobos over 20 times and with UTEP's youth and inexperience, we would not at all be surprised to see the Aggies turn the Miners over at least that many times.

The Miners will undoubtedly try to slow this game down quite a bit. Right now the Miners are averaging 64.1 possessions per 40 minutes while the Aggies are a fast-paced team at 78.3 possessions per 40 minutes. One of the major differences (at least through two games) this year for the Aggies is their defense. Last season the Aggies' defense allowed over 1 point per possession on defense, this season through two games they're allowing just 0.837 points per possession.

On paper this has all the makings of a big win by the Aggies but as we know, games aren't played on paper. We do expect UTEP to come out fired up but in the end, the Aggies' depth and experience will be too much for the Miners.

Tonight's game is slated for a special 6:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be seen on AggieVision, ESPN Full Court and Radio coverage will be available via the Aggie Sports Network and via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie football team is in Provo, UT tonight to take on the BYU Cougars. The Aggies, fresh off their dramatic victory over Fresno State, are aiming to pull off another upset. The Cougars come into this game a little banged up and will be without their starting quarterback, Riley Nelson. In his place will be Jake Heaps who is more of a passing threat than a running threat which should help the Aggie defense tonight. The Aggies' secondary is arguably the best unit on the defense, though the Aggie front line has been playing well this season despite being down three major contributors before the first snap was even taken.

The Aggies' offense has been outstanding this season with the exception of the UTEP game. The Aggies have been able to move the ball on every defense they've played and we think they can continue that tonight. Will they be able to score 40 points on the Cougars? Probably not. However, if the defense can come up with a few stops, the Aggies should be able to get this game into the fourth quarter where we've seen the Aggies be able to work magic, particularly on defense where they just seem to be able to come up with stops when they need them.

At 4-6, the Aggies still have a shot at a bowl game. We asked Coach Walker last week if he had talked to the team about bowl prospects and he noted that he had not but that we would probably mention it prior to the Fresno State game. Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News confirmed that in a blog post today.

Heading into the season we felt that five wins would make for an outstanding season by the Aggies, however, this team has the potential to do much more than that. Will it happen? We'll see but let's just say we would not be surprised at all if this team ran the table and finished 7-6.

Today's game is scheduled for a late 8:00 p.m. (MT) start time and can be seen on ESPNU. Radio coverage is also available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On to today's links...

Aggie Men's Basketball
The Sports Network previews today's rivalry game.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News features Aggie senior Wendell McKines.

Adrian Macias of previews tonight's game.

Bill Knight of The El Paso Times previews tonight's battle.

Aggie Football
The Sports XChange previews tonight's game.

Jeff Call of The Deseret News previews tonight's game.

Jeff Call also features BYU QB Jake Heaps.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News features defensive lineman David Niumatalolo. (subscription required)

Teddy Feinberg also previews today's game. (subscription required)

Marc Lyons of wants the Cougars to send their seniors out in style.

Brandon Gurney of The Deseret News takes a look at the match ups in tonight's game.

Jay Drew of The Salt Lake Tribune talks about the late start for the game.

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