It's Gameday! The Aggie football team is on the road this week as they look to snap their four game skid. The team takes on the Idaho Vandals, a team whose struggles on the field rival those of the Aggies. This is a matchup between two teams currently headed in the wrong direction. The question for the Aggies is can they made the necessary adjustments to their gameplan and play calling to open up things for their offense? Aside from a 49 point showing against Sacramento State in the season opener, the Aggie offense has looked pedestrian since the second half against Ohio which is also the last time the Aggie run game looked decent.
The last three games have seen the Aggies fall behind and never really be able to catch up and for the Aggies to only put up a combined 28 points against UNM and UTSA was unthinkable heading into the season. In fact, only four teams over the past two seasons have scored fewer points against those two teams than the Aggies and what's even more troubling is that none of those teams were FBS and some of them were not even Division I teams.
So enter the Vandals who likewise have had struggles keeping teams off the scoreboard. No team has scored fewer than 21 points against Idaho this season. Can the Aggies take advantage and get their offense back on track? Idaho has been susceptible to the big play this season and this is once again a situation where the Aggie wide receivers should have a matchup advantage over the opposing secondary. Idaho has given up 34 pass completions of 15+ yards and 18 pass completions of 25+ yards. The issue is whether or not the Aggies can protect Andrew Manley long enough for him to get the ball to the wide receivers. Idaho loves to blitz and gets into the backfield pretty frequently. They've got 28 tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hurries and nine sacks. This presents a problem for the Aggies. They've given up 19 quarterback sacks through just five games and teams have hurried Manley five times and the opposing defense have 33 tackles for loss against the Aggies. Protection today will be the biggest key for the Aggie offense.
Defensively the Aggies have a big task ahead of them. The Vandals are led by quarterback Dominique Blackman and according to our scouting report from Vandal Nation, Blackman likes to get the ball out of his hands quickly. He's very accurate throwing short passing, something that has really plagued the Aggie defense since the UTEP game. The Aggies have played soft coverage and teams have made them pay. Idaho loves to throw the ball on first down completing 50-of-69 (72.5 percent) for 428 yards, nearly eight yards per completion. Can the Aggie defense stop the short and intermediate passing game of the Vandals? This will be another big key to today's game because both teams are atrocious running the ball (119th and 120th in FBS).
This game is the Aggies' last best chance for a win for the next six weeks and if they can pull out a victory it will give them a tiny bit of confidence heading into next week's game versus Utah State. If they don't win, they may not win another game the rest of the season.
This is going to be an interesting game and the meetings between these two teams are always entertaining. We think the Aggies will do just enough to pull out the win -- NMSU 21, Idaho 17.
Today's game is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. (MDT) kickoff and can be seen on Altitude and streaming online via ESPN3 and Aggie Access (subscription required)
The Aggie volleyball team looks to bounce back from a stunning sweep at the hands of Utah State on Thursday night. The Aggies face an improving San Jose State squad which is 4-3 in WAC play with a sweep of Idaho this season.
The Aggies dropped to second place with their loss on Thursday and now need to win this game to try to keep pace with USU as well as try to stay ahead of Idaho and UTSA who are both just a game behind in the loss column.
Tonight's match is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. (MDT) first serve and can be heard on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces and streaming online via Aggie Access (subscription required).
Ken Sickenger of the Albuquerque Journal previews today's game (subscription required)
Josh Wright of the Times-News previews today's game.
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News previews today's game.
Aggie Men's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News blogs his strengths and concerns for the men's team this upcoming season.
Jason Groves also blogs his concerns for the team.
If you've found an article that you think other Aggie fans would like to read, send it to us! Select "The Daily Aggie" from the 'Category' drop-down