Matt Christian Rallies Aggies For Stunning 29-27 Homecoming Victory

Matt ChristianThe Aggie football team jumped out to a 14-point lead at halftime but then fell behind 27-23 before rallying for a dramatic 29-27 victory as time expired. Matt Christian found Taveon Rogers from eight yards out for the game-winning touchdown. It was the second touchdown connection between Christian and Rogers on the day.

The Aggies and Spartans combined for 980 yards of total offense as New Mexico State had a balanced attack rushing for 180 yards and passing for 259. Matt Christian finished the day 23-of-44 with two touchdowns and no interceptions, however, it was a fumble by Christian late that nearly cost the Aggies the football game.

With the Aggies down 27-23 and under four minutes to play the Aggies had a 2nd and 20 at their own 34 yard line. Christian kept the ball and rushed ahead for five yards but fumbled as he was tackled by SJSU's Vincent Abbott. Travis Johnson recovered the ball at the Aggies' 40 yard line and it looked like the Aggies' Homecoming hopes would be dashed. However, the Aggie defense rose to the occasion as they forced a field goal attempt by SJSU kicker Harrison Waid after the Spartans had driven down to the Aggies' 21 yard line. Waid, who had missed on two earlier field goals, missed his third field goal of the day.

Christian and the Aggies took over at their own 21 yard line with just 52 seconds left to play. On first and 10 Christian delivered a 34-yard strike to Marcus Allen to the Spartan 45 yard line. On the very next play Christian would hook up with tight end Kyle Nelson for a 19 yard gain down to the Spartans' 26. After an incompletion, Christian would again find Allen for 18 yards down to the Spartans' eight yard line. After three consecutive incompletions, the Aggies were faced with a fourth down, do-or-die situation with less than four seconds left to play. Christian took the snap, rolled to his right and fired a pass on the run from the right hashmark as he found Taveon Rogers rolling across the right side of the endzone. Rogers would haul in the pass with a Spartan defender draped over him and was immediately mobbed by his teammates on the ground.

The Aggies would take a knee on the extra point attempt to end the game and cap the victory.   Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Cross Country Has Strong Showing At Championships; Men Finish 2nd, Women 3rd; Five Aggies Earn All-WAC

The Aggie cross country teams posted podium finishes at the 2010 WAC Championship meet as the men's team recorded a runner-up finish just nine points short of champion Boise State while the women's team posted a third place finish. The Aggies had five athletes earn All-WAC honors and Courtney Schultz repeated as WAC Women's Athlete of the Year. "That's a great honor. I was so proud of the kids. The two men who were All-WAC and the three women who were All-WAC, it just goes to show that we're a talented team and they deserve all the accolades that they get. They're out there 365 days of the year working their butts off," said cross country coach Meaghan Gregory.

Courtney Schultz repeated as as the women's individual champion at the WAC Cross Country meet while her sister Camille Schultz finished second as the two dominated the women's field for the second time in as many years helping the Aggies to a third place finish at the 2010 WAC Championship meet. "The Schultz girls proved themselves to be the class of the field. They went out right from the beginning and led wire-to-wire and didn't look back once. It was an impressive race for the Schultz girls," said cross country coach Paul Harkins.

The Aggie men's cross country team posted their best finish in program history as they finished in second place just nine points behind Boise State. "The men's was probably one of the more exciting I've seen as a cross country coach," said Coach Harkins. "They went out and established their position very well on the first loop of the four 2000 meter loops. We were rolling over the last 2,000 meters. Anthony Ellis came from quite a ways back to get up to 11th overall. Kevin Palmer ran extremely tough and then the pack, as it's been all year long, was very tight and very tough."

Aggie sophomore Kevin Palmer finished seventh with a time of 25:09.36 for the Aggie men and earned First Team All-WAC honors while junior Anthony Ellis earned second team honors with an 11th place finish and a time of 25:17.12. Sophomore Jonah Ruybalid finished just outside the Top 14 as he led a group of three Aggies across the line at 15th, 16th and 17th with times of 25:29.22 for Ruybalid, 25:33.26 for sophomore Robert Selph and 25:34.09 for junior Kevin Taft.

"It was a fantastic day for the men," said Coach Harkins The coaching staff couldn't be more proud of them. From where they've come four years ago to where they're at right now is unbelievable and we're extremely excited for them."  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: NM State Homecoming Victory Highlights

The Daily Aggie :: 10/30/10

The Aggie soccer team closed out the 2010 season with a 2-0 loss to Louisiana Tech on Friday night. The Aggies were eliminated from tournament contention roughly 30 minutes prior to the start of their match with LA Tech as Fresno State and Boise State played to a 2-2 draw. The Aggies gave up a pair of goals in the first half, including one on a corner kick with about 90 seconds left in the half. To the Aggies' credit, they came out in the second half and played a lot more aggressively than they did in the first half and had three pretty good chances to score with chances from Nina Yanes (crossbar), Crystal Burns (just over the crossbar) and Yolanda McMillion (semi-breakaway) that didn't go for the Aggies.

They finish up their season at 7-8-3 and in two seasons have compiled a 15-16-4 record which by all accounts is very strong. Compare that to the soccer program a Missouri-Kansas City which is also in their second year of existence who will wrap up their season today. The Kangaroos finished their inaugural season with a 1-17-1 record. This season they are 1-14-1. In two seasons (pending today's result) they've won two games, lost 31 and tied twice (which for them has to feel like a win). Not that it matters much but UMKC's two ties are 1-1 (last season) and 0-0 (this season).

While Friday night's result was not the way the Aggies wanted to end the season, the future is very bright for the Aggie program and they are clearly headed in the right direction. The Aggies lose just three seniors, one starter from this year's club and the Aggies' core croup will be juniors and sophomores. We can't wait to see the product that Coach Needham and the Aggies put on the pitch next season.

The Aggie football team returns home to take on San Jose State for Homecoming. This is probably the Aggies' best chance at a victory the rest of the season. We fully expect this to be a grind-it-out low scoring game. Both offense have struggle (albeit against good defenses) and both defense have struggled (again against better offenses). However, there are three telling scores from the two teams' schedules that point to a low scoring affair. The Aggies' lone victory was a 16-14 victory over UNM, a team with a bad offense and bad defense. The Spartans have had two winnable games against FCS opponents. They won one of them 16-11 (Southern Utah) and lost the other 14-13 (UC-Davis).

The Aggies have a slight advantage over SJSU in that the Spartans, as we've pointed out all week long, have lost 15 players who were either starters or on the two-deep, to season-ending injuries.

While the Aggies have lost their share of players this season as well mostly along the offensive and defensive lines and lost one projected starting safety prior to the start of the season, it still pales in comparison to losing 15 players.

While Coach Walker has stated that most people will build this matchup as one between two programs desperate for a win, the truth is, these are two programs that are desperate for a win. Which team will be the lucky one to get that win will be determined today.

The game is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff (hurray for early afternoon kickoffs!) The game can be seen on AggieVision with streaming video available via and Aggie Access (subscription required).

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

NM State vs. Louisiana Tech Match Photos

NM State vs. Louisiana Tech Match Photos

Aggie Soccer Falls 2-0 To Louisiana Tech In Season Finale

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

Cassandra BranchLAS CRUCES, N.M. - In the regular season finale, the New Mexico State soccer team fell to Louisiana Tech, 2-0, on senior night. Following the match the Aggies honored senior midfielders Baili Foutz and Nina Yanes, who played their final contest for the Crimson and White.

The Aggies concluded the 2010 season with a 7-8-3 overall record and 1-6-1 WAC record. The Lady Techsters moved to 15-5-0 and 5-3-0 in the conference, and they return to Ruston, La., to host the WAC Tournament next week.

“It was a tale of two halves,” head coach Michael Needham said. “I thought we came out a little flat, and we made two bad mistakes in the first half and they punished us for it.”

Louisiana Tech posted a 2-0 lead at halftime after goals in the 26th and 43rd minute. The Aggies recorded a 4-3 advantage in shots on goal but couldn’t capitalize.

“I thought we did a great job in the second half of putting them under a lot of pressure,” he said. “Sometimes the ball goes in the net and sometimes it doesn’t.”

The Aggies will have 26 players returning to the squad next season after a successful second year.

“This season was definitely a step forward,” Needham said. “It was very positive. I thought we improved on the attacking side of the ball. We also found places we need to get better.”  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 10/29/10

The Aggie soccer team is in action for the final time at home this season as they host Louisiana Tech for Senior Night. The Aggies are still in the hunt for that sixth and final spot in the WAC Tournament which will be hosted by Louisiana Tech. The Aggies need a victory tonight and will also need some help today and Sunday. You can read the full scenario in Monday's edition of The Daily Aggie.

Find out what Coach Needham had to say about the final regular season game as well as his thoughts on his three seniors in this week's interview.

Today's game will be televised on AggieVision with streaming video also available via Aggie Access (subscription required). The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.

We also spoke with Aggie volleyball coach Mike Jordan as his team heads to the islands where they'll battle with No. 5 Hawai'i on Sunday evening.

The Aggies have a chance, if they can win on Sunday, to share the regular season title. Check out this week's interview to find out what the Aggies will need to do on Sunday to make that a reality.

After a two week absence due to lack of participation, we're back with our Know The Foe feature. This week the San Jose Mercury News' Elliot Almond gives Aggie fans a look at the Spartan football team.

The Aggies and Spartans will do battle tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. MT at Aggie Memorial Stadium for Homecoming.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Needham Interview :: 10/28/10 How has this week's practice gone after coming off the long trip to Hawai'i?
Michael Needham: It was good. We took an extra day's rest. We took Tuesday off, got back, had a good session yesterday and today was a pregame session, pretty light, tried to score some goals and get the kids excited and then be ready to go tomorrow night. What has the energy level been like this week from your kids knowing that you still have a shot at the making the tournament versus if you had come back not having a shot?
MN: I think the energy level is good. I think even if we were mathematically eliminated, we would still be playing for a lot so I don't think the emotion has changed that much in that I think we want to send our seniors off on the right note, we want to finish the year on a win and that's very important if the scenarios don't work out for us. I think winning is important to us. The other big note is that we're 7-7-3 and for us to continue making our progress and doing what we're doing, to win on Friday night and go to 8-7-3 and secure a winning record for 2010 is definitely something our kids find important so I think the energy level would have been good either way. But it's definitely better still having a chance. You win and then we come inside and start checking results. That'll be fun, hopefully it's fun, and then you go from there but really I think the big focus is beating LA Tech.  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 >> Weekly Coach Jordan Interview :: 10/27/10 Your thoughts on the two matches last week?
Mike Jordan: Yeah, Nevada and Utah State both have good teams. Nevada had been playing and they played good 'D'. We started slowly defensively. I think it was 7-2 and we hadn't dug a ball yet in the first set and then finally we got our act together and started playing hard defensively and when we do that we're pretty tough to beat. We've just got to find a way to do that more consistently and stop dropping sets because we're not playing both ends of the floor. I want them to be solid offensively but you've got to play 'D' too and hopefully we're learning that lesson.

Utah State does a lot of good things and they've got a solid team. They're struggling a little bit offensively at times. But to go on the road and get two wins, we're pretty happy with that. Those two wins were real big for your club having come off of the "hell week" playing three matches in four nights and to not give up the separation that you had earned from those three wins was really big.
MJ: Yeah. To get some separation between us and third pace is really good and to keep pace with Hawai'i and gives us a chance to go there and if we can pull off a small miracle and maybe get a share of the regular season title like we did in 2008.  Continue Reading This Post >>