Know The Foe :: Jayhawk Q&A With'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 >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/24/10

The Aggie volleyball team continued their dominance of Louisiana Tech as the two teams kicked off WAC play last night. The Aggies swept Louisiana Tech and recorded the 12th straight victory over the Lady Techsters. The Aggies held off LA Tech in the first set 25-23, then won the last five points of the second set to take a 25-20 victory and then crushed the Lady Techsters in the final set 25-11. Kayleigh Giddens had another spectacular outing with 24 kills and a .476 hitting percentage.

The Aggie defense held LA Tech to a .049 hitting percentage. Also of note in the match was the return of Kelsey Brennan from her ankle injury. Brennan finished the match with eight kills and three block assists. Another big item from last night's match was the return of libero Kelsi Phillips to the Aggie team. Phillips was the starting libero last season but did not return to the team this fall. She is back and played last night finishing with three digs and a kill. Phillips' return helps to bolster the Aggie defense and passing which has struggled a bit at times this season.

The Aggies and Lady Techsters will square off again on Saturday night in Las Cruces.

The Aggie soccer team returns to action today as they're facing Northern Colorado. The Bears are 5-3-1 on the season and have scored 17 goals on the season while allowing just 11. Ariel Cook leads the way for the Bears with six goals on the season. Danielle Birdsall is second on the team with four goals. Kimmie Fiedler leads the team in assists with four.

The Bears have scored 10 of their 17 goals in the first half while they've allowed just three of the 11 opposing goals in the first half.

Today's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. MT kickoff. There will be no live stats for the match.

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

Aggies Sweep Louisiana Tech To Open WAC Play

The Aggie volleyball team ended their six match losing streak defeating Louisiana Tech 3-0 on Thursday night. The Aggies have won 12 straight matches against the Lady Techsters and start off WAC play with a victory for the fifth consecutive season.

Kayleigh Giddens finished with a match-high 24 kills on 42 attacks with just four hitting errors hitting .476 for the match. Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brennan returned to action after missing the last match with an ankle injury and finished with eight kills.

The Aggies and Lady Techsters battled closely in the first set with the Aggies leading 14-11 midway through. Louisiana Tech took a three point lead at 20-17 but the Aggies would rally to take the set 25-23.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Charley Johnson Named To Texas Sports Hall Of Fame

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

WACO, TX - The Texas Sports Hall of Fame Induction Committee chaired by Texas Football Magazine founder Dave Campbell, has announced its Class of 2010 presented by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies. New Mexico State’s own Charley Johnson has been named to this year’s induction class.

Johnson, a Big Spring, TX native, played basketball & quarterback at New Mexico State with a 23-9 record in football. He was the first and only back-to-back Sun Bowl MVP (1959 & 1960) and only player in school history to have jersey retired. A member of the NM State Athletics/First Community Bank Hall of Fame, Johnson was a 15 year NFL quarterback with Chicago Cardinals, Houston Oilers & Denver Broncos and a 1963 NFL Pro Bowl Selection. Johnson is a member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame and earned a doctorate in Chemical Engineering while playing pro football. He is currently a professor of Chemical Engineering at NM State.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/23/10

The Aggie volleyball team is back in action as they look to end a six-match losing streak. The Aggies have dominated the Lady Techsters. New Mexico State is 11-1 against Louisiana Tech all-time and has never lost to them during Coach Jordan's tenure. The dominance is so striking that the Aggies have only dropped three sets in their 11 victories over the Lady Techsters. There have been eight sweeps and no match has ever gone the full five sets. Louisiana Tech has improved this season and is 9-5 overall heading into conference play.

Offensively the Lady Techsters are hitting .189 as a team while holding opponents to a .119 hitting percentage. LA Tech is led by senior outside hitter Taylor Fritz who is averaging 2.85 kills per set. Defensively, senior libero Lori Hunsucker lead the team at 5.40 digs per set.

The Lady Techsters are a pretty good serving team and are averaging 1.5 service aces per set. When the Aggies have struggled it's been because of their passing on serve receive. The two teams have similar blocking numbers as the Aggies average 1.88 blocks per set while LA Tech averages 1.92 blocks per set.

Kayleigh Giddens leads the team at 4.46 kills per set while Ellen Miks leads the team in digs at 3.58 per set.

We're unsure of the status of Aggie starting middle blocker Kelsey Brennan for tonight's match. Brennan went down with an ankle sprain against Pepperdine and did not play in the following match against Texas State. The Aggies and Lady Techsters will play tonight and then turn around and meet again in Las Cruces on Saturday (gotta love the quirks of WAC scheduling).

Today's match is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. MT first serve and can be heard on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required). Live Stats will also be available for the match.

The Aggie cross country team heads to Santa Teresa today for the Lori Fitzgerald Invitational. The Aggie coaches are resting the runners who will travel to Pennsylvania next week and are sending a younger group to today's meet. Find out what cross country coach Paul Harkins had to say about the meet as well as a recap of the Kachina Classic in this week's interview.

The Aggie soccer team is headed to Colorado today where they'll face Northern Colorado tomorrow night. The Aggies are 5-1-2 and have posted three straight shutouts. They've also scored 12 goals in the past two games, however, this weekend's road trip will see them play a pair of tough opponents in Northern Colorado (5-3-1) and Wyoming (5-5-0). Find out what Coach Needham had to say about this weekend's opponents as well as his thoughts on the team making their first long-range road trip of the season (the Aggies have played on road game this season, that coming against New Mexico in Albuquerque) in this week's interview.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Needham Interview :: 09/22/10 How have your practices been this week in preparation for Northern Colorado and Wyoming?
Michael Needham: Yesterday is always a competition day and a fitness day so I think it was good. They came out and competed and battled and that's what we ask them to do on Tuesdays. I'm happy with that. Today we'll get into a bit more tactical situations. One of the things that I noticed on the first goal in Sunday's game and a few of the goals from Friday's game against Alabama A&M is that when your kids are getting opportunities in front of the net, they're not trying to pound the ball into the back of the net, instead they're hitting a bit softer shot. How much of that is a learning process from what happened on Yolanda McMillion's shot against Northern Arizona?
MN: I think it's just getting more comfortable in front of the goal is what it is. We talk a lot about as the season goes on, you're going to get some chances and you're going to get chances to score and you've got to put those on the frame. Either mat the goal keeper make a save or you've just got to tuck it away and you can't allow chances like that to go passing. So, it's not so much any focus on what's happened in the past, it's more of what's going to happen in the future. Looking at the goal scoring chances we have, we have some pretty athletic kids up front who can get behind people and cause problems there. If we're going to get into those areas, we've got to make sure we're scoring goals when we get there.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 09/22/10 Your thoughts on your teams' performance this past weekend at the Kachina Classic?
Paul Harkins: I thought it was really solid. We ran without our number one on both the men's and the women's side (Ian Ruybalid and Courtney Schultz) yet the women still closed the gap on UTEP from two weeks prior at the Lobo Invitational. They did really well. Camille Schultz had an awesome race especially without her sister in the race. She did a fantastic job charging after those UTEP girls.

On the men's side it was a solid performance. I was hoping we could still get them without Ian but Kevin Taft had a great race and almost got the two UTEP guys at the end but just got outkicked. Everybody else ran very well as well. It was a great home meet despite the fact that we were beating them up pretty hard workout wise and without running our top runners Ian Ruybalid on the men's side and Courtney Schultz on the women's side. It was a good race. As far as your times this year versus last year how did your teams do?
PH: There was a little bit of a change to the course, it wasn't really anything huge but it did take a little bit of distance off and shortened it up so time-wise it's tough to compare. But I think it was pretty comparable distance-wise to the UNM course but it was a little bit more challenging. We're comparing our times to the meet two weeks prior (Lobo Invitational) and I think it was really good. Most of our people ran on a little bit tougher course at least as fast if not faster. They're just showing their progression season to season.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/22/10

Check out our interview this week with Aggie head football coach DeWayne Walker. Also check out AggieVision's video from the weekly football press conference which is held on Tuesdays with quotes from Coach Walker as well as a few of the Aggie players.

We talked to Coach Walker about what he feels the defense needs to improve on in Saturday's game with Kansas and the main thing he pointed to was execution. He explained that when the defense doesn't play well, as was the case in Saturday's game, the first thing he looks at is the opposing team's scheme and whether or not they ran what the coaching staff had scouted and prepared for. Coach Walker and the players felt that their scout was correct and that the Miners did not run anything they weren't expecting leading Coach Walker to point to his team's execution as the main factor behind it's struggles.

The difference between the Aggies and Jayhawks lies on the defensive side of the ball. KU is allowing 20.7 points per game while the Aggies have given up an average of 41.5. The good news for the Aggie offense is this will be the first offense that the Aggies have faced that isn't a potential Top 10 offense. The Jayhawks have struggled much like the Aggies on offense and are averaging 15.7 points per game (the Aggies are averaging 15.5), KU is averaging 124.3 rushing yards per game (the Aggies are averaging 100.5), and the Jayhawks are averaging 171.3 passing yards per game (the Aggies hold the edge here averaging 211.5 passing yards per game).

When we asked Coach Walker about his defense going up against an offensive line that has struggled to protect the quarterback (KU has allowed 12 sacks through three games) he had this to say, "There's no question. We need to have some success, get some turnovers and get some sacks. Cut down on our mistakes which is killing us with the explosive plays. This could be a big confidence builder for our football team."

On the flip side, Kansas head coach Turner Gill held his press conference on Monday and his press conference sounded a lot like Coach Walker's. He noted that he, much like Coach Walker, would like to see his defense create more turnovers. So far through two games the Aggie offense has turned the ball over just once, an interception thrown by Matt Christian late in the game against UTEP.

It will be interesting to watch Saturday's game unfold as the two teams both look for similar things, more pressure on defense and more consistency on offense. It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that the team that finds both first is going to be the team that comes out of this one with the victory.

Don't forget to visit The Wiz of Odds website and vote for the Aggie football poster (Group 2) as the best poster of the year.

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

Aggie Catcher Zac Fisher On Baseball America's List Of Top Prospects To Come Out Of Summer Leagues

Written By: Bianca Matamoros-Koonce for NM State Media Relations

DURHAM, N.C. - New Mexico State catcher Zac Fisher had been named as an addition to Baseball America lists consisting of the top prospects for 18 summer leagues as well as Team USA. The Texas Collegiate League announced the 2010 All-TCL team, which included New Mexico State Zac Fisher on the top of the list at catcher.

Fisher, who will be a sophomore for the Aggies in the spring of 2011, was the starting catcher for the North All-Stars in the 2010 TCL All-Star Game, July 5, 2010 in Victoria, Texas.

Fisher, a native of Fontana, Calif., hit .350 on the year while playing in 38 games as a freshman at New Mexico State. He did even better in league play hitting .417 (20-of-48) against Western Athletic Conference rivals. Fisher tied for the most home runs on the team in conference play with six. On the year, Fisher finished knocking a total eight out of the ballpark.  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: Coach Walker/Player Press Conference Week Three