Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Keys for NMSU vs. UTEP football, game Sept. 20

From my perspective, this Saturday's NMSU/UTEP college football game could very well be billed as the Desperation Bowl. Desperate because both teams need a win, desperate because both teams need to put together a full game.

The Miners have lost eight straight dating back to last year, while NMSU has lost six straight. A win by; either team gives that program hope for the rest of the season. A loss will hurt the confidence of the other team.

If NMSU is to be the team that wins, here are three things it must do.

- Get vertical. In the opener against Nebraska, the Aggies never could get a long pass play although there were chances. If the offense can get its timing down, good things can occur. Nebraska was never forced to take any chances on defense, that trend must reverse against UTEP.
- Stop the run. Nebraska was big and bad against NMSU with 330 yards rushing. That has to concern the Aggie defensive coaches. UTEP has a good back in Terrell Jackson and the Miners can be a balanced offense, but I wouldn't be surprised to see if UTEP tries to pound the Aggies on the ground.
- Turnovers. New Mexico State got one turnover against Nebraska and turned that into seven points. The Aggies gave up two picks and both hurt the Aggies. The Aggies must win the turnover battle and if they do get turnovers, must do damage with them.

- Felix