Penalties, a bumbling offense and a worn down defense.
That sentence describes the New Mexico State football team through the first three weeks of the season.
The game didn’t start out badly, however. The defense held Utah State to two field goals (one after a strip sack at the NMSU 20) and responded by going 75 yards in 10 plays and scoring a touchdown on a Johnathan Boone catch to lead 7-6 with 4:34 left in the first. The lead was only the second time all season the Aggies have led for any period of time but it was all downhill from there.
The ensuing kickoff was returned 100 yards by Savon Scarver which put Utah State up for good, demonstrating once again how badly this team needs a competent special teams unit-that’s the second return for a touchdown allowed through three games this year.
Before the end of the first, Utah State was able to add on another field goal-one of six Dominik Eberle made after missing four in last season’s Arizona Bowl-and grew the lead to 16-7. Outside of NM State’s scoring drive they only had 39 yards in the first quarter. That’s not a recipe for success if you are a defender on the team.
The good thing about the defense is they don’t give up.
DE Cedric Wilctos, back from his two game suspension, got the second quarter going by pressuring USU QB Jordan Love and forcing a bad pass that was intercepted by Shamad Lomax. The offense was only able to get six yards after that and settled for a 49 yard field goal by Dylan Brown to cut the deficit to 16-10.
Utah State was able to drive the field on their next possession and was threatening to score when an NM State interception seemed to stop their drive and give the Aggies all the momentum. That is, until the refs explained the flag on the play. A boneheaded roughing the passer penalty (I mean really bad) gave USU the ball back in the red zone and took the wind out the the crimson and white sails.
Eltoro Allen ran the ball in from one yard out that started 17 straight points by USU. The score was 33-10 at halftime.
The second half was just as bad. The offense’s drives ended in three punts, three turnovers, one field goal, and a missed field goal.
There was one point, down 40-10, that NM State had the ball in the red zone and decided to go for a field goal. I don’t understand that play call. Down 30 with an offense that can’t move, why wouldn’t you go for the end zone? What’s there to lose?
Anyways, the Aggie D was gassed and gave up big play after big play, not that it was their fault.
In my opinion, Romero needs to be replaced. He is just too inconsistent and has not taken control of the offense. I understand that the first three teams have all been good but he has not looked good thus far. He is only throwing 53% and has a 3 TD-4 INT ratio.
The offense has no leadership and seems to be going through the motions. In other words, it’s a crusty shell of last year’s team.
But we’ll end with good news here. The Aggies got their first three sacks of the season and first INT as well. Plus, Josh Adkins made his first appearence at QB.
Let’s hope the Aggies can come out next week and fix some of their problems against the Lobos. Let’s win three in a row! #playfor3