Another tough weekend for the Aggie football team resulted in a loss to Idaho, 28-16. The loss sets the table for the scenario which we outlined prior to the UNM game, one in which the Aggies may not win another game the rest of the season. We certainly hope that's not the case but the way the team is playing at this moment, it's hard to see them beating any of the teams remaining on the schedule and certainly not any of the teams in the next five-game stretch.
The good news for the team is that they've got a bye week this weekend and that will give the team a couple of weeks to try to put the pieces back together and fix what's broken, namely, the stagnating offense. For the third consecutive game the Aggies have been held to ten points or fewer for much of the game while the opponent builds a seemingly unsurmountable lead. For the second straight week the Aggie offense has turned the ball over at a prolific rate, four more this weekend against Idaho and a total of ten turnovers over the course of the last three games. You'd be hard pressed to find any team that could win three games committing ten turnovers but in the case of a team with a struggling offense, struggling defense and struggling special teams, those errors are magnified.
For the second straight week the turning point of the game was a turnover on special teams. For the second straight week Austin Franklin muffed a punt and for the second straight week the opposing team recovered and scored on the very next play. For the second straight week that play sent the Aggies spiraling downward.
Much like the game against UTSA, Idaho had not shown the ability to do much but it was that turnover and a short field that sparked their offense.
The Aggie defense actually played decently, probably well enough to win, had the offense not fallen flat again. The Aggies turned the ball over deep in their own end three times and the Vandals capitalized to the tune of 17 points. The three other scoring drives, Idaho was forced to go the length of the field and settled for field goals.
Unless the Aggies can solve their offensive woes in the next two weeks, it's going to be a long stretch to the end of the season. The teams remaining on the schedule are all pretty solid defensive teams with good offenses (Auburn excluded but they're a different animal entirely). Utah State is a Top 20 defense statistically (16th), San Jose State is second in the nation in sacks (the Aggies are allowing 3.5 sacks per game), BYU's defense is a Top 5 defense, Auburn's defense is... well an SEC defense and Louisiana Tech's defense isn't great but their offense more than makes up for it.
Facing that stretch of teams will be a daunting task but hopefully the bye week will give the Aggies a chance to really work on fixing the offense. Otherwise, it could be the ugliest five-game stretch in Aggie football history.
The Aggie volleyball and soccer teams were also in action over the weekend. The Aggies defeated San Jose State 3-1 on Saturday night while the soccer team continued to struggle offensively posting a 1-0 loss at Louisiana Tech. It's now been almost 640 minutes since the Aggies last scored a goal, the span of nearly six and a half matches. Simply put, the Aggies haven't scored in almost a month. It's the longest streak in the program's history. We're unsure why there's been such a dearth of goals for the Aggies, however, what we saw in yesterday's match was the Aggies' inability to maintain possession of the ball, particularly once they got into the final third of the field.
As is the case with the football team, things don't get any easier for the soccer team. They host Denver, who just a week and a half ago was ranked No. 18 (apparently getting a win and a tie is enough to completely drop you out of a Top 25 poll). Denver hasn't lost since their opening match, an unbeaten streak of 13 matches. The Aggies get their shot at the Pioneers on Friday afternoon. Then on Sunday the Aggies host CSU Bakersfield.
Aggie volleyball also returns home and they'll host a pair of Texas schools in UTSA and Texas State. These two teams are one and two games behind the Aggies in the WAC standings respectively. Needless to say this is another big week for the Aggies as they try to keep pace with Utah State who is currently a half game ahead of the Aggies and in first place.
Zack Ponce of The Round Up recaps the Aggies' loss.
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News recaps the Aggies' loss.
The LA Tech athletic website recaps the Aggies' loss.
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