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.

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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

AggieVision :: Pass Catching With Kyle Nelson

Former Aggie Women’s Golfers Doing Well for Themselves

Written By: Russell Barnes, NM State Media Relations

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Golf has expanded greatly over the past decade or so with people of all ages, races and gender picking up the clubs. New Mexico State is one such place that is open to all, as long as they make the cut.

NM State women's golf is far reaching in its search for talent including France, Australia and Hawai'i and is far reaching in its accomplishments as well. Several former players have gone on to have successful golf careers in the Ladies Professional Golf Association and other various tours.

Head coach Paul Brilliant is one reason for a lot of that success. With a coaching career of over twenty years, a few stints with PGA players and tour experience himself; Brilliant has coached such players as LPGA pro Alena Sharp, former LPGA pro A.J. Eathorne and Lehua Wise, who is currently playing on the DURAMED Futures Tour.

"I still follow and talk to a lot of the women," Brilliant said. "Of course I'm still concerned with how they're doing."  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Walker Interview :: 09/21/10

bleedCrimson.net: You've had a couple of days to break down film after the UTEP game, what are your thoughts?
DeWayne Walker: It's a little disappointing, you never want to play that way in a rival game. I thought we showed some progress against San Diego State and thought we would be able to improve on it and it just didn't come to light like I thought it would. UTEP is probably better football team than we anticipated going in. They're going to win some games this year. Seeing a team, quarterback and offensive that have been together a little bit, they just outclassed us to a certain degree. We just have to not panic and not listen to the naysayers and try to stay on course.

bc.net: Defensively, what are some things that you saw from Saturday's game that you know you'll need to improve heading into the game against Kansas?
DW: Just not making mistakes. That's probably been the most frustrating. The first thing when you don't play well defensively, the first thing I'm always going to question is the scheme [offensive]. When we went back and watched the tape, they [UTEP] did everything that we practiced, they did everything that we thought they would do. We talked to the players and asked them and they said, "No coach, they did everything you guys thought they would do." So we just didn't execute. That's a problem I'm think we're having. We're younger on defense this year, we've got some new guys and we just have to figure out a way to cut the scheme down. The players don't think it's too much scheme, we've just got to be able to execute under pressure.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/21/10

Head over to The Wiz of Odds website and vote for the Aggie football poster (Group 2) as the best poster of the year.

The Aggies and Jayhawks meet on Saturday and both teams are hearing the same message from their coaches: We've got to get better as a football team.

Kansas first year head coach Turner Gill has had that message after each of their first three games. He told Matt Tait of the Lawrence World-Journal, “We’re trying to improve on every phase of our game. My talk hasn’t changed. It doesn’t depend on the quality of the opponent. We’ve just gotta get better as a football team. That’s what they heard (last weekend), and that’s what they’ll continue to hear.”

Second year head coach DeWayne Walker has this to say after Saturday's game, "Right now we have some major problems that we need to figure out," and this after week one against San Diego State, "We have to get a lot better not only on offense but our whole football team."

The two teams will meet on the gridiron on Saturday where both coaches will hope to see big improvements over their last game.

Crystal Burns earned WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the Aggie soccer team this week. She scored four of the Aggies' 12 goals this past weekend in the Aggies' two victories. It's the third consecutive week that the Aggies have had a Player of the Week. Yolanda McMillion won Offensive Player of the Week two weeks ago for her hat trick against Alabama A&M and her game-winning goal against Jacksonville State. Last week Aggie goal keeper Mikaela Bitner earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for her shutout against North Dakota.

The Aggies wrap up non-conference play this weekend when they face Northern Colorado and Wyoming.

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Crystal Burns Earns WAC Offensive Player of the Week

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State sophomore forward/midfielder Crystal Burns was named Verizon WAC Offensive Player of the Week, for the week of Sept. 13-19. This is her first career honor, and she is the third Aggie to earn the recognition this season.

Burns scored four goals and added three assists in a pair of wins for the Aggie soccer team over Alabama A&M, 8-0, Sept. 17, and Lamar, 4-0, Sept. 19. Against Alabama A&M, she scored two goals and added an assist, including her second game-winning goal of the season. It was her first-ever multiple-goal contest at NM State. In a 4-0 win over Lamar, Burns tallied two goals and two assists. She posted an impressive .833 shots on goal percentage in the final two non-conference matches of the season, and currently leads the team with six assists and 16 points.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/20/10

The Aggie soccer team shut out Lamar 4-0 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 5-1-2 on the season. The Aggies have now pitched three consecutive shutouts and have not allowed a goal in the last 335 minutes dating back to a goal by Northern Arizona's Carolyn Savage 15 seconds before halftime. The Aggies have four shutouts through eight games this season matching the four shutouts they had all of last season.

The Aggie offense has also helped their defense as they've score early in each the last three games. The Aggie goals have come in the 9th, 2nd and 8th minutes. Coach Needham has made that a point of emphasis with his team. "We ask our team to set the tone early. See if we can get an early goal," says Coach Needham. "We talk about key moments of the game. The big moments for us, we talk about moments we call "Big Five" moments which would be first five minutes and last five minutes of the half and first five minutes of the second half and last five minutes of the game. Both Friday night and today I think we did a pretty nice job of handling those big five moments in our favor."

The Aggies finish the home non-conference portion of their schedule undefeated as they've gone 5-0-2 at home thus far. The Aggies finish up non-conference play on the road this week as they'll face Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. and Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. Northern Colorado will be a stiff test for the Aggies as the Bears are 5-3-1 on the season and they've score 17 goals on the season while allowing only 11. Wyoming is much improved this year as they're 5-5 on the season. Wyoming has scored 14 goals on the season and has allowed just 15.

Coach Needham pointed to the fact that the Aggies are playing well heading into conference play, which was also his goal last season. "The big thing again is that we're playing our best soccer heading into conference and we're starting to hit on cylinders which is good."

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