The Mid-Season Report Cards are a subjective look using objective numbers with a look toward the remainder of the season as well. Teams are being reviewed in random order once they reach 6 games.
The New Mexico State Aggies are out to a pretty good start, all things considered. They’ve matched their 2008 totals for wins, both overall and in the conference, and really haven’t lost any games that they should have won. The road is going to be tougher in the second half, but for now, they should be fairly pleased to be where they are.
- Wins: C-. 3-3 isn’t bad, but they won those three games by three points each, two of which were over the worst team in each of the western conferences. Their losses were each sound beatings.
- Offense: F. Somehow they’ve clawed to 3 wins with the worst total offense in 1-A, totaling only 268 yards per game. Their rushing game is ok, at 148, good for 59th in America but still just 7th in the league, but they are passing for fewer yards than they rush.
- Defense: B. Aggies fans can thank the Defense and Special Teams for the things that have gone well this year. They’re 5th in the league against the rush, but second against the pass and in total defense, allowing only 334 ypg- good enough for 46th nationally.
- Special Teams: A-. Top 20 in Net Punting, 29th in punt returns. Kickoff Returns could be better, sitting at 76th, but a good punt game on both sides is helping the anemic offense stay in some of these games.
- Turnovers: F. -8 on the season. The defense isn’t getting enough (only 6 recovered) and the offense is giving away too many (14).
- Grading Curve: Points Off. They have played the 135th most difficult schedule in America (Sagarin mixes 1-AA teams in his chart), and still only managed 3-3.
- Final Grade: D+. Nobody among their three wins has beaten a 1-A team this year, and their three losses have been ugly. It’s possible that the record has given them the confidence to surprise some teams in the second half, but I’m not sure the talent is there.
NMSU has a 13 game schedule this season, since the NCAA allows teams that travel to Hawaii to schedule an extra game. I assume this is to cover the costs of the long trip. Most of Hawaii’s home opponents have taken this option. This means that the Aggies’ season isn’t officially half-over until halftime Saturday, but we’re just sticking with the six games thing for now.
- at Louisiana Tech
- Fresno State
- at Ohio State
- at Hawaii
- at San Jose State
- at Boise State
Best Case Scenario: 3-4. It’s a longshot, but there are a few games there against some teams that lack a powerful offense. If their D can keep the offense in some of these games, they could squeak out a few close wins.
Worst Case Scenario: 0-7. The lack of an offense wears the defense down each week, and they wind up about where they were last year.
Prediction: 2-5. They’ll have to catch somebody off guard and steal a road win or two to do it, but I think they’ll find a win or two down the stretch.