26 Sep 2009
It's time to continue a trend started in the confines of our fantasy sports leagues. Introducing the first Scrum of the Week for college football. For the uninitiated, the "Scrum of the Week" is an in depth focus on two awful teams going head-to-head. Since it focuses on teams that aren't normally in the spotlight, it gives people who are fans of bad teams something to hope and strive for... kind of.
College Football: Saturday, September 26th, 2009
New Mexico State (1-2) @ New Mexico (0-3)
The New Mexico State Aggies, lowly member of WAC (Western Athletic Conference), enter the contest able to boast of a better win-loss record. Granted, that one win (21-18) was versus Prairie View A&M, a division 1-AA school (Football Championship Subdivision).
With an average scoring margin of -12.7, all New Mexico State should try to do is play for a tie and hope the other team messes up more. Quarterback Jeff Fleming has a 53% completion percentage to his own team. If he can lower his 6% completion percentage to the other team, perhaps by not attempting a pass at all, I foresee bad things not happening. The team is averaging 4.3 yards per rush, so keeping the ball on the ground should keep the clock moving, allowing them less opportunity to lose. The lesson: trying produces errors, so don't try.
The New Mexico Lobos, lowliest member of the MWC (Mountain West Conference), enter the contest on an improvement streak that bares mentioning: a 35 point loss in week 1, a 34 point loss in week 2, and only a 24 point loss in week 3. If they could delay this game a couple of weeks, they'd assure themselves victory.
Team statistics of note: Quarterbacks Donovan Porterie and B.R. Holbrook are averaging about 4.6 yards per pass and have 0 touchdown passes; kicker James Aho has hit a couple of 40+ yard field goals; the team's average yards per carry: 3.4. Based on these figures, New Mexico can adopt a concurrent strategy: a) hope to complete one long pass per drive, then get the kicker lined up for his field goal attempt; and b) pray for New Mexico State to make a ton of mistakes. This latter strategic point will probably have more to do with victory than the former.
Prediction: As much as they shouldn't, I think New Mexico State will try, and thus lose. New Mexico 24, New Mexico State, 10.
(Also note that New Mexico is featured in this week's ESPN's "Bottom 10" by David Duffey. )