Like Karl Benson at his end-of-year conference review sessions, we have a lot of questions about New Mexico State. For instance, are you allowed to major in anything other than agriculture?
We have several football-related questions, too, and for help on those, we solicited Aggie blog Bleed Crimson to provide us with some answers. Polo Gutierrez believes the Q&A session would have gone better had the officials not made some really bad calls that Bleed Crimson couldn't deal with.
Begin interview ... now!
OBNUG: We fear we already know the answer to this, but we're going to ask it anyway. If you could have your choice between Chase Holbrook or any other quarterback in the WAC, whom would you choose and why?
Bleed Crimson: Being the homers that we are, we'd probably take Chase Holbrook because when he's got a pocket to throw from, he can make all the throws. A very, very, very close second would be Nevada's Colin Kapernick because that kid is a ridiculous talent.
OBNUG: Yes, he is. But we were talking about quarterbacks.
Moving on, we'd like to get your thoughts on Hal Mumme. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the Mumme era at New Mexico State.
BC: I'd rate it a solid 7. The first year and last year's injury-riddled campaign notwithstanding, the Aggies have been fairly competitive game to game. Plus, it's much more exciting to see the ball being tossed around the yard as opposed to "Option Left, Option Right," and we don't miss those 13-10 battles with the UL-U Pick 'Em teams (and they weren't 13-10 games because the defenses were good either).
OBNUG: A solid 7? Interesting. We were assuming a shaky 3.
We noticed that Saturday's game will be the Aggies' homecoming game. Why?
BC: I think if I'm not mistaken, most homecoming games happen in October. The problem for the Aggies is that they only had one October home game on the original schedule. Nicholls State was supposed to be our opener, but because of the hurricane it was canceled and Alcorn State was brought in to play our previously scheduled open date of October 4. Since the original schedule only had us playing one home date in October, which is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, that game was designated as the Tough Enough To Wear Pink game. So the next home date was Boise State on November 1. Plus it wouldn't make sense to have the homecoming game be against Hawaii (next week) because, well... we're playing you guys this week... at home.
OBNUG: Touche. Home games do make the best homecoming games.
Let's move on to the NMSU offense, and in particular, the running game. Two part question: a) who is running the ball for the Aggies and b) does it matter?
BC: A) Running back by committee. Marquell Colston is injured, so Coach Mumme is probably gonna give our freshman running back Donavan Woods (#6) a shot this week.
B) It definitely matters, if we can get a good run game going it will help negate the blitz and force teams out of the "rush four, drop seven" schemes that we're seeing from teams like Idaho (or as they started doing towards the end of the game, rush two, drop nine).
OBNUG: Good point. You did lose to Idaho.
WR Chris Williams is still playing, huh. Guess he's like the Ian Johnson of New Mexico State. Agreed?
BC: Yup. Still playing. It seems like those two have been around forever and I'm sure that both Hal and Chris would love it if they could stick around for a couple more years, too (although I'm guessing Chrissy is probably ready for Ian to start earning some real money).
OBNUG: Yes, the offseason plumbing gravy train is not what it used to be.
But enough about offense, let's discuss defense. What does NMSU do well on defense, and who's mostly responsible for whatever they're doing well?
BC: If you would have asked us this question last year the answer would have been, "Not much." Different year, different defensive coordinator, better defense. The Aggies are pretty good against the pass this year and unlike defenses from years gone by, they're forcing turnovers (in fact, they've forced at least one in each of the first seven games).
OBNUG: That does not sound like the New Mexico State we know. Perchance you are confusing them with another New Mexico State?
Last one: Is Chase Holbrook's dad available for guest blogging at other blogs or is he pretty committed to you guys?
BC: I think so, I'll get in touch with him and see if he is.