New Mexico State Aggie Football: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

I’ve seen the phrase many times, a humorous joke from the business world about the difficulty in motivating those who are not succeeding.
Then I found a nice little song that riffed off the concept, so we’ll roll with that because why not.

I walked the road from Tucson to San Antonio
With the smell of blood on my breath

The Aggies defense probably feels like they’ve had to walk that 868 miles from Tuscon to San Antonio with the amount of work they’ve had to put in through three games.
The Aggie offense, not including “end-of-half” drive burps, has had 44 possessions through three games; twenty-seven of those have lasted 95 seconds or less, and only one has produced points – the one that started on the Minnesota 12 after a turnover.
The defense stopped Utah State and held them to a field goal on six different occasions, including three times on drives that started across midfield and still surrendered 46 points.

Ninety days of sweat and dirt feels like one night
When you’ve got nothing left

“Especially on the offensive side, when we have a bad play or a bad drive or a couple of things go wrong, our guys do not respond to that right now,” NM State head coach Doug Martin said. “We have talked to them in practice about it. We had it this week when a couple of bad plays and it turned into 10 more bad plays because they can’t flip the switch and go on to the next play.

We are not playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

That is pretty clear on the offensive side of the ball. It’s important for this offense to remember that a game isn’t won or lost on a single play, but it can become true if you believe it. A self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
This is certainly not a team that’s got nothing left, unless you mean that they’re a team with nothing left to lose.
Coach Doug Martin’s quote above is very telling, as he has always talked about wanting a team that plays with an edge. Instead he has a team that appears to be playing ON edge right now, afraid of making mistakes.

“This team is having a hard time handling last year’s success. That is just the fact. There is a mentality that we are not playing with that we had before. Until we get that back, we are going to struggle.”

This team has been “auditioning for a new conference” for some time now, and thanks to clever scheduling has started off with an audition for the Mountain West conference that has not gone well.
Granted, Wyoming and Utah State are two of the better teams in the conference and will likely be near the top by season’s end. An inability to beat the best isn’t a death sentence, or San Jose State, Hawai’i and UNLV would have been voted off the island long ago.
But it makes for a rough start.
I’ll drink whiskey instead of water
‘Cause I can’t stand to be sober in this place
I don’t think it’s time for the return of the AggieVision Drinking Game (RIP), but there is a positive spiral to be had. If the offense can get their act together on the line, then the quarterback can worry less about scrambling for his life and more about scrambling to make things happen and generate momentum.
If the defense can finish getting healthy then they can finally resume last season’s blueprint, including a pressure that can generate more opportunities and points that just aren’t available right now.
There is nowhere to go but up, and hopefully that climb begins Saturday against New Mexico.

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