In The Dig: The New Mexico State Aggies are flying high as they knocked off the Big 10's Minnesota Golden Gophers on the road Saturday. It looks like the Aggies have finally found a quarterback. Meanwhile, the UTEP Miners look set to start redshirt frosh Jay Hall as Nick Lamaison is out with a shoulder injury.
It's Battle of 1-10 Week and No Better Way to Kick it Off Than with an All- Miner and Aggie Daily Dig.....
The Starter: Bret Bloomquist reports that redshirt freshman Jay Hall will be UTEP's starting quarterback until Nick Lamaison returns from his shoulder injury. Hall was a star at Skyline High School in Dallas.
No Miner Rush: Double B also has a stat that tells the story of UTEP's rushing struggles.
Counting six sacks and seven scrambles as attempted passing calls, UTEP called 13 running plays (those went for 49 yards) and 60 passing plays. In the first half, UTEP had five rushes from its tailbacks, the fewest in a half since it had three in a loss to Memphis in the second half of the 2006 finale.
The Highlights: What a Win for the Aggies
The Signature Win: Nobody thinks that Minnesota is a powerhouse. Nobody thinks that they are a Big 10 contender. But that doesn't really mean a thing. When your program has struggled the way NMSU's has over the last decade, this is absolutely a signature win that the school and head coach Dewayne Walker needed. With UTEP losing their starting QB and NMSU coming off their biggest win in recent memory, there is a new level of buzz around the Battle of 1-10. First of all, expect a sellout.
Saturday's 28-21 road triumph over Minnesota could sell an extra 10,000 tickets to next weekend's rivalry tilt against UTEP - expect a sellout at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
Manley finished the game 20-for-31 for 288 yards and three touchdowns. He completed passes to nine different receivers with Taveon Rogers leading the way with four catches for 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Just one week after rushing for only six yards as a team, the Aggies racked up 133 yards on the ground as Robert Clay ran 20 times for 97 yards and one touchdown. Victor Johnson rushed eight times for 27 yards. The Aggies out gained the Gophers 421-419 and had 25 first downs to the Gophers' 22
Red Hot Start: Manley opened up the game by completing his first eleven passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns. Insanity.
Manley was red-hot early on — 11-for-11, 176 yards, three TDs — and the team flashed its weapons — Rogers deep, Todd Lee short and Robert Clay chugging hard on the ground.
Strong as Clay? Aggie RB Robert Clay had a monster game against the Gophers as well.
Manley had help from Robert Clay, who rushed 20 times for 97 yards and a touchdown. Taveon Rogers had 88 yards receiving and two scores. "That was a glimpse of what type of football team we can have, and it was good to see our guys come out today and just pick up where we left off," said Walker, who declined to make his players available for interviews out of respect to Kill.
Somber End: Minnesota coach Jerry Kill suffered a seizure in the final moments of the Aggies win. The Daily Gopher has the story and reaction from Minnesota's fan base. Aggie Coach Dewayne Walker used to play college football at Minnesota, you know the Aggies felt for the Gophers coach.
What an incredibly scary moment as the stadium instantly became eerily silent. After several minutes Coach Kill was carted off the field and the Gopher offense was facing a 4th and 10 with 20 seconds remaining, down a touchdown. Just a bizarre situation where football quickly became meaningless as thoughts and prayers went out to Jerry Kill and his family.