Learning How Not to Lose

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Eric
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Learning How Not to Lose

Postby Eric » Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:09 am

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=332990166

This is the recap of the Abilene Christian / New Mexico State game:

"LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- New Mexico State linebacker Trashaun Nixon tackled Abilene Christian wide receiver Taylor Gabriel at the 6 yard line to preserve the Aggies first win of the season, 34-29.

New Mexico State (1-7) trailed the FCS Wildcats at halftime, 22-21.

The Aggies took the lead in the fourth quarter on a pair of field goals from Maxwell Johnson and a 5-yard touchdown run by Germi Morrison to make it 34-22 with 2:32 left.

But Abilene Christian (5-4) rallied. John David Baker found Charcandrick West with a 5-yard touchdown pass with 19 second left and the Wildcats recovered an on-side kick.

After a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the kick-off and a 10-yard holding penalty, Abilene Christian had the ball at its own 21. On the final play Baker found Monte Green-Avery with a 59-yard pass, and a lateral to Gabriel collected another 14 yards before Nixon's tackle ended the threat."


Now, first off, Abilene Christian is not your ordinary FCS school. As a matter of fact, I have no idea how this game was even legally scheduled since this is the very beginning of ACU's transition into the FCS level. They are less than a year removed from Division II and, while 5-4, have losses to Pittsburg (sic) State and Tarleton State on their resume. It's hard to fathom how you, with your scholarship and general recruiting advantage, can let your program slide to the point where they are almost defeated by a Division II team if you are New Mexico State. But when I was watching this game, the Aggies kept asking for a less-talented team to find a way to beat them. They were begging for it. They should just count their lucky stars that Abilene Christian was a slightly above-average Division II team instead of a top 15-20 D2 team that could have really embarrassed them at home.

I guess the point I'm getting at is that I think wins like these, as unimpressive and weak as they are, can help in turning a program around. NMSU is miles away from being competitive even at a non-BCS level, but you have to start somewhere to break the losing attitude. A school like Southern Miss, who actually has talented athletes, has been so depleted by a culture of losing that they play like a team like New Mexico State. All it is going to take is a win or two and I think you start to build some semblance of confidence or some status where you can say, "well, we didn't lose every game." That statement won't allow your past failures to hang over your head and you can just move on and start relaxing. I think New Mexico State can start playing better football down the stretch of this season with a chance to beat Florida Atlantic and Idaho. Akron is another school that I still see is learning how to win games and their matchups against James Madison and Miami OH are good building blocks for 2014 (and I might project Akron as a potential bowl team next year).
Running bowl/MSU/OSU record '05-present: 9-27

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