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Pregame Guesses: New Mexico State Aggies Edition

One last look at the Nebraska game and a look ahead to the NMSU contest

Eric Francis

Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer - Live CBGB (1977) (via Patricia Fulg)

(This week’s video is Sonic Reducer, performed by The Dead Boys live at CBGBs. I never saw the Dead Boys personally, though I have some friends who caught them at The Whiskey in the late 70s. I have seen a lot of bands cover Sonic Reducer in their live shows. I chose this video because I saw the new movie "CBGB" last week. It’s good, they did it tongue in cheek instead of making it all serious. There are some really good recreations of performances by Television, Blondie, Talking Heads, The Ramones and Patti Smith. But the musical stars of the movie are The Dead Boys, the Cleveland punk rock band that imploded after a couple of albums Justin Bartha plays Stiv Bators and he pretty much nails it, right down to the way Bators used to wrap the mic chord around his neck and hang himself from beams in the rafters. Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter movies does a pretty good Cheetah Chrome. I’m proud to say note that I own an original Sonic Reducer 45, complete with awesome picture sleeve. If you don’t know what a 45 is, you’re too young and you missed out. Sorry.)

I started writing this column at halftime of the Nebraska game –the thoughts and feelings that follow are raw … no editing.

"The thing that has been on my mind all first half is how much we’re missing Jetski right now. I noted something like this in the first half game thread and someone else noted that the offensive line was not opening any holes"

"Fair enough, but on the other hand, I see Jordan James dancing and stutter stepping on almost every carry. And that’s just something that Franklin and Coleman didn’t do last year. Even when there were no holes, they seemed to at least hit the line hard. When you do that, eventually you find a crease and make a play. I thought the graduation of our 2013 running back tandem was downplayed a bit too much during the offseason "

"Just so you know, Jetski had over 200 yards on the ground against Nebraska last season"

"I noticed that we outgained Nebraska in the first half. But some say a turnover is worth 50 yards, so when you add in the interception Hundley threw on the first possession and the messed up punt by Sean Covington, we’re really down about a hundred yards in total offense through two quarters"

"I’ve also been thinking about what I wrote in yesterday’s Pregame Guesses, that we look better than we were last year and Nebraska looked not as good and I added that up to us winning the game. I’m not giving up – shoot a stop on the first drive and a touchdown by us and it’s a ballgame again, but I am prepared to eat some corn-fed crow this week. We’ll see"

"One other thought is that we took Kai Forbath and Jeff Locke for granted. Kai’imi Fairbairn and Covington might still turn out to be good kickers, but at the moment, they aren’t giving us what their predecessors did"

"Another thing – and it’s just a reaction (and maybe an overreaction) but through six quarters of football this season, I haven’t noticed Anthony Barr as much as I thought I would. Yes, YES, he made a crucial play, a play not many players could make on that knocked down shovel pass that resulted in a 20 yard loss (and I think we held on the drive and got our only touchdown on the ensuing possession), but for some reason I thought he’d make more of an impact, always on the quarterback, making or getting in on more tackles. Maybe he is making an impact, but I’m just not seeing it. Someone, please correct me if I’m wrong"

"On the plus side, Cassius Marsh is way better than he was last year. Myles Jack is as advertised. Eddie Kendrick and Jordan Zumwalt are studs"

"Third quarter is crucial as we are with the considerable wind -- let’s see what happens."

Third quarter begins:

"Naturally, a few minutes after I typed that paragraph above, Marsh limped off."

"Needed that stop on the first drive – we are with the wind this quarter."

"I keep thinking over and over at different points in the game things like "if we score here and come back it will show what we’re made of, it will be one for the record books, a game no one will ever forget "I guess I’ve got a thing for the dramatic."

"Naturally, Jordan James does that on his first and second carries after I wrote what I wrote above."

"And then Paul Perkins catches a pass for a big gain. This might be reverse-jinxing at a Nestor-like level. Maybe pound them a bit with Malcolm Jones?"

"Reminder to myself: We missed two field goals so far and at the moment we’re down four."


"Calm the fuck down, Achilles."

"QB draw for nice yards, great tackle by Nebraska’s #1.""

"(I’m so torn right now. I want to put the computer down and get into the game "but maybe it’s because I’m typing that we’re starting to move the ball. But I’m not superstitious. I don’t think.)"


"Shoot, now I might have to keep taking notes the rest of the game. Good think it was a 9am kickoff. It’s 11:29 in the morning at 6:02 to go in the third quarter and I am stone-cold sober. If this game had kicked off at 1pm I’m be far too soused to type. "

Someone just posted this:


"Wow – dropped pass by Nebraska’s #82. Martinez not happy at all. Would have been a first down, instead it’s a Husker punt ... and a crappy punt at that."

"Payton’s helmet just came off after a nice catch""

"Hundley "finds a seam" – thanks Sean McDonough."

"HUGE roughing the passer penalty – leading with his facemask "... fans booing are wrong, you have to at least try and tackle."

"TOUCHDOWN PHILIP RUHL. And if you had told me before the season that Philip Ruhl would average a touchdown a game, I would have said "Who’s Philip Ruhl?""

"He might be a good coach, but if I were a Nebraska fan I might have trouble rooting for Bo Pellini ... he’s bitching about an obvious call."

"Myles Jack ... Myles Jack ... Myles Jack ""

"Fake punt ... depends on the spot ... SHORT!!!"

"Randall Goforth really sold out against a huge o-lineman on that fake punt."

"Huge pass to Evans "nice run by Jordan James "touchdown pass to Nate Iese""

"I’m calling this right here as an original thought: The 28 straight points we’ve scored this quarter match the 28-0 lead I referenced in the 1988 game. If someone else mentions this between now and when this publishes – I had it first. "

"It’s 38-21 UCLA right now."

"That’s a 28 point quarter and "The Bruins take a 17-point lead into the fourth quarter.""

"Fourth quarter notes: "

"That kid looked open for Nebraska the whole play. Abdullah is pretty good."

"Epenesa sack. "

"Anthony Barr (see above) just knocked the ball loose and Anthony Jefferson recovered the fumble."


"Just wow."

"Need to pick up a few first downs here and just get some time off of the clock. Points would be great, but time might be even more important "no matter what let’s get the clock under 10 minutes here."

"Nebraska looks gassed on defense. Stunned, too."

"Jordan James (see above) is now over 100 yards this game."

"My son just said we should fake It here and I was thinking the same thing. We punted. "

"38-21 with 9:19 to go."

"Son: Myles Jack is a beast. Son is right. "

"Myles Jack again. He reminds me a lot of Carnell Lake. A lot."

"It’s really quiet in the Nebraska stands. "

"Except for when they boo a roughing the passer penalty. It was not a good call. We got a break."

"P12 refs are doing this game by the way."

"I’m feeling like this game is one where we might say that Brett Hundley’s teammates picked him up instead of the other way around. He’s not been great today. He’s been good, but not dominating. And that’s okay. "

"I’m burning out on note taking ... but that was a really nice run by Malcolm Jones. Nebraska is done and they know it."

"What a win."

"Notes end here. 38-21 at 3:45 to go."

There you go. Looking back (and I'm watching a replay of the Dodgers clinching the division as I write the rest of this on Thursday night) you can see why you should never post anything too definitively until a game is finished. I noted in a post earlier in the week that the lesson from the Nebraska game is that you football games are 60 minutes long.

I think it's funny to look at what I wrote about guys like Anthony Barr and Jordan James midway through the game. After I noted that Barr wasn't doing a thing, I think he went on to cause three fumbles and get named National Defensive Player of the Week. James started breaking off chunks of yardage.

It's funny to still be looking at the Nebraska game on Friday. GBruin wrote in the immediate aftermath of the game that it was "the single best win in history of Bruin football." And as he laid out his case and I read the post earlier in the week I found myself nodding. It was a great post that made some great points.

Days later, I'm not sure if I agree with him or not. I've said this so many times you're all sick of it, but I personally saw three Rose Bowl wins and a Fiesta Bowl win. I've seen us beat SC. I saw us beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. it's very difficult for me to call any one of these "the single best."

Maybe I, maybe we, just need some more time and more perspective to judge exactly what it all means. If we keep winning and the Nebraska game is understood to be some sort of catalyst or turning point for the program, then maybe. But if we don't, then well, who knows? I mean, 13-9 could have been the greatest ever, if we had turned some corner and that came was the pivot point. But we didn't and it didn't.

I think the thing that's nagging at me is that I just don't think Nebraska is all that good. They are going to lose more games once they hit their conference schedule. We played poorly for about 18 or 19 minutes, then Hundley made that scramble play and everyone woke up and we blew them out. If Hundley had done that on the first series, if he had not come out tight and thrown that early pick, it wouldn't have been a great comeback, it just would have been a good win against a good but far, far from great team.

Anyway, it's not my intent to debate what G wrote nor is it my intent to downplay what the game meant or what it meant to the family of Nick Pasquale and how "winning it for Nick" plays into the ranking of UCLA's greatest wins. I'm just noting that as the week has gone on and as the emotions have subsided a bit my perspective on the win has evolved and I suspect that it will continue to morph as time passes.

Next up: New Mexico State

There's a New Mexico? (via fuckthatdontneedone)

There's a new Mexico (via fuckthatdontneedone)

Yes, there is a New Mexico (State).

I suspect we scheduled this game as a favor to our former defensive coordinator Dwayne Walker. Walker, of course, resigned his position as the Aggies head coach to become the defensive backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That doesn't say much about the NMSU job -- that someone would rather be a position coach with the worst team in the NFL than the head coach in Las Cruces. No offense, Aggies fans, that's just the reality.

It's tough to know what to say about this game. We're like six touchdown favorites. The best we can hope for is an early lead and a chance to play the reserves in the fourth quarter. I'd like to see us keep things simple, run up the score and get the hell out of Pasadena with everyone healthy.

Oh yeah ... one other thing: It would be nice to get out of the gate fast. if the Nevada and Nebraska games had anything in common is that we were much better as the game wore on -- which is another way of saying we weren't all that great early in either contest.

Other than that, what is there to say. I plan to arrive early and probably leave early, since it's a night game and all. A win would make us 6-1 in non-conference games under Jim Mora, with a bye coming up before conference season gets under way.

See you next week.

With that, here are your Pregame Guesses, New Mexico State Aggies edition:

  1. How much time will be left in the game when Jerry Neuheisel takes over to finish out the game?
  2. Who will lead UCLA in tackles?
  3. Will Jordan James' rushing yards break 150?