No. 17 Ohio State (6-2) finishes up their 2009 OOC schedule this week as they host the New Mexico State Aggies (3-5, 1-3) of the Western Athletic Conference. Kickoff is Saturday at 12:00PM in Ohio Stadium.
The Aggies are currently seventh in the WAC standings. They have beaten Prairie View A&M, New Mexico, and Utah State, and have lost to Idaho, UTEP, San Diego State, Louisiana Tech, and Fresno State.
New Mexico State—By The Numbers:
Quarterbacks Jeff Fleming (pictured at top right) and Trevor Walls have combined for 831 passing yards, 101 rushing yards, with four passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns, but also 11 interceptions.
Starting tailback Seth Smith has 162 carries for 703 yards and two scores.
The Aggies leading receivers are Todd Lee (18 receptions, 208 yards, one touchdown), Marcus Allen (18 receptions, 195 yards), and Marcus Anderson (18 receptions, 178 yards one touchdown).
Ohio State—By The Numbers:
Terrelle Pryor bounced back nicely last week against Minnesota and this week SHOULD be more of the same. He has completed 55 percent of his passes for 1408 yards and 12 touchdowns to nine interceptions, and his QB rating is up from 128 to 132.
OSU's top receiver is true sophomore DeVier Posey who had eight catches and two touchdowns last week to bring his season totals up to 38 catches, 516 yards, and six scores.
The Buckeyes top three rushers, Pryor, Brandon Saine, and Dan Herron have combined for 1138 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Dan Herron and Brandon Saine are both nursing injuries, so don't be surprised to see the trio of freshmen backs—Jordan Hall, Jermil Martin, and Jaamal Berry—in this game.
Ohio State's offense looked much better last week, but it was against a bad Minnesota defense. New Mexico State's "D" is likely even more pathetic so the half-century plateau is possible this week, even with the ultra-conservative Jim Tressel calling the plays.
TV: Big Ten Network
Ohio State—New Mexico State History and Tidbits:
• This will be the first ever meeting between Ohio State and New Mexico State in football.
• Ohio State is 46-2 in their last 48 home games vs. OOC opponents.
• Ohio State is 37-0 at home vs. non-BCS conference opponents, since 1990.
• Ohio State is 3-0 all-time vs. WAC opponents (SJSU once, Fresno State twice).
• The last Ohio State loss to a non-BCS opponent came in the 1990 Liberty Bowl (Memphis, Tennessee) against Air Force by a score of 23-11.
• New Mexico State's football program began in 1894.
• The Aggies have only played against two Big Ten teams all-time, losing both times to Wisconsin in Madison in 1962 by a score of 69-13, and to Iowa in Iowa City in 1995 by a score of 59-21.
• This is DeWayne Walker's first year as New Mexico State Head Coach after serving the past three seasons as UCLA's defensive coordinator.
• New Mexico State's last conference championship came in 1978 when the Aggies were members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
• New Mexico State has lost 12 straight to ranked opponents since a 35-7 win at No. 22 Arizona State back in 1999.
I usually post some keys to the game and/or recap the article at this point, but there's really not much else to say here except that anything less than a blowout will be a letdown for the Buckeyes.
Just to give everyone a baseline, New Mexico State lost its' last two WAC games, falling at home last week to 4-3 Fresno State by a score of 34-3, and on the road the week before to 3-4 La Tech by a score of 45-7.
Generally, the transitive property doesn't apply when it comes to college football, but if Fresno State can put up 34 in a 31-point win, and La Tech can put up 45 in a 38-point win, Ohio State better be able to put up 50+, despite how bad the Buckeye offense has looked at times this season.
Final score prediction:
Ohio State 55, New Mexico State 0