New Mexico Football: Preview Of The New Mexico State Aggies
New Mexico football looks to avenge last seasons heart-breaking loss to the New Mexico State Aggies in week two
New Mexico Football Will Emphasize Finishing In This Years Meeting
The New Mexico Lobos will look to avenge last season’s heartbreaking loss when they square off against the New Mexico State Aggies. In 2016, the Lobos and the Aggies put on an amazing show that featured a finish which came down to the last minutes.
The Lobos held the lead for most of the game, until a late interception thrown by UNM quarterback Austin Apodaca proved to be the momentum swinger for New Mexico State. The Aggies held on to win 32-31.
The Aggies are coming off a second consecutive 3-9 finish and went 2-6 in conference play.
NMSU has not played in a bowl game since 1960 and has not had a winning season since 2002 when they went 7-5. Despite this, the Aggies and Lobos play each other with some of the most hard hitting intensity that college football rivalries have to offer.
The Aggies have yet to find a real identity to lead the team offensively or defensively. They will often find themselves down in games early with very high hills to climb. If the Aggies want to pull another upset like they did last season against UNM, they must come out the gates swinging.
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Mascot: Pistol Pete
Conference: Sun Belt
NMSU will be leaving the conference following the 2017 season. Football is the only sports program from the school in the Sun Belt conference.
2016 Record: 3-9, 2-6 in conference
Head Coach: Doug Martin will be headed into his fifth run as Aggies head coach. In his four years with the team, Martin has gone a lackluster 10-38. He’s been involved with the team since 2011, when he was offensive coordinator under head coach DeWayne Walker.
Martin had previously spent seven years as head coach at Kent State with a record of 29-53. There is no doubt that Martin could very well be on the hot seat this season if the Aggies cannot get some wins together.
RB Larry Rose III
This is going to be a game won by sheer power and grit. Senior running back Larry Rose III must put this offense on his back to carry the Aggies to a win. Rose rushed for a team-leading 865 yards in just nine games in 2016 and also had an impressive 5.4 yards per carry average. Rose is a dynamic threat coming out of the backfield, too, hauling in 25 passes last season to go along with 180 yards.
With some losses to the Lobos defense, Rose could have a field day running and catching the ball. In last year’s meeting, he did not see any playing time due to an injury. When healthy, he has shown the ability to strike and run downhill with his 5’11,” 195-pound frame. With a passing game that has struggled in recent years, running the ball effectively should be the main focus for the Aggies. Rose is the leader of this offense, and will need to have a 100-yard day if the Aggies want to stun the Lobos in Albuquerque.
DB Jaden Wright
Senior defensive back Jaden Wright will need to play lockdown defense to slow a talented Lobo offense. Aside from covering wide outs, Wright has tremendous closing speed to bring down backs in the running game. He was able to total up 81 tackles last season and lead the team in both interceptions and forced fumbles. He was able to total five interceptions in five different games along with his four forced fumbles.
Wright started all 12 games last season and showed great consistency throughout the season. In last years meeting, he was only able to rack up five tackles for the entire game, but expect to see much more of an impact this year.
The six-foot-tall senior will have to lead his team in playing smart disciplined football. He is a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball and can shift momentum in a heartbeat. Creating scoring opportunities for your offense is one way to knock off your in-state rival.
The Lobos are going to show off a much more explosive offense this year and it could hit the Aggies hard. If the Lobos begin to shoot themselves in the foot, however, the Aggies will capitalize and could steal their way to another victory. NMSU could run up and down the field against a Lobo defense hurt by graduations this year. UNM will need to keep the Aggie rushing yards to a minimum if they want to win. Additionally, the Lobos will have to learn their lesson from last season and not make any costly mistakes late in the game.
It would be a surprise if a Lobo team coached by Bob Davie allows the rival Aggies to come into Albuquerque and win. After blowing leads to both NMSU and Rutgers last season, Coach Davie expressed an emphasis on completing games. The Lobos should be able to get out to a quick start and not slow down.
The Aggies will create opportunities for themselves throughout the game, but the Lobos offense will still be too much to handle. UNM will play much better in this year’s rivalry game and will start the season 2-0.
New Mexico 34, New Mexico State 20.