New Mexico Vs. New Mexico State Game Preview
New Mexico will hope to avoid a repeat of last year’s Rio Grande Rivalry game
New Mexico Will Look To Open The Season With Back To Back Wins
The Rio Grande Rivalry is renewed in week 2 when New Mexico plays host to their in-state rival, the New Mexico State Aggies.
The Aggies are coming off a six-point loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils on the road. Solid quarterback play from senior Tyler Rogers kept the game very close and gave Sun Devil fans a bit of a scare. Despite a sluggish first quarter, the Aggies were able to catch up to the high-powered Sun Devil offense.
Starting off slow has been a constant issue for the Aggies over the past couple seasons. They often find themselves down early and dig a hole too deep to climb out of. NMSU is most dangerous when they stay within a score of the opposing team. The Lobos will look to strike quick to force the Aggies to play catch-up for most the game.
In last year’s meeting, the Lobos gave up a late fourth quarter lead, by throwing an interception that lead to a game winning touchdown pass. The Lobos were up early in this matchup, but the Aggies still found a way to scratch and claw back into the game.
New Mexico State will be coming off extra rest having played ASU last Thursday. This will be the second consecutive game the Aggies have had to play on the road to open 2017.
Keys to victory:
1). To avoid a repeat of last season, the Lobos cannot give the Aggies easy opportunities for points. Giving the ball up late will have the same result as last season. New Mexico must play discipline football and not allow the Aggies to stick around because of self-inflicted wounds.
2). An aerial attack will be crucial for the Lobos in this game. Last week, senior quarterback Lamar Jordan threw for a career high 213 yards. This dual threat capability has the potential to score quickly and in chunks.
Capitalizing on an Aggie team that starts games out slow, UNM could put up several points early. A solid pass attack will cause defenders to stay deep, which will eventually open huge running lanes for the Lobo running backs.
3). Defensively, the Lobos must stop the pass. UNM gave up 240 yards passing, but only eight yards rushing in their victory against Abilene Christian.
The secondary made the adjustments necessary after a 99-yard drive put up by Abilene Christian; the same must be done in this game if the Aggies begin to click on offense. Against ASU, Rogers passed for 398 yards and three touchdowns on 40/57 passing. UNM will need to keep their foot on the pedal and avoid playing prevent defense; keep pressure on the quarterback and make the Aggies earn their points.
Final score prediction: New Mexico 41, New Mexico State 31