Preview 2017: New Mexico Lobos

Preview 2017: New Mexico Lobos

Teams & Conferences

Preview 2017: New Mexico Lobos

Preview 2017: New Mexico Lobos


Previewing and looking ahead at the South Alabama Jaguars season – and what you need to know.


Contact @PeteFiutak

2017 New Mexico Preview: Can Lobos Ever Win The MW?
2017 New Mexico Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
– New Mexico Previews: 2016 | 2015

What You Need To Know About The New Mexico Offense

As always, the running game is going to be devastating, while the passing attack will be along for the ride. 

Lamar Jordan is back under center to run the attack, and while he can hit his share of throws, he’s like another running back.

With touchdown machine Richard McQuarley back after blasting for 18 scores, and with Tyrone Owens returning after running for close to 1,000 yards, the nation’s No. 1 rushing attack that averaged 350 yards per game should keep on going.

No, the passing game isn’t going to do much, but it has to be efficient. Jordan can do that, and the home-run hitting receivers are in place to do what they’re supposed to – come up with the one or two big plays a game to take advantage of defenses cheating up against the run.

Guard Aaron Jenkins will anchor another good line that knows how to wall things off and get the backfield moving. This will be a mix of a power attack and a speed game, but with the backfield returning, look out.

Biggest Key To The New Mexico Offense

Lamar Jordan had better stay in one piece. Last season, Jordan rotated with Austin Apodaca, a better passer but not as much of a runner. Apodaca graduated, so it was supposed to be up to JaJuan Lawson to be a part of the mix – but he’s transferring.

Now the Lobos have to hope and pray the untested Tevaka Tuioti and Arizona State transfer Coltin Gerhart can be ready. Jordan isn’t all that big and isn’t built to take a beating – the backups might have to save the season at some point.

What You Need To Know About The New Mexico Defense

Uh oh. In all, nine of the top tacklers are gone.

The Lobos came up with a decent season defensively, allowing fewer than 400 yards per game, but they didn’t come up with enough picks – just eight – and got hit for too many big plays. Now they have to replace four starters in the secondary, both starting linebackers, and three of the four starters up front.

Kimmie Carson is a veteran linebacker who’s good enough to hold his own for a rebuilding front four, while Garrett Hughes is a decent enough pass rusher to start with.

Getting more plays in the backfield is a must, and the secondary has to come together quickly with road dates at Boise State and Tulsa early on. Most of all …

Biggest Key To The New Mexico Defense

The secondary has to hold up better and do more big things. It was way, way too easy for the decent passing games to crank up big deep plays, with the Lobos allowing 8.4 yards per pass. They were hit for ten yards or more per throw four times and allowed two touchdown passes or more eight times.
New Mexico was 6-0 when it picked off a pass, 3-4 when it didn’t. Over the last two seasons, the Lobos are 12-1 when they come up with an interception.

New Mexico Will Be Far Better If …

The punt coverage team needs to be stronger. Corey Bojorquez had a great year, averaging over 42 yards per kick and putting 12 of his 49 kicks inside the 20. However, he’s got to work better with the overall punt coverage team that allowed 8.5 yards per try.

The Lobos weren’t all that bad, but after finishing 17th in the country in net punting in 2015, they were 97th last year. Since field position means everything to them, they’ve got to keep teams consistently pinned deep.

Best New Mexico Offensive Player

QB Lamar Jordan, Sr. – Can he turn into Lamar Jackson-lite? He’s only 5-10 and 178 pounds, but he’s lightning-quick, rushing for 739 yards and three scores, while hitting 53% of his passes for 681 yards and six scores with four picks.

Brilliant late in the season, he ran for 176 yards in the win over Wyoming, and 81 yards in the bowl win over UTSA. Even better, he connected on 7-of-9 throws for 199 yards and a score in the last two games. He’s not going to bomb away, but he’ll connect on his opportunities.

2. RB Tyrone Owens, Jr.
3. RB Richard McQuarley, Sr.
4. OG Aaron Jenkins, Jr.
5. WR Q’ Drennan, Soph.

Best New Mexico Defensive Player

DE Garrett Hughes, Sr. – The all-star pass rusher has to be a leader and a star up front after making 28 tackles with 6.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. He’s a squatty 6-1 and 264 pounds, but he’s quick off the ball and he’s good enough against the run to be a factor on one side. Now he needs to hit the quarterback even more.

2. LB Kimmie Carson, Sr.
3. LB Alex Hart, Jr.
4. CB Jadon Boatright, Sr.
5. P Corey Bojorquez, Sr.

Key Player To A Successful Season

CB Jadon Boatright, Sr. – The 5-11, 181-pounder needs to be the leader and star of a rebuilding secondary that needs to replace everyone – and was bad last year. He picked off a pass for a score, and he made 27 tackles, but he had a shoulder injury in spring ball. When he’s right, he has to lock down one side.

The New Mexico Season Will Be A Success If …

The Lobos come up with another winning season and bowl appearance. That might not sound like much, but with just two starters returning on defense, it would still be a nice accomplishment. The Lobos went to three straight bowls from 2002 to 2004 and have only been to 12 bowl games. This year, getting to 7+ wins and a bowl would make for a great year.

Key Game To The New Mexico Season

Sept. 16 at Boise State – The Lobos will know where they stand in the Mountain division race right from the start. Lose in Boise, and it’ll be an uphill climb with road games at Wyoming and San Diego State to deal with in conference play.

Win, and all of a sudden, they’re the leaders of the divisional pack. The last time they played the Broncos on the blue turf? They won 31-24 two years ago – it can be done.

2016 New Mexico Fun Stats

– Time of Possession: New Mexico 33:55 – Opponents 26:05
– Rushing Yards Per Game: New Mexico 350 – Opponents 172.5
– Penalties: New Mexico 82 for 737 yards – Opponents 61 for 544 yards

2017 New Mexico Preview: Can Lobos Ever Win The MW?
2017 New Mexico Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
– New Mexico Previews: 2016 | 2015

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