Preview 2017: New Mexico State Aggies

Preview 2017: New Mexico State Aggies

Teams & Conferences

Preview 2017: New Mexico State Aggies

Preview 2017: New Mexico State Aggies


Previewing and looking ahead at the New Mexico State Aggies season – and what you need to know.


Contact @PeteFiutak

2017 NMSU Preview: Can Aggies Go Out With A Bang?
2017 New Mexico State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
– New Mexico State Previews: 2016 | 2015

What You Need To Know About The New Mexico State Offense

Head coach Doug Martin is also the offensive coordinator, and he has a potentially dangerous attack coming back after cranking out a not-that-bad 415 yards per game.

But scoring was a problem.

Star RB Larry Rose III is back, but he wasn’t healthy throughout last year. If he’s in one piece, the Aggies have their weapon to work everything around. With four starters back up front – and young size ready to fill in the gaps – the running game will be solid.

Getting back Tyler Rogers – after he was granted a medical redshirt – is a big help for a quarterback situation that would’ve been fine without him. The QBs did a terrific job of spreading the ball around – seven Aggies caught 22 passes or more – with almost all of them back.

Biggest Key To The New Mexico State Offense

Score when the O gets the chance. The passing game needs to be more efficient and throw fewer picks, and keeping Rose and Rogers healthy would be a major plus. But the offense has to make sure it takes advantage of absolutely every opportunity, especially in the red zone.

NMSU scored a poor 74% of the time inside the 20, with pick after pick against Troy, and with misfires proving costly in close losses to Louisiana-Lafayette, Georgia Southern and South Alabama.

What You Need To Know About The New Mexico State Defense

It’s New Mexico State, so the defense is going to struggle. Once again, it was was a disaster – allowing close to 500 yards per game, having equal problems against both the run and the pass. However, it was an improvement after a worse 2015.

Leading tackler Rodney Butler is gone, but Dalton Herrington and Terrill Hanks make a slew of stops – combining for 216 last year. In all, 11 of the top 12 tacklers are back.

There’s a little bit of size up front, but it’ll take a rotation to keep everyone alive and fresh on the inside. However, with everyone back but Butler, experience won’t be a problem.

There has to be more of a pass rush – generating just 11 last season – but the secondary came up with 13 picks and the team did a nice job of taking the ball away. Now the Aggie D needs to come up with …

Biggest Key To The New Mexico State Defense

More third down stops. Again the D did a nice job of coming up with turnovers, but overall, it had a hard time getting off the field. Coming up with big plays on third downs has been a problem for years and years for the Aggies, but even for a defense that hasn’t been a rock, allowing close to 47% of conversions is at another level. Six times last season offenses were able to connect on half of their tries – or more.

New Mexico State Will Be Far Better If …

The special teams improve. NMSU has enough problems without stinking it up on special teams, netting just 33.5 yards per punt and not getting much of anything from the return game. On the plus side, PK Parker Davidson hit 15-of-19 field goals – but didn’t connect on five extra points. The kickoff return team gave up well over 26 yards per return, while the punt return team gave up 15.7 yards per try and four scores – that’s not a positive.

Best New Mexico State Offensive Player

RB Larry Rose III, Sr. – One of the underground secrets of 2015, the 5011, 190 pounder cranked out 1,651 yards and 14 scores, with 30 catches and two touchdowns. But last season he had a thigh injury to start to the campaign, and he wasn’t quite right. Even so, he ran for 865 yards and four scores, and caught 25 passes for 180 yards in just nine games.

When he’s right, he’s the Sun Belt’s most dangerous all-around weapons – he’ll get the ball in a variety of ways, as always.

2. QB Tyler Rogers, Sr.
3. C Anthony McMeans, Sr.
4. WR Gregory Hogan, Sr.
5. OT Sage Doxtater, Soph.

Best New Mexico State Defensive Player

S Jaden Wright, Sr. – One of the Sun Belt’s most dangerous playmakers when the ball was in the air, he picked off five passes – taking one for a score against Louisiana-Lafayette – along with 81 stops highlighted by a 15-tackle game against UTEP.

The 6-0, 215-pound veteran is like another linebacker against the run, turning into one of the league’s biggest hitters with four forced fumbles. The D might not have been all that great, but he was a positive standout.

2. LB Dalton Herrington, Sr.
3. LB Terrill Hanks, Jr.
4. DT Kortland Busby, Sr.
5. S Jacob Nwangwa, Sr.

Key Player To A Successful Season

DT Kortland Busby, Sr. – If the NMSU run defense is ever going to be any better, the tackles have to hold up. The 6-3, 255-pounder is like a linebacker playing tackle, but he’s an active defender inside, earning all-star mention. He came up with 44 tackles with a sack and 5.5 tackles for loss, but he and 290-pound Roy Lopez and 310-pound Drew James have to be solid.

The New Mexico State Season Will Be A Success If …

It pulls an Idaho. Everything worked out for the Vandals last season, with a veteran team able to rise up through all the adversity and get to a bowl game.

It’ll be tough to get to the post-season for the first time since 1960 with this schedule, but can the Aggies beat Idaho? Can they win at home against South Alabama and UTEP, and win at Texas State? After all its been through, the program deserves a lot of luck.

Key Game To The New Mexico State Season

Sept. 16 vs. Troy – Along with Idaho, Troy turned into one of the Sun Belt’s biggest surprises last season, beating New Mexico State along the way with a 52-6 drubbing. Can the Aggies return the favor in the Sun Belt opener? Do it, and all of a sudden, the Trojan season starts to look like it might be something interesting. There will be hope.

2016 New Mexico State Fun Stats

– Sacks: Opponents 36 for 232 yards – New Mexico State 11 for 76 yards
– Punt Return Average: Opponents 15.7 yards – New Mexico State 3.17
– Rushing Touchdowns: Opponents 31 – New Mexico State 13

2017 NMSU Preview: Can Aggies Go Out With A Bang?
2017 New Mexico State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
– New Mexico State Previews: 2016 | 2015

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