The 2018 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the New Mexico Lobos.
No. 127: New Mexico Lobos
New Mexico Prespring Status
Well, this …
And then, this …
Davie appealed his 30-day suspension, but it was rejected. New Mexico football is still moving forward with spring ball already underway, but the program has a whole lot of issues both on the field as well as off it.
The Lobos inexplicably collapsed over the second half of the season, losing seven straight with the offense struggling to find anything that worked.
As is, this was going to be a rocky offseason with the pressure on to quickly improve this spring. The Davie controversy obviously hasn’t helped.
However, this is still a fantastic coaching staff, the program is just a year removed from a nine-win season that finished off with a bowl victory, and the talent is there to rebound in a hurry.
New Mexico Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Running back. There’s a shift in offensive philosophy, but everything will still work around the ground game and the option.
Leading rusher Tyrone Owens is back, and JUCO transfer Ahmari Davis is coming in, but Richard McQuarley, Daryl Chestnut, Romell Jordan and QB Lamar Jordan are gone – those are four of the top five leading rushers.
The offensive style will make the players, and vice versa. Now who’s good enough to make the attack go in pre-2017 days?
New Mexico Biggest Issue
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. The Lobos couldn’t convert on third downs, and they were horrendous in the Red Zone on both sides of the ball, but the giveaways were the biggest problem.
They were among the worst in the nation in fumbles, losing 15 on the year and having a nightmare of a time with interceptions, giving up 14 on just 242 throws. On the year, the Lobos were -16 in turnover margin after being a -1 in 2016 and a +4 in 2015.
New Mexico Biggest Positive
The basics are still there. With new offensive coordinator Calvin Magee coming in, the offense should get a little bit of a spark with more big plays coming from the quarterbacks and with the ground game working – even with all the new running back parts.
As long as the offense can start figuring out the turnover problem, and if the defense can start coming up with a few more big plays, and if there’s a little bit of positive momentum early on, this might not be as bad a situation as it appeared at the end of last year. But ..
Really, Why Are The New Mexico Lobos Ranked Here?
There’s a whole lot going on.
With the way the team closed out last season, and with the new replacements on the offensive line, kickers, running backs and defensive back seven, the potential is there for this to be a rough run.
This should be a far better team than where it’s ranked here, but it needs to get through the spring first.