Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the New Mexico Lobos season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: New Mexico Lobos
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– New Mexico Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
It was all going so well.
Bob Davie had finally turned the program around with two straight winning seasons and a New Mexico Bowl victory to cap off a nine-win 2016 season.
The 2017 season was bad enough on the field, but that was nothing compared to what came next.
Following an investigation of Davie – brought on by accusations from a few former players – then-school president Chaouki Abdallah sent a letter to Davie, obtained by the Albuquerque Journal, detailing a slew of allegations ranging from racist remarks, to failing to properly report an alleged sexual assault by a player to the right university authorities, to a concern about player safety. It all led to a month-long suspension this offseason coming off a down year football-wise.
Davie still has a job, though.
There wasn’t a spring game, promotion of New Mexico football has been minimal, and all of the issues turned into a big problem in terms of the football team itself, at least in recruiting. To put it another way, Lobo football appears to be laying low for the moment.
So with all of that hanging over the program’s head, the football season is still going to happen. Now the players have to try to block out the distractions and try to turn the ship back around.
It all starts with doing what New Mexico football has done best under Davie – run the ball. The addition of former Arizona offensive coordinator Calvin Magee is an attempt to get the explosion of 2016 back for an offense that way okay, but not good enough on the ground.
Tevaka Tuioti is a good-looking, speedy quarterback, and the receivers are in place to start doing a wee more with the passing attack, but the running backs have to rise up and emerge around leading rusher Tyrone Owens.
The defense went from awful in the strong nine-win season to okay last year, and while the depth is lacking, the incoming JUCO transfers should help the cause. As long as the offense is back to form, the defense will get a break by being off the field for long stretches of time.
There isn’t enough of a pass rush, but the corners are good, the linebackers fine, and the potential is there to be better after melting down late and losing too many close games.
The 3-9 team of last season dropped three games against New Mexico State, Colorado State and UNLV in crushing fashion – the 2016 team had the ground game to have put games like that away.
Almost all of the tough conference games are at home, the starting 22 won’t be all that bad, and the potential is there to turn this around in a hurry and get back to a bowl game …
If all of the other more important issues get figured out first.