Preview 2018: New Mexico State Aggies. Independence Will Work Just Fine

Preview 2018: New Mexico State Aggies. Independence Will Work Just Fine

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: New Mexico State Aggies. Independence Will Work Just Fine

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What You Need To Know About The New Mexico State Defense

– Defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani returns a loaded group that will live behind the line. New Mexico State will never have a brick wall of a D, and it’ll always get pounded on by good running teams, but with nine starters returning, it should be the best yet in the Doug Martin era.

– It all starts with the pass rush. The Aggies sold out to get behind the line, and it showed with 43 tackles and 96 tackles for loss, and most of the production is back. LB Dalton Herrington is gone, but all four starters are back up front including Cedric Wilcots on the outside and Ray Lopez in the interior. It’s a relatively thin line depth-wise, but there’s size.

Terrill Hanks will be the main terror at outside linebacker, and there’s speed in the other spots, but and fifth-leading tackler Lui Fa’amasino should be able to replace Herrington in the middle.

Qui bono? Who benefits from the pass rush? Even with the devastating pass rush, the Aggies got hit for big passes over and over again. Three starters return in the defensive backfield that picked off 16 passes, but when it was off, it got hit hard.

NMSU allowed 250 yards or more eight times, but also intercepted two passes or more in five games. Star safety Jaden Wright is done, but the rest of the secondary is back.

Biggest Key To The New Mexico State Defense

About those sacks, spread them out. Yeah, the Aggies were second in the nation with those 43, but 32 of them came in four games. Five times, NMSU finished with a sack or didn’t come up with one. Still, for a defense that generated just 11 sacks in 2016, and hit Idaho with 11 last year, it’s all good. It would be nice, though, to be a wee more consistent.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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