2008 New Mexico State Aggies Football Preview
NMSU 2007 Record: (4-9, 1-7)
2007 Bowl: none
New Mexico State Head Coach: Hal Mumme (8-29 at New Mexico, 105-93-1 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Gary Goff and Matt Mumme
Defensive Coordinator: Joe Lee Dunn
Returning Leaders for NMSU:
Other Key Returnees: DE Rhyan Anderson, C Richie Bolin, LB Jamar Cotton, LB La’Auli Fonoti, G Polo Gutierrez, WR A.J. Harris, WR Wes Neiman, FB Brandon Perez, G Chuck Taylor, CB Chris Woods
Key Losses: CB Alex Bernard, RB Justin Buries, WR Nick Cleaver, WR Derek Dubois, OT James Farrelly, LB Dante Floyd, K Jared Kaufman, DT Ray Manumaleuna, OT Mike Martinez, DT Brandon McKinney, DE Maurice Murray
New Mexico State is slowly building a winner in Las Cruces. But before they can start thinking about bowl games, the Aggies need a big win. Two of the team’s four wins last season were against FCS teams and one of the others was against Idaho. The team got close against Nevada, Fresno State and New Mexico, but they need to get over the hump.
New Mexico State's Strengths:
And the offense certainly has enough fire power to pull off at least a mild upset. Quarterback Chase Holbrook threw for 3,866 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. With receivers A.J. Harris, Wes Neiman and Chris Williams back, the passing game will once again be among the best in the nation. Williams is Holbrook’s favorite target and nearly averaged 100 yards per game. Coach Hal Mumme will not get away from the pass happy attack, but the running game could be emphasized a little more this year. Junior college transfers Marquell Colston and Seth Smith will join returnees Tonny Glynn and Jeremiah Williams in the battle for carries. If one, or more, of the backs can at least make the opposition think that they might run occasionally, it will open up some space for the talented receivers.
New Mexico State's Weaknesses:
The problem with this team is the defense. The biggest concern over the last few years has been getting pressure on the quarterback. While the sack numbers did improve a little bit last season, it was not enough to make a big difference and the unit still ranked near the bottom of the conference in every major defensive category. The sacks should come a little easier under new coordinator Joe Lee Dunn. Dunn will turn a defense that tried not to make mistakes into a defense that will be very aggressive. The pressure will be a positive result of that, and so will turnovers, but is the secondary talented enough to cover teams in the pass happy WAC? Safety Derrick Richardson is the best player on defense, but corners Davon House and Chris Woods could be in for a long year.
The Bottom Line for the Aggies:
A little improvement with the defense could be enough to move NMSU into a bowl bid. As long as the offense clicks and puts up the numbers they are capable of, the Aggies will finally win a shoot-out or two. The schedule is not as nice as it was last year, but if they can get over that hump and find a few upsets, stretching to six wins is a possibility.
2007 New Mexico State Aggies Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 91.54 (109th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 331.92 (5, 2)
Total Offense: 423.46 (35, 4)
Scoring Offense: 24.00 (87, 5)
Rushing Defense: 168.00 (75, 6)
Pass Defense: 261.92 (105, 8)
Total Defense: 429.92 (94, 8)
Scoring Defense: 36.23 (107, 8)
Turnover Margin: -1.15 (113, 9)
Sacks: 1.85 (73, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.15 (67, 5)
By Joel Welser
Check out all of the 2008 college football previews online through College Sports Fans.
2008 WAC Football Preview
Copyright 2005-2009, CollegeSports-fans.com and the Dash Fans Network of Independent College Sports Fan Sites.