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Commentary: Why NMSU Will Beat UNM

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Derek E. Gonzales

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Photo+by+Christian+Petersen%2FGetty+Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With kickoff just an hour away before NMSU (0-1) looks to knock off I-25 rival New Mexico (1-0), here are a few reasons why I think the Aggies will leave Albuquerque with their first win of the season.

 

NMSU will score 35+ points

Senior quarterback Tyler Rogers had an efficient night last Thursday against a Pac-12 defense, going 40 of 58 through the air for 398 yards. Though he did throw two interceptions that led to points for Arizona State, he will now face a UNM defense that needed to replace seven starters from a season ago. UNM defensive coordinator Bob DeBesse loves to bring pressure, and that will only allow for wideouts Jaleel Scott and Greg Hogan to make plays one-on-one against Lobo defensive backs, and based off of Scott’s 8-catch, 149-yard outing in week one, he will have another big night against UNM.

 

Aggie defense causes two turnovers

 

The UNM triple option produces one of the most potent rushing attacks in FBS football. The Lobos run that option out of the pistol and shotgun formations, modernizing a style of play that is a great fit for a football program that struggles to recruit talented skill position players. UNM quarterback Lamar Jordan is a dangerous runner, with the speed you need make the offensive scheme as effective as possible. With that being said, against ASU, NMSU had seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss. Linebacker Malik Demby lead the charge with 5.5 tackles for loss a couple of sacks. The Aggies will need to get into the backfield and put UNM in obvious passing situations, but I do believe the Aggies can force two turnovers. The pitch play may seem simple, but the Lobos will occasionally run into a miscommunication on the option and I think the Aggies will pounce on a couple fumbles.

 

Rose III runs for at least 125 yards

 

Off to a less-than-stellar start in his senior campaign, running back Larry Rose III will find success rushing the ball against the Lobos. The last time Rose visited Albuquerque in 2015, he ran for 260 yards on just 21 carries. Rose has added size to his frame and looked great running the ball between the tackles against ASU. Rose will have more space to operate and more opportunities, as I don’t believe NMSU will throw the ball remotely close to the 58 times they did a week ago. Expect a few running-back draw plays to allow that aggressive UNM defense to get up the field before handing the ball off to Rose with a field full of open space.

 

Prediction

 

UNM is a talented team that head coach Bob Davie has built from the ground up. He inherited a program that went 3-35 in the three seasons prior to his arrival, and last year led the Lobos to a 9-4 season that was capped off with a bowl win against UT-San Antonio. The Lobos lost a lot on both sides of the ball, and NMSU now plays a majority of upperclassmen that have seen the field before. That experience, along with the improved defense under defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani, and I believe NMSU knocks off the Lobos for the second-consecutive year.

 

NMSU 41, UNM 31

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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907
Commentary: Why NMSU Will Beat UNM