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2013 New Mexico State
Schedule and Odds
New Mexico State is one of two teams -- Idaho is the other -- playing independently this season before entering the Sun Belt next year. Also like Idaho, the Aggies have a new head coach to begin the transition. Doug Martin was a former offensive coordinator with NMSU, but his only other previous head coaching job came at Kent State for seven seasons. He was actually set to be the OC again, until the former head coach resigned and went to the NFL.
The Aggies only had one win last year because they allowed a ton of points. They also lost to fellow one-win team, Idaho, who they will be playing again this year in the season finale. Offensively, eight starters return so Martin has a nice core to work with. Martin plans to continue the spread offense, but in a quicker, no-huddle attack. Andrew Manley returns at QB, although he doesn't exactly have the job locked down as he isn't the quickest player. No matter who is at QB, they will have Austin Franklin to throw to. Franklin torched opponents last year with Manley throwing to him, catching 74 balls for 1,245 yards and nine TDs. Also returning is running back Germi Morrison, but NMSU hasn't been much of a running team in recent years. The offensive line returns four starters which should help in the no-huddle.
Like many low-level teams, the Aggies lack on the defensive end, giving up close to 40 points per game last year. Martin saw this and decided to go with a 3-4 scheme to match his quicker players and hoping to force more turnovers. With eight of the projected starters being seniors, the transition should be able to help. They'll have a couple transfers on the line from bigger schools, experience at linebacker and Davis Cazares at safety who led the team in tackles (116) a year ago.
2013 New Mexico State Football Schedule
Aug. 31 at Texas
Sept. 7 vs. Minnesota
Sept. 14 vs. UTEP
Sept. 21 at UCLA
Sept. 28 vs. San Diego State
Oct. 5 at New Mexico
Oct. 19 vs. Rice
Oct. 26 vs. Abilene Christian
Nov. 2 at LA-Lafayette
Nov. 9 vs. Boston College
Nov. 23 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 30 vs. Idaho
Martin's main goal for New Mexico State will be to learn the new systems on both sides of the ball. Results won't happen immediately, but the hope is that someday they will. The Aggies have had 11 straight losing seasons which isn't something you want to see.
Playing independently, the Aggies have a pretty tough schedule. They'll face a couple weaker teams, especially Abilene Christian, but it will be the last two games of the year to see how much they've improved. With games against beatable opponents in Florida Atlantic and Idaho, NMSU will have a chance to see how far they've come.
Three wins will be nice for these guys, but isn't exactly guaranteed. However, the experience returning should help for the Aggies, especially after a likely rough start to the season.
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