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New Mexico State

College Football

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New Mexico State isn’t known for being a football powerhouse and that’s seen in the last time it reached a bowl game back in 1960. The Aggies finished with three wins last year and were beaten by double digits in seven of their nine losses. With enough experience on both sides of the ball with 16 returning starters, Doug Martin would like his team to reach at least four wins in his fifth year on the job.

A healthy Larry Rose III is at the head of NMSU’s success and injuries limited him to just 1,045 total yards and four touchdowns last year. Two years ago, Rose reached 1,934 yards and 16 total touchdowns, although the team still only had three wins. Rose would like to reach that 1,000-yard mark again, but improving the offense on an overall basis will come via quarterback Tyler Rogers (16 TDs, 12 INTs), who got another year of eligibility. Rogers brings the experience and hopefully improvement to give this group more consistency and more the 25 points per game. Receivers Gregory Hogan (363 yards) and Izaiah Lottie (339 yards) also return to help the passing game. The key will be on the line where only two full-time starters return, yet all of them have starting experience. With three seniors in the group, the line holds the keys to the potency of this offense.

Of course, the Aggies defense is usually one of the worst in the country and allowed 38.8 points per game last year. They improved some in Frank Spaziani’s first season as defensive coordinator and hope to take another jump with eight starters back. Their leading tackler is gone, but Terrill Hanks (103 tackles) can fill that void with a front four that brings experience, but needs to be better led by tackle Kourtland Busby. The secondary returns every starter, so that should help some with senior safety Jaden Wright the best of the bunch.

New Mexico State has a rough start to the year and unless it can beat the Lobos again, two opening losses look likely. Getting at least one win against either Troy or UTEP will be important as well, as a gauntlet three-game road trip awaits the Aggies. Heading into their final five games, they may only have one win with a trio of home games against some of the better teams in the Sun Belt. Needless to say, it could be another trying season for New Mexico State, even with an improved squad.

Surprisingly, NMSU has +2200 odds (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win the conference, which puts them even with South Alabama for seventh place. That’s a step up from previous campaigns, but an over/under of 3.5 is nothing new for the Aggies with three or four wins being the most likely scenario for this team yet again.


2017 New Mexico State Aggies Football Schedule

Aug. 31 at Arizona State
Sept. 9 at New Mexico
Sept. 16 vs. Troy
Sept. 23 vs. UTEP

Sept. 30 at Arkansas
Oct. 7 at Appalachian State

Oct. 14 at Georgia Southern
Oct. 28 vs. Arkansas State

Nov. 4 at Texas State
Nov. 18 at Louisiana Lafayette
Nov. 25 vs. Idaho
Dec. 2 vs. South Alabama

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