I’ve been on the record saying I like the Aggie offense this year.
I am concerned about the team’s defense, however.
For the highlights: I think defensive coordinator Dale Lindsey is a good coach and I like the team’s secondary — there’s numbers and there’s talent.
But — and I’ve been beating this like a drum — what are they going to do on the defensive line? Losing three starters up front would be tough on any team, but particularly one where the defensive line was a deficiency the year prior. This unit has to be adequate this year, but I have my doubts. Particularly during the second half of games and the second half of the season when players will inevitably wear down.
The Aggies need a push from the defensive tackle position this year. The team’s two-deep has NMSU starting Dejuan Yates and David Mahoney inside, backed up by Mark Brown and Walton Taumoepeau. Augafa Vauulu and Tommy Stuart, two projected starters, are both out for the year.
The linebacker position could be underrated. But as I wrote on a previous post, middle linebacker Alexander LaVoy needs to be a consistent tackler. I do believe he will be an upgrade here and come on as the season unfolds.
I think the Aggies can average 10 more points per game — which would put them at just over 25 per contest — if everything goes as planned.
There offense should be improved with a good starting five on the line, depth at wide receiver, a possible workhorse running back in Robert Clay and the precocious Andrew Manley at quarterback. The starters up front need to stay healthy, as does Clay, and Manley needs to reach his potential consistently.
But I do have concerns in regards to them stopping other teams.
Week 1 should be a high-scoring affair against the Ohio Bobcats.