Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Aggie offense faces 3 questions this spring

(Courtesy photo of Aggie offensive coordinator Jerry McManus)

Today, we take a look at the three key questions facing the Aggie football team's offense as spring practices move along.

• Who will replace Turner and Rogers?: Finding adequate production in place of running back Kenny Turner and wide receiver Taveon Rogers — and also to an extent quarterback Matt Christian, wide receiver Todd Lee and 3/5s of the team's starting offensive line — will be of critical importance for NMSU football.

The reality is that Turner and Rogers were the offense's top game breakers last year and accounted for much of the Aggies' offensive production in 2011. Is there a players or two that can pick up that slack going into the new year?

• Can the Aggie offensive line block in a downhill rushing attack?: Last year, the team couldn't early in the season.

And the Aggies want to run the football more this year although, minus Christian, likely won't run the option as much — it's not a knock on quarterback Andrew Manley, but it's also just not part of his game.

NMSU could very well try and run the football more this year, although the offensive line's ability to block in a straight-ahead rushing attack will be key in this department.

• Can Jerry McManus fill Doug Martin's shoes?: It wouldn't seem likely that McManus will do exactly what Martin did last year as NMSU's offensive coordinator.

Martin was experienced, coached to his players strengths, and was resourceful.

Just think back to the beginning of the year, when Manley went down, Martin inserted Christian and Turner into the Aggies offensive backfield, and NMSU's attack instantly opened up from there.

How will McManus be as an offensive coordinator? We know from a continuity standpoint, the system should remain much the same.

But the truth is that we won't fully know how he does with the job until the bullets start flying this fall.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg


Anonymous said...

Hey who is the starting Running Back so far and who is 1st string wrs I know we got alot of good WRS IN SPRING BALL.

Teddy said...

Once again, the Aggies are searching for a No. 1 back at the moment. But here's what I gather about the position....

Robert Clay is a proven tough runner between the tackles. That, and the team believes incoming RB Lavoris Powell can do some things. The Aggies will still have to find a big-play threat out of the backfield, however, although the hope is that it will be Akeelie Mustafa. He's quick, but has to hit the hole faster.

As for the wide receivers....

Austin Franklin returns after looking good as a true freshman last year and senior Kemonte Bateman has some big-play ability. But is he Rogers? Again, Franklin was pretty impressive last year and perhaps he can emerge as a breakout player.