Is tonight’s game against the Lobos a must win for New Mexico State? I think so.
This team can’t afford to lose the contest and then stare a one-, two- or three-win season in the face.
Do I think they’ll win? Yes. The Aggies are the better team again this year, as New Mexico continues to build under first-year head coach Bob Davie — nearly a year after removing Mike Locksley as head coach. The Lobos play hard and they’ll certainly take the field ready to compete tonight against NMSU.
The Aggie defense must contain UNM’s version of the spread option and improve over last weekend’s defensive effort at UTEP. The Aggies struggled against the run and in coverage, were slow to adjust, and were promptly beaten in the first quarter in the Miners 41-28 win. NMSU’s ability to contain UNM’s attack will be key in this game.
As for NMSU’s offense, they should be able to exploit the Lobos secondary, although only if quarterback Andrew Manley is protected better than he was last weekend against the Miners. Manley does throw a good deep ball but needs time for his receivers to get downfield in the passing game.
Of course the special teams battle and turnovers will need to be accounted for. UNM could try to sneak into the end zone a time or two tonight.
Points could be scored in this game, one the Aggies need to win.
My prediction: NMSU 34, New Mexico 24