Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Scouting report: New Mexico Lobos

(A site seldom seen for the Lobos: tight end Lucas Reed trying to turn a reception into positive yards/Associated Press photo)

The Lobos are an improved team under first-year coach Bob Davie. They’re also a rebuilding team.

Davie has put young players on the field, with the New Mexico depth chart dotted with freshmen. This is a sound way to build a program, assuming such freshmen prove to be good players in the long run.

Simply put, the Aggies should win this game and have to win this game. They’re favored by a touchdown on their home field. It’s a VERY BIG game for New Mexico State.

Still, expect the Lobos to come out ready to play some football — they’ve lost three-straight games in the rivalry series and are competing in it for the first time under Davie.

The X’s and O’s part of this matchup appear well defined, at least days before kickoff. The Aggies bread and butter is the deep passing game, and the Lobos have struggled defending that particular area throughout the season. That, and four Lobos defensive backs are considered doubtful for Saturday’s game, according to Davie. NMSU quarterback Andrew Manley’s protection will be key (it always is) and, if he’s provided time, the Aggie wide receivers can make plays in a downfield passing game.

As for the Lobos offense, they run the triple option and not much else. When watching their game last week against Texas Tech (a 49-19 loss) quarterbacks B.R. Holbrook (a senior) and Cole Gautsche (a freshman) looked similar in this respect: both are athletic enough and seemed reluctant to actually pitch the ball on the option, rather preferring to take it on the carry themselves.

As for the passing game, the Lobos haven’t had much of it in the first three games of the season. The team has completed 19-of-38 passes all year, with their leading receiver (Carlos Wiggins) catching just four passes for 36 yards.

One intriguing player is Lucas Reed, a fine tight end who caught 55 balls over the past two seasons leading up to 2012. With the sweeping changes in the team’s passing game, however, he’s been swept off the map, making just one catch for four yards on the season. In part, Reed’s role has changed in the offense — against the Red Raiders, for instance, he was seen lining up in the backfield as a blocker. Could he be more involved in the Lobos passing attack? Undoubtedly. Perhaps the better question is, will he more involved in the passing game and will his inclusion occur this week?

The Lobos do have a threat in the kick-return game, that being Chase Clayton, a sophomore from Carson, Calif. Clayton strutted his stuff with a 98-yard return to the house Week 1 against Southern, and then repeated the feat last weekend at Texas Tech. Another player to keep an eye on Saturday night.

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Anonymous said...

Loss to Ohio, not bad considering Ohio has a good football team. Just ask Penn State.

Losing to UTEP, a tradtionally pathetic football team, but marginally better than NMSU, is bad. Going down 20 points in a quarter, bad.

Now comes UNM. Oh joy.

Anonymous said...

This game is winnable..IF.
If they do this ,if they do dat.if they do dis-n-dat.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for this "wanna be bowl team" to show up this year and play 4 quarters!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:22 and 9:44,

Typical non-supporting Aggie fans? I have plenty to complain about since I do attend all the home games and having attended the utep game. I've also been attending since 1991. I've said it time and time again......how do you expect NMSU to produce winning programs if you don't support them by attending games. If you haven't figured it out Aggie fans, we are without a conference because of a poor football tradition. We can point fingers at coaches, athletic directors, etc, but fans play a large part in the failure. Going FCS is a ridiculous idea. How has Boise St become a powerhouse in football after the move up to D-1 in 1996? They're in a more remote area that us, they don't have a huge telivision market and a small enrollment. They have a lot more support. The conference relignment is happening due to football money folks. Obviously NMSU doesn't have the favorable history or revenue to get accepted into a good conference or any conference for that matter. Coach Walker and staff are doing a great job with what little they have to work with. Pathetic budget, poor pay to keep coaching staff, players, etc. We can only get 1 or 2 Star players here, if we're lucky. I also bring up all the time how we won 26 games in b-ball last year and we only had 5-6K people at the games. Pathetic! To all the fans that do attend...Thank you for your support. To all of you "so-called" fans that whine and complain, but NEVER attend...shut up! General Admission tickets to fooball games is like $10. Season tickets for General Admission brings that cost down further. Having the CONSISTENT support from fans, in good times and bad, will play a huge role in elevating the program. Let's go support the Aggies be going to games. Go Aggies!!!


Anonymous said...

This Bowl talks reminds me the Mumme era.
During fall camp, Mumme said we had a bowl team. Well, we ended with 3 wins and he was out of a job.

The moral of the story: Walk the walk....beacause, talk is cheap!

Arthur said...

Aggies 24, Lobos 14.

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