NEW MEXICO STATE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES TEAM FACTS:
The New Mexico State Aggies aren't exactly known for the strength of their football program, but the team made huge strides during 2011. Although the team finished with a losing record at 4-9 overall and a 2-5 record in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), head coach DeWayne Walker's squad managed surprising wins over Minnesota, Fresno State and their cross-state rivals, the University of New Mexico. With the loss of more successful franchises like Boise State and Brigham Young, the atmosphere in the WAC has entered a bit of a "win-now" mode, so the Aggies will try to make the most of their opportunity to capture a WAC crown for the first time in years.
The Aggies will have to replace many starters heading into the 2012 season, so the Mexico State coaches will have to do more with less during the upcoming year. The Aggies should have solid quarterback play from Matt Christian, but will be hurt considerably from the loss of running back Kenny Turner and receiver Taveon Rogers. Todd Lee is expected to take the reins at the No. 1 receiver spot, while sophomore Austin Franklin will be a name to watch during the year. Whoever starts at running back will enjoy a seasoned line of veterans, including tackle Davonte Wallace and guard Maveu Heimuli who should bring continuity to the unit.
The defense was one of the Aggies' strong suits during 2011, but their passing defense ranked near the top in national rankings. This should continue in 2012 with the return of safeties Donyae Coleman and Ben Bradley, who are a major force in the middle of the field. Darien Johnson is expected to start at cornerback, but the Aggies will need more depth to get through the season. Finally, the defensive line will feature a slew of newcomers, so the Aggies will need to receive pressure from their linebacking corps, including senior starters B.J. Adolpho and Alexander LaVoy.
The Aggies looked much stronger during 2011 and should have a much easier WAC schedule this year, but their non-conference opponents will be tough. New Mexico State's schedule includes showdowns against Auburn, Brigham Young and San Jose State, so they will have to win their WAC games and surprise a few of their opponents to become bowl eligible for the first time in years. While there are many starters that need to be replaced, the Aggies look like a strong team with a bright future.
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico Stadium: Aggie Memorial Stadium Conference: WAC Rivals: UNM Lobos
(The Battle for I-25), UTEP Miners Notable Alumni:
Roy Gerela, Duriel Harris, Fredd Young, Randy Brown Notable Bowl Games:
-1959: Sun Bowl
- New Mexico State Aggies vs North Texas Eagles
-1960: Sun Bowl
- New Mexico State Aggies vs Utah State Aggies See Also
: New Mexico State Aggies Basketball tickets New Mexico State Aggies Bowl Game tickets