Dawgpost.com">

First Look - New Mexico State - Week 4

The fourth contest of the 2002 campaign features a visit by the New Mexico State Aggies, led by former Nebraska player and Defensive Assistant Tony Samuel. Going into his sixth season as HC, Samuel has a record of 19-37 and counts only the third winning season in 32 seasons in 1999 for the Aggies during his tenure. Assisting Samuel with the Defense is former Husker All-American Rich Glover, named to SI's All Century Team.

The fourth contest of the 2002 campaign features a visit by the New Mexico State Aggies, led by former Nebraska player and Defensive Assistant Tony Samuel. Going into his sixth season as HC, Samuel has a record of 19-37 and counts only the third winning season in 32 seasons in 1999 for the Aggies during his tenure. Assisting Samuel with the Defense is former Husker All-American Rich Glover, named to SI's All Century Team.

The process of building a program at Las Cruces requires a special person and the soft spoken Samuel is a fine example of a firm, but steady hand on the tiller to that end. Founded in 1888 and with an enrollment of approximately 15,000, New Mexico State is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research 1 University, boasting expenditures of $129 Million during the '99-00 period. Attracting scholars isn't a problem, but attracting Division 1A athletes to a program with but 3 winning seasons in three decades requires patience and time. Having one of the five largest weight training facilities in the Nation, along with the Nebraska training regime brought over by Samuel, is definitely a step towards creating such a program.

The '02 Aggies will break-in a new QB, Buck Pierce, a Soph that saw some limited action in 11/12 games last year. The Aggies run the I, and in their 5-7 '01 campaign, averaged 207.8 ypg on the ground, totaling an impressive 4.5 ypc and 27 TD's. The passing game lagged though, averaging but 152.6 ypg and 7 TD's, along with 8 interceptions. The Aggies fumbled 30 times and lost 20 of them as well.

The OL will be one of the largest we see this Fall, anchored by bookend tackles Terry Givens, (6-4, 335) and Steve Mascorro (6-5, 346), both Seniors. The other three starters average 6-4, 333, impressive to say the least. The I-back figures to be Roberto Muro, a transfer who was the leading carrier in the Spring, and the Aggies are 4 deep and experienced behind him. The Aggies have two experienced TE's, Chris Gocke and Alex Davie, both 6-4, 240 and two WR's in H.B, Brisco and Chris Duncan. Even with the new QB, the Aggie Offense should be improved.

Defense is their Achilles heel, as youth and size are their liabilities, save for the Safeties both Seniors and two of the top three tacklers returning. In '01, opponents averaged 177.1 ypg on the ground and 239.8 ypg through the air on the Aggies, good for 29 & 16 TD's respectively. While the Aggies did manage 16 interceptions last season for two touchdowns, they only managed to get 7 fumble recoveries out of 19 opportunities.

The Aggie DL features promising Traydell Bullock 6-0, 256)at DE, a Soph letterman who had two sacks in the Spring game, SR DT Jeremy Barth (6-2, 300), JR NG Joe Olivo (6-2, 252, 44 tackles, 10 for loss, 2 sacks), and Soph DE Greg Scafidi (6-4, 255). The Backers are small by SEC standards (6-0, 210) and inexperienced, but the Safties, Gifford & Shabazz combined for 191 tackles last year. Gifford also contributed 2.5 sacks, 4 int's, 5 tackles for loss, and a fumble, Shabazz adding 2 int's and 3 forced fumbles. The Corners, Candidate & Bernard, also Seniors, both seeing action last season but are not seasoned.

As the Aggies will visit Columbia in the season's first game, we will have a great idea of what to expect when they visit Athens. From this highly speculative viewpoint, UGA's and David Greene's stats should receive a boost in a Dawg Air Raid. Perhaps some additional PT for the backups as well.

Message Boards:


Dawg Post Top Stories