Aggie defense looks to improve

New Mexico State defensive coordinator Ross Els and his defense are back to work.

Last week, the NMSU Aggies gave up 35 second-half points and lost 35-31 to previously winless Idaho.

"We were embarrassed by what happened last week," Els said. "The kids were somber on Sunday, but we've come back with two pretty good practices today (Wednesday) and Tuesday. We've made some adjustments. A lot of what happened last Saturday was on the coaches. We have to have a good week of practice and we're ready to get back out there and play."

The Aggies will be facing a Middle Tennessee offense on Saturday that is averaging 372.4 yards per game and 23.8 points per outing. The Blue Raiders have had some big scoring games this year, scoring 40 against Missouri and 36 against Temple.

"Middle Tennessee will do a lot of things, they will run out of a one-back set or two-back set and they will spread you out," Els said. "They'll run some no-huddle offense as well, where they will make a call on what defense they see. Sometimes, they'll get right up to the line and snap the ball.

"We'll have to disguise our defense and play good, sound football. We won't huddle on defense against their offense. We'll have to be ready for a variety of offensive sets." The Aggies are also testing out junior Preston Williams at free safety because of depth issues. Williams, who hails from Farmington, has played on the offensive end at wide receiver and has caught four passes for 68 yards. He caught one pass for seven yards against Idaho last Saturday.

"Preston is a good football player, he is physical and we're seeing if he can help us," Els said. "He's picking up things well. If he has to, he can go back to offense at any time." Aggies starting safety Matt Griebel is day to day with a hurt shoulder. He suffered a stinger during Saturday's game with Idaho. The sophomore didn't practice on Wednesday. He leads the team in tackles with 50, has three tackles for loss, one sack and two interceptions this season


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