A look at New Mexico's last game

Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp takes a look at the Lobos' last outing against TCU. What are their strengths? What will the Aggies look to expose?

NEW MEXICO OFFENSE

The New Mexico offense was terrible on Saturday night against TCU. The Lobos had 13 real possessions (two additional possessions at the end of each have that don't really count) and were forced into seven three-and-outs, gaining four yards or less on all seven of those possessions. They also committed three turnovers, including a fumble after an 11-play drive that gained 30 yards.

The Lobos managed just 56 rushing yards on 32 attempts (1.8 ypc) and completed just 7-of-24 pass attempts (.292) for 130 yards through the air (5.4 ypa), gaining just nine first downs over the course of the entire game.

It could have been a lot worse for the Lobos as well. They fumbled the ball four times on Saturday, but lost just one of the possessions to the Horned Frogs. Of course, the Aggies gave up four turnovers themselves in Saturday's loss to Arkansas State.

The Lobos lost starting quarterback Donovan Porterie in the second quarter with an apparent neck injury, but it didn't really make a difference against the TCU defense. TCU sacked the New Mexico quarterbacks five times, and wrecked havoc in the backfield most of the night against a younger, less experienced offensive line.

The offensive line is a young group who played their first game together, so they could improve a little bit in their second game, but don't expect any miraculous showing one week later.

Gruner, who took over in the second quarter, completed just 3-of-14 pass attempts for 93 yards. However, one of those three completions was for 81 yards. Without that completion, he would have been 2-of-13 for just 12 yards—hardly a threat to the A&M secondary.

New Mexico wide receivers didn't help Porterie or backup Brad Gruner either, dropping several passes that were on target.

The offensive line made it hard for Rodney Ferguson to get anything going as well. Ferguson is a physical back who likes to keep it between the tackles, but if his line doesn't get any more of a push up front on Saturday, don't expect a lot more from him.

NEW MEXICO DEFENSE

The New Mexico defense is an aggressive unit that gets to the ball quickly. TCU tried several screen passes without much success against the Lobos and the Aggies will have to disguise the play much more effectively if Mike Goodson and other A&M running backs are going to have any more success.

The Lobos kept the Horned Frogs in check most of the game through the air as a whole, allowing TCU quarterback Andy Dalton to complete 16-of-25 attempts for just 120 passing yards. The longest pass the New Mexico secondary gave up was just 18 yards, forcing the action to stay in front of them, and avoiding the big play.

Dalton was the leading rusher against the New Mexico defense, but ran for just 56 yards. Ryan Christian, the leading running back for the Horned Frogs, ran for just 40 yards on 11 carries (3.6 ypc).

The Aggie offense will have to get much more creative to move the ball against a New Mexico defense that is much more aggressive than Arkansas State—and more talented.


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