Key Matchups - New Mexico

What is the key for the Aggies' success this weekend against New Mexico? Where do the Lobos have the edge? Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp takes a look at some of the match ups in a game with huge ramifications for both teams.

NEW MEXICO O LINE VS A&M D LINE
Much like the Aggies, the Lobos are starting four new starters on the offensive line, against a defensive line at A&M that is filled with potential playmakers. However, guys like Cyril Obiozor and Kellen Heard weren't very active in the debut against Arkansas State, in a game that saw a lot of three down linemen. Still, this is still a very inexperienced offensive line for the Lobos that allowed five sacks against TCU—which they believe is the fastest defense they'll play all season. EDGE: Texas A&M

NEW MEXICO RB VS A&M LB
The Lobos boast a two-time 1,000 yard rusher in Rodney Ferguson in the backfield and he'll be looking to hit the A&M defenders right in the mouth. He's a physical back, which concerns me because the A&M defenders haven't faced anyone like him this year—in games or in practice. Also, the A&M defense didn't seem to have an answer for the Arkansas State rushing attack between the tackles, and they'll have an opportunity to show how much they've worked on it this week, Don't be surprised if New Mexico tests the Aggies' learning curve by mixing in a few zone read plays. EDGE: New Mexico

NEW MEXICO QB/WR VS A&M SECONDARY
The Lobos have a solid quarterback in Donovan Porterie, but an untested group of receivers going up against an A&M secondary that is loaded on paper. They did a good job of defending the pass for the most part against Arkansas State, while the Lobos struggled to get much of anything going through the air against TCU. The Aggies secondary is filled with upperclassmen who have played in games on the road before as well and this shouldn't be too big of a deal for them. EDGE: Texas A&M

A&M O LINE VS NEW MEXICO D LINE
In a head to head battle between the lines, it's probably a draw, but throw in the blitz packages that the Lobos will throw at A&M and you've got to give the advantage to New Mexico until proven otherwise. This will be a big test for the Aggies' line, and if they pass it, it could be a huge confidence booster for the rest of the season. But they've got a long way to go from last week's debut. This is the biggest key of the game, and if the Aggies can withstand the blitz packages, they should come out on top. EDGE: New Mexico

A&M RB VS NEW MEXICO LB
The Aggie running backs are a talented group, filled with explosive playmakers like Mike Goodson, Cyrus Gray and Bradley Stephens. The biggest question mark heading into this week's game is the role that Jorvorskie Lane will play. Will he get the ball and force the action between the tackles? Or will he once again be silenced? The Aggies have the edge here, but if they don't throw the ball down field, it will be tough for the Aggie running backs to get much going. EDGE: Texas A&M

A&M QB/WR VS NEW MEXICO SECONDARY
It all depends on which Stephen McGee shows up. The New Mexico secondary is led by two veteran cornerbacks and they won't be intimidated by the A&M receiver corps, especially if they aren't any better than they were last week. The Aggies wide receivers will need to run crisp routes and catch the ball. McGee will have to be confident in his ability to throw the deep ball, which he has done throughout the fall practice. This will be one of the key battles and I think A&M has a slight talent edge, but with the new offensive scheme still full of question marks, it's hard to give them the edge. EDGE: Even

FINAL OUTLOOK:
The Aggies have the edge on paper against New Mexico, but they'll have to execute much better than they did last week against Arkansas State. The A&M offensive line will have to be able to pick up the blitz packages from the Lobos and McGee will need to roll out of the pocket and find the open man if the Aggies are going to have a shot in this game. A&M will not be able to move the ball on New Mexico if they don't throw the deep ball and keep the Lobos honest. New Mexico shut down TCU's screen passes last week and they'll be ready for that against the Aggie s as well if they're able to stack the box.

It's important for the Aggies to jump out on top of the Lobos early as well. They've lost 10 straight games when their opponent scores first.

It will be a hard fought game between two struggling offenses.

Texas A&M 17 New Mexico 12


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