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New Mexico State Aggies Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the New Mexico State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
New Mexico State Aggies Preview
Head Coach: Jerry Kill, 1st year at New Mexico State
24th year overall (154-101), 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 2-10
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
New Mexico State Top 10 Players | NMSU Schedule
New Mexico State Aggies Preview 2022
The program that hasn’t had a whole lot of fun has a new coach, a new vision, and it’s got a conference to play in when it joins Conference USA next year.
Doug Martin gave it one heck of a run.
He kept plugging away year after year in an impossible situation, busted through in a wonderful 2017 campaign with a winning season and bowl victory – the only winning season in his 16 runs as a head coach – but after nine years New Mexico State has a new head man.
Enter Jerry Kill, a magnificent head coach who’s been able to win everywhere he has been, but medical issues derailed his time at Minnesota.
He’s been an assistant ever since, and now he’s getting a shot to do what he does with a program that won more than three games just once since 2011 and enjoyed one winning season since 2002.
This team will get good offensive line play, and there will be more from the ground game, but more than anything else, it’s about getting the pieces in place for 2023.
New Mexico State Aggies Preview 2022: Offense
Again, a Jerry Kill team will want to run the ball. His teams are built on controlling the clock, grinding it out, and playing a tight style without a lot of mistakes. That’s easier said than done with what he has to work with, but there’s a decent amount of experience returning for offensive coordinator Tim Beck to work with.
The offensive line. To keep hammering this home, Kill will end up making the offensive line solid. Last year’s group couldn’t get much going for the ground game, and the pass protection wasn’t there, but there’s three starters are expected back and there’s good versatility to play around with the lineup.
Leading rusher Juwaun Price is off to Syracuse – he ran for 693 yards and ten scores – putting the pressure on former Michigan Wolverine O’Maury Samuels and TCU transfer Ahmonte Watkins to carry the load.
The Aggies lost top quarterback Jonah Johnson to the transfer portal, and it’s going to take a little scrambling this fall camp to settle in. Sophomore Weston Eget is a big passer who completed just one of ten throws in his time last year, and junior Dino Maldonado can run a bit.
For all of the team’s problems, there was a surprisingly deep receiving corps.That’s going to be put to the test with deep threat Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda bolting for Nebraska and Terrell Warner in the transfer portal.
This year, pretty much everyone who did much of anything big last year is gone. This will be a very young, very inexperienced bunch.
New Mexico State Aggies Preview 2022: Defense
The defense was the bigger problem last year. The offense wasn’t always great, but the defense provided no help allowing 489 yards and 40 points per game. On the plus side, eight starters are expected back and there’s enough transfer portal help to make a difference.
The secondary has a whole lot of options now. As is the cornerbacks are experienced – DJ McCullough led the team with three picks and Syrus Dumas was second with two – but on the way is Mekhi Miller from Maryland and Andrew Seldon from Michigan to provide some help. They all need to make more stops for a secondary that gave up 291 yards an outing.
With Chris Ojoh – the team’s leading sacker with six – flirting with the transfer portal and then sticking around, and with Trevor Brohard back in the middle with the game to go along with his name, the linebacking corps should be an early strength.
The front three is back full along with veterans for a decent rotation. There has to be a whole lot more happening against the run, but there’s size around end Donavan King – one of the team’s best at getting into the backfield.
New Mexico State Aggies: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT
New Mexico State Aggies: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
New Mexico State Aggies: Key To The 2022 Offense
Come up with more of a downfield passing game.
That goes hand-in-hand with the offensive line needing to be far stronger and consistent enough to give everyone time to work. It also goes with needing better quarterback play, but the receivers have to do their part.
The Aggies couldn’t do much of anything down the field. The attack was accurate enough at times, but it wasn’t until the win over UMass that the offense averaged over ten yards per throw.
The Aggies averaged over nine yards per attempt in the two wins, and didn’t get to seven yards a throw in the ten losses. The last time they averaged more than ten yards a pop before the season finale against the Minutemen? 2017.
New Mexico State Aggies: Key To The 2022 Defense
Don’t make it so easy to complete passes.
The Aggies might be beaten deep a whole lot, and they might give up a whole slew of midrange passes – they need to take away one of the two.
Offenses were able to move the ball however they wanted through the air, completing 68% of their passes on the season and averaging a whopping 9.5 yards per throw.
Out side of Alabama and Nevada, it’s not like NMSU was dealing with the Los Angeles Rams – UTEP, South Carolina State, and New Mexico were able to roll at will.
This all changes with more of a pass rush, but there’s enough experience and more options in the secondary to get creative.
New Mexico State Aggies: Key Player To The 2022 Season
QB Weston Eget, Soph.
Or Dino Maldonado. Jonah Johnson was a promising but inconsistent passer last year, and now he’s off. He wasn’t always perfect, but he hit UMass for 420 in one of the best performances ever by an Aggie quarterback.
There’s still an outside shot he returns, but if he doesn’t the 6-3, 225-pound Eget got in a little work in the strange 2020 spring season, and he threw a few passes last year, but now the offense will likely be his to run … if Moldonado doesn’t have a big fall camp.
New Mexico State Aggies: Key Transfer
DT Izaiah Reed, Jr.
The Aggies have options and depth on the defensive line, but they have to be far more productive.
Enter the 6-1, 297-pound Reed from Murray State, who made 45 tackles, with 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss in his first two seasons. Last year he was limited to just six games but made 12 tackles and a sack. He’ll hold up when he gets his chances.
New Mexico State Key Game To The 2022 Season
FIU, Sept. 30
This isn’t going to be an instant turnaround. The Aggies are going to take a whole lot of lumps over the first part of the season, but Hawaii is a gettable game in late September and FIU comes to town six weeks later.
This is a future Conference USA meeting, and it’s one of the winnable games New Mexico State has to take down.
New Mexico State Aggies: 2021 Fun Stats
– Sacks: Opponents 40 for 246 yards – NMSU 19 for 139
– Fumbles: Opponents 23 (lost 10) – NMSU 17 (lost 6)
– Passing yards per attempt: Opponents 9.46 – NMSU 6.25
New Mexico State Aggies Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT
New Mexico State Aggies Season Prediction, What Will Happen
There will be moments when things get ugly.
The Aggies will collect the paychecks and shake hands at Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri, but they should be far more competitive than they were last season against a schedule that’s not all that awful.
With the new coaching staff, and with all the returning experience, there’s a chance the team finds something to build on to get stronger by the second half of the season.
Set The New Mexico State Aggies Regular Season Win Total At … 3
The problem is that two of the most winnable games – Lamar and UMass – are on the road. Going to UTEP should be a fight, but it was a 30-3 loss last year and the Miners aren’t that much worse.
Nevada – going through an overhaul – Hawaii, FIU, New Mexico, San Jose State, and Liberty all have to come to Las Cruces. Pull off two of those, and there’s a good chance to have the program’s second season of over three wins for the first time since 2011.