New Mexico State had been known for the high power offense, but it was all for naught for them since their defense has been terrible. Well last year their offense even fell off and only averaged 22 per game and near the bottom of the NCAA and declined from their peak in 2006.
That is the reason they brought in former UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker and he will have his hands full on defense, because the Aggies have been terrible the past few years. Not to say he did a great job at UCLA, but he will be a definite upgrade for the defense.
The star for the defense will be Nick Paden who finished the 2008 campaign with 107 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions last season, so it will be hard for him to improve significantly.
The offense will struggle as well, because the Aggies lost Chase Holbrook who was a pretty good quarterback who put up some nice numbers, but look for a more traditional offense instead of the pass happy scheme that was used in the previous regime.
Experience is hard to come by as you can tell from the chart below which has the returning experience for 2009.
|Rushing||Carries||Yards||Yards Per Carry||TD|
|Receiving||Catches||Yards||Yards Per Catch||TD|
The projected new quarterback will be junior college transfer Jeff Fleming who's only other offers came from fellow WAC league mates Utah State and Idaho. Toss in the fact that the offensive line will be learning a new scheme, and the Aggies will hope that they do not get even worse this year.
Marquell Colston has potential at running back, but again if the offensive line is adjusting to a new scheme, plus include that the Aggies most likely will be playing from behind and that could make Colston a non factor no matter how good he might be.
The wide outs have the best potential to succeed with Marcus Anderson leading the way. The Aggies have talent here and should use this to their advantage. If, and this is a big if, the quarterback play and the line become stable then the Aggies passing attack could cause some teams trouble.
The defensive line is in terrible shape as well giving up over 220 yards per game on the ground. The defensive line was unable to run the ball or slow anyone down. There should be some improvement with returning talent, but that might not amount to too much improvement just because they are returning experienced players.
The main goal for the Aggies to try not be in the cellar of the WAC and stay ahead of Utah State and Idaho, and any improvement beyond that will be impressive.