To be blunt New Mexico State has not been a good team the last few years, but second year head coach DeWayne Walker in his second year is attempting to get the Aggies to at least respectable. Last year they were 3-10 with wins over Prairie View A&M, rival New Mexico, and Utah State. The Lobos
New Mexico State looks to be in the same spot as last year as they are still trying to come into their own:
Outside of Boise State, everyone in the WAC is vulnerable -- but New Mexico State doesn't look as if it will be good enough to take advantage. The schedule isn't all that difficult, but, again, that really doesn't matter. The passing attack must show vast improvement. The Aggies could again be one-dimensional on offense, and that one dimension isn't all that good, anyway. One negative about the schedule: The Aggies play 12 consecutive weeks.
Some good news for the Aggies is that they will be returning nine starters on offense, but the bad news is that this offense was last in total offense in the nation. Also, toss in that quarterback Jeff Flemming who was the starter last year is barely holding onto his starting position after the spring game. There will be a three way battle for the quarterback spot this fall. Matt Christian, a JUCO transfer will look to challenge Flemming for the starting job.
The receiving corp is nothing special which will make the spread offense difficult to put up any good numbers. The Aggies have a number of returning receivers returning but non had more then twelve receptions last year.
The actual good news for the Aggies is returning running back Seth Smith who was the teams first 1,000 back in over 40 years. Smith with virtual no help was the star for the Aggies, and if the passing game can gain a pulse then Smith could really be a threat for an even bigger season in 2010.
The defense is not much better, especially since they lost their top four linebackers, they are undersized at defensive line, but the secondary has flourished under their defensive minded coach. The secondary was 36th in the nation last year against the pass and they do return all four starting defensive backs. There is hope in the secondary to help keep games closer in a wide open WAC. Their matchup against San Diego State in the opener could be interesting since the Aztecs have one of the best duos in QB Ryan Lindley to WR Vincent Brown.
The Aggies are still deep in a rebuilding process that is still a few years away from being competitive in the WAC. Perhaps once Boise leaves the Aggies will start to move up the food chain.