We all know New Mexico was not a great offensive team last year as they were 116th in the nation in scoring offense. Part of the reason was due to the Lobos rotating through three quarterbacks due to injury and inefficiency, but the quarterback spot is more manageable this year since Stump Godfrey transfered from the Lobos. The two remaining quarterbacks who are vying for the starting spot is B.R. Holbrook and Tarean Austin. Holbrook is a junior and Austin is a sophomore. Holbrook has more experience but he has been injured off and on the past two years.
So far in 2011 camp Holbrook is the early leader, but in the first scrimmage the Lobos had on Aug. 12 Austin has closed the gap on Holbrook according to head coach Mike Locksley. Finding and sticking to a quarterback will be the key for New Mexico to hopefully have a shot in improving of back-to-back one-win seasons. Locksley is on the hot seat and it was made even more clear when he agreed to renegotiate is contract which calls for a lower buyout, so he needs a quarterback to step up because neither was great.
The offensive line is another area that the Lobos must improve from last year. The 2010 the running game was 106th in the country and they only return two of those lineman. Currently the offensive line unsettled* with players moving and trying out different positions. Also the turnover margin must increase from minus 12 to about the break even point and if they can do that then the Lobos could get up to maybe four games.
The problem is the lack of weapons for New Mexico. The running game is in need of help and that is Kasey Carrier who was the starter ended up with 373 yards and two scores on the season. Carrier will need to do better or at least have the Lobos have a combination of backs who can combine to make a formidable one-two punch.
The receiving game is the most talented and it begins with tight end Lucas Reed who had 33 receptions with 459 yards and five scores. The Lobos also bring back an experienced receiver with Ty Kirk who had 38 receptions with 477 yards and two touchdowns. Their receiving corp should be in the top half of the Mountain West.
The Lobos offense was just not good last year and they will need a lot of things to fall into place for New Mexico to have an offense that will finish in the top half of the Mountain West. They need their quarterback play to be settle and stick with one player and that will go a long way since they have a solid receiving crew to work with. Outside of the that the running game needs to be at least respectable to help out the passing game so that the defenses do not drop seven in coverage and play the pass.
The offense can not get worse then last year where they averaged 15.8 points per game.
*The ABQ Journal is behind a pay wall, but if you add them to google reader you can view articles there in their entirety.