Another week, another game, another three reasons why USU will beat their opponent, who this week happens to be the New Mexico Lobos. There's not much else to say about it, so let's get right to it.
Reason number one: Once again, the Aggies find themselves paired up against a team whose strength lies in the run game. And once again, this plays right into the Aggies' defensive strength, which happens to be shutting down their opponents' run game. New Mexico's rushing attack is indeed formidable; the Lobos have amassed 13 rushing touchdowns this year that have gone for more than 25 yards. In fact, of the 11 Lobo players who have gotten the chance to run the ball, none of them have a longest run shorter than 27 yards. They have six players who have rushed for over 100 yards on the season, and seven players have scored rushing touchdowns. Fortunately for the home team, the Aggies have completely shut down other such powerful rushing teams. The Aggies' longest scoring run allowed was 12 yards (by JD McKissic of Arkansas State). The only other scoring run by any opponent that went over 10 yards was an 11 yard TD by BYU's Taysom Hill. The Aggies are 6th in the nation in rushing yards allowed, and are one of eight teams in the nation to hold opponents under 100 yards on average. Only three opposing running backs have hit the century mark against USU this year: Arkansas State's Johnston White, with 100 yards exactly, BYU's Jamaal Williams, with 102 yards, and Wyoming's Brian Hill, with 122 yards. Those three backs combined for one touchdown run versus the Aggie D. I'm probably going into too much depth about it, so I'll sum up the point with this: New Mexico will not be able to use its staple diet of massive yards on the ground, and will be forced to try to get points through the air.
Which brings us to reason number two: The Lobos can't move the ball through the air. They have a new-ish freshman QB whose name isn't Kent Myers, which means he's not going to complete over 83% of his throws, isn't going to have the highest passer rating of any active QB in the country, and isn't going to be able to concentrate on doing his job with the Vigils, et al, pulling him down in the backfield half a dozen times. Okay, Lamar Jordan is probably the best quarterback UNM has seen in several years... still, against an Aggie defense that will get in his face on a consistent basis and that has made a trademark of their ability to come up with turnovers- the Aggies have the 5th highest turnover margin in the country, and are third in the country in snagging interceptions- Jordan will have a rough time of it.
Reason number three: USU's home field advantage is the difference maker in any game that may be in doubt. Aside from losing two games back to back last year after losing Chuckie Keeton, the Aggies haven't lost at home since Louisiana Tech visited Logan in 2011. Their average score at home the past four seasons, including the four losses during that time span, is 36-17. It is very, very difficult to win in Logan if you don't have the Aggie logo on your jersey.
My guess is that this game will turn out fairly similar to the game vs Air Force earlier this season. To put a number on it, I'll guess a USU victory, 27-10.