When Austin Apodaca signed with the New Mexico Lobos it instantly created a quarterback competition between him and returning starter Lamar Jordan. Jordan has experience in the system and is likely the better running quarterback, but last year he only completed 59 passes at a 52 percent completion rate.
The Lobos lost a few games last year because they could not get a first down when they needed it, and third-and-long situations were almost impossible for the team. A balanced offense would have help the Lobos because a majority of the the plays were a run play with the hope of a big play in New Mexico's option game.
Apodaca who was a duel threat quarterback out of high school can provide a balance the Lobos lacked in the past. He can run the ball and while he is not as fast as Jordan he is much bigger. He stands 6'3, 206 pounds and can sling the ball around the field. He was good enough to get recruited to the Pac-12's Washington State Cougars and could be the answer to the Lobos passing woes of years past. With Apodaca's passing ability teams would have to respect the Lobos receivers and they would not be able to load the box on plays, and get the explosive Carlos Wiggins involved.
Jordan on the other hand has shown big play ability on the ground and did have the occasional big throw last year with four over 40 yards with a long of 75 yards. Last year, Jordan proved to be a clutch during a couple of game winning drives during the 2014 season, the biggest being against in-state rivals the New Mexico State Aggies .
Both quarterbacks will go into the season with the expectation that they will start only one can win the job. Both quarterback have looked good in Spring practice so far.
Jordan who was an upgrade from Cole Gautsche last year has shown more confidence in his second spring session with the Lobos. He has the most upside because of his speed but in the end Apodaca will prove to be the piece the Lobos offense needed. However, the way Jordan is efficient in the ground attack he can not be tossed aside in this quarterback race.
Apodaca will not have the 50-yard runs that Jordan is capable of, but he will run the option efficiently and will allow New Mexico to pass the ball more this year. While Jordan will not start he is still talented enough for the coaches to give him snaps during the game and with injuries always an issues he will have the opportunity to get lots of playing time in 2015.