Preview New Mexico's Opening Day Opponent
CFN TCU Preview
Interested in blogging
about Mountain West football?
2008 CFN New Mexico Preview |
2008 New Mexico
2008 New Mexico
2008 New Mexico
2007 CFN New Mexico Preview |
2006 CFN New Mexico
Head coach: Rocky Long
9th year: 61-61
Off. 19, Def. 21, ST 0
Lettermen Lost: 22
Best Lobo Players
2. CB Glover Quin, Sr.
3. RB Rodney Ferguson, Sr.
4. QB Donovan Porterie, Jr.
5. C Erik Cook, Jr.
6. S Ian Clark, Jr.
7. S Blake Ligon, Sr.
8. TE Chris Mark, Sr.
9. OT Byron Bell, RFr.
10. LB Zach Arnett, Sr.
CFN Prediction: 8-4
2008 Record: 0-0
Sept. 6 Texas A&M
Sept. 13 Arizona
Sept. 20 at Tulsa
Sept. 27 at New Mexico State
Oct. 4 Wyoming
Oct. 11 at BYU
Oct. 18 San Diego State
Oct. 23 at Air Force
Nov. 1 Utah
Nov. 8 at UNLV
Nov. 15 at Colorado State
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2007 Record: 9-4
Sept. 15 at
Arizona W 29-27
Sept. 29 BYU
Wyoming W 20-3
at S Diego St
Force W 34-31
TCU L 37-0
Utah L 28-10
New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 22 Nevada W 23-0
The whole idea is to be good enough and consistent enough to have a good
pipeline of players who can come in, be plugged into the system, and
produce. If a coaching staff is around long enough to be able to get to
that point, it’s fortunate.
Rocky Long is hoping his Lobos are past that point and can finally be a
true challenger for the Mountain West title, after years of being a
steady upper-division bowl team, but that could be tough with one of his
youngest, most inexperienced teams losing 15 starters and 22 key
However, there’s a tremendous base or core players to build around,
stability in the coaching staff, and the cloud of post-season
frustration is finally gone after Long finally won a bowl game. Now,
young or not, it’s time to do more.
What to watch for on offense: The backfield. The receiving corps
loses its stars, but it'll be fine with a little bit of time. The line
has to replace four starters, but JUCO transfers will make up for the
concerns and there are good talents to get excited about. The difference
between another good, bowl season and a possible sleeper run to the
Mountain West title lies in the backfield where Donovan Porterie appears
ready to become a special playmaker. Rodney Ferguson, is a sure-thing
for 1,000 yards if his academics are in order, while Paul Baker is ready
to bust out. The Lobos have the skill players to put up some big
What to watch for on defense: The secondary to be among the best
in America. The corner tandem of DeAndre Wright and Glover Quinn will be
special, while the three safeties in the 3-3-5 formation, Ian Clark,
Blake Ligon and Clint McPeek, are all solid veterans. the pass defense
was 20th in the nation even though there wasn't much of a pass rush, and
now it should be even better. Few will be able to consistently throw on
The team will be far better if … the offense can score on
the good teams. The points and production simply weren't there
throughout last season on a consistent basis. While there were 44 points
against New Mexico State and 58 against Sacramento State, the Lobos only
scored more than 30 points one other time, against Air Force, and
averaged just over 11 points per game against BYU, TCU and Utah.
The Schedule: The schedule is cruel. Too cruel. The opener against TCU will set the
tone for the Mountain West season, while home games against Texas A&M
and Arizona could build/crush the team's confidence. And then things
really kick in with three road trips in four weeks including battles at
Tulsa, who led the nation in total offense last year, New Mexico State,
who gets almost everyone back on its high-octane offense, and at BYU. If
that wasn't a bad enough break, there isn't an off week; the Lobos are
going 12 straight weeks with the open date coming at the end. Just to
add to the fun, there's a second stretch of three road games in four
weeks to close the year.
Best Offensive Player:
Rodney Ferguson. While
Donovan Porterie should get to another
level where he can start to make his receivers better, instead of the
other way around, and while it could be Paul Baker who gets the starting
nod early on as the team's top back, Ferguson is the pounding 100-yard
star who'll keep the offense grounded. Suspended from the New Mexico
Bowl because of academic issues, he'll soon be back in everyone's good
Best Defensive Player:
Senior CB DeAndre Wright.
With a great mix of
speed, tackling ability and size, Wright is the Mountain West's premier
cover corner, and has been for a few seasons. His stats might not be all
that great since no one likes to throw his way, but he'll erase
everyone's number one target.
Key player to a
Senior WR Jermaine McQueen. After losing the tremendous receiving tandem
of Travis Brown and Marcus Smith, the Lobos need several new receivers
to step up and shine. McQueen has been a career tease, having all the
speed and skills but failing to do much with them. Now he appears ready
to take a big leap forward and be the home run hitter, and Porterie's
main man, to keep the passing production rolling.
The season will be a
... the Lobos win nine games again. That might be setting the bar low
for a program that has been so successful over the last several years,
but there are too many holes to patch and the schedule has too many
quirks to shoot for a special year. Even so, there's no reason to not be
able to get out to a decent start by coming up with huge wins in two of
the first three games against TCU, Texas A&M and Arizona. Forgetting the
timing of the game, only the road trip to BYU is a true killer. If the
team can keep its head on the road, and doesn't wear down, getting to
nine wins should be possible.
Key game: Aug. 30 vs. TCU. While the October 11 date against BYU in
Provo will be a make-or-break game for the Mountain West title hopes,
that won't mean much if the Lobos can't win the opener against TCU. Each
team is good enough to win the league with the right breaks, and one of
those is starting out with a win.
2007 Fun Stats:
- 4th down conversions: UNM 14 of 23 (61%) - Opponents 5 of 15 (33%)
- 1st quarter scoring: UNM 81 - Opponents 54
- Rushing touchdowns: UNM 16 - Opponents 9