College Football Preview: The 2015 New Mexico Lobos
New Mexico Lobos Preview
2014 Record: 4-8
The New Mexico Lobos hope a bruising rushing attack will get enough help from a suspect defense to become a challenger in the Mountain West.
Overview: Bob Davie hasn’t come close to fielding a winning team at New Mexico in three seasons but a productive rushing attack with plenty of experience might get the job done 2015.
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Offense: The Lobos might not have a winning reputation but it’s not the fault of the rushing attack. For an option attack quarterback Lamar Jordan was a perfect fit. Jordan threw for nearly 900 yards on 52.7% while running for 653 yards and a nifty 5.7 yard average. UNM lost their two top receiving targets but a combined 369 yards on 30 receptions will be made up. The rushing attack is loaded with Jhurell Pressley (114-1083) and Teriyon Gipson(150-809) leading the way but everybody that ran the ball produced. Four lineman return for an already potent rushing game which bodes well for this year.
Defense: New Mexico struggled with injuries in the front seven and when they were healthy they still struggled. DE Nik D’Avanzo was a decent pass rusher with seven TFL and 4.5 sacks. The line returns eight of ten and will field enough experience but I expect only modest improvement. The linebacking crew saw 13 players see action and nine return including leading tackler Dakota Cox who totaled 77.5 tackles with a pair of sacks and an interception. The secondary was also hit with injuries but the Lobos played everybody and will do the same in 2015 looking for the best lineup possible.
Special Teams: Zack Rogers averaged 42.6 yards on 56 punts and went 5-8 on field goals. Ridge Jones and Carlos Wiggins averaged 29 yards per return with each scoring so the return game is in good hands.
Outlook: The Lobos defense won’t be good but should be better while the rushing attack is good and could be even better. If New Mexico beats the lower ranked teams on their schedule this could be a surprisingly good year but depending on a shaky defense is not a risk I like to take but I see the win column growing.