#102 New Mexico Football 2015 Preview

New Mexico Lobos

Overall Rank: #102
#9 Mountain West

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Coach Bob Davie is on the hot seat after year three of his reign ended with a four win season. The road to respectability was not going to be easy, but many hoped the 2014 campaign would result in more victories. In three years, Coach Davie has an 11-26 record with the Lobos. There has been improvement and the foundation is solidly built at this point, but now is when it must result in more wins.

2014 Record: 4-8, 2-6
2014 Bowl: None
Coach: Bob Davie (11-26 at New Mexico, 46-51 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Bob DeBesse
Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Cosgrove

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jhurell Pressley, RB, 1,083 yards
Passing: Lamar Jordan, QB, 895 yards
Receiving: Reece White, TE, 124 yards
Tackles: Dakota Cox, LB, 116
Sacks: Nik D’Avanzo, DE, 4.5
Interceptions: Cranston Jones, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: RB Teriyon Gipson, OL Garrett Adcock, OL Reno Henderson, OL Eden Mahina, S Markel Byrd, LB Kimmie Carson, LB Donnie White, DT William Udeh, P/K Zack Rogers

Key Losses: WR Tyler Duncan, WR Jeric Magnant, OL LaMar Bratton, OL Jamal Price, DE Brett Bowers, CB SaQwan Edwards, S David Guthrie, LB Tevin Newman

New Mexico can be a tough team to defend because of their triple option offense. Jhurell Pressley rushed for 1,083 yards and a dozen touchdowns and Teriyon Gipson added 809 yards and eight more scores. Those two are a very potent one-two punch in the backfield. Add quarterback Lamar Jordan into the ground game and only a few teams rushed for more yards than the Lobos in 2014. The offensive line does return three starters and will help pave the way for another great ground game. However, a more balanced offense would be helpful. Jordan threw for just 895 yards and six touchdowns. Jordan will also have to do without receivers Tyler Duncan and Jeric Magnant, the team’s top two receivers in 2014. New Mexico will not have to successfully throw too much, but they need to at least be a threat to go down field every once in a while.

The defense had more depth last season than they had the previous couple of years, but it did not turn into much production. In fact, it could have been too much depth. The defense failed to create an identity for themselves in large part due to a lot of turnover from game to game. If this group can stay healthy and find a few playmakers to build around, the unit should be much improved. An injury to returning leading tackler Dakota Cox could keep him out for most of the 2015 season and that is a big problem. The pressure will be on Kimmie Carson and Donnie White to help pick up the slack.

The Bottom Line:
New Mexico can have some success as a run first team in a pass happy conference. This year they should be able to take another step up and compete for bowl contention. The ground attack will be extremely potent and this is a team that should average about 28 points per game again this season. The key will be tightening up the defense enough to be able to keep the ball on the ground instead of having to look to the air more often in an attempt to quickly make up a large deficit.

Projected Bowl: None

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 310.4 (4th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 89.1 (123, 12)
Total Offense: 399.5 (64, 5)
Scoring Offense: 27.7 (71, 5)
Rushing Defense: 269.0 (122, 11)
Pass Defense: 250.0 (92, 9)
Total Defense: 519.0 (124, 12)
Scoring Defense: 35.9 (110, 11)
Turnover Margin: 0.08 (56, 6)
Sacks: 2.00 (74, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 0.92 (5, 1)


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