The college football season is fastly approaching and it is time to bring back our “Crossing Enemy Lines” segment with team previews of all the teams that the Texas Longhorns will be playing this year. In this segment, we talk with Saturday Blitz’s Kyle Kensing about the New Mexico State Aggies.
1. New Mexico State will be an independent for 1 year and then head to the Sun Belt. What do you think the outlook is for the Aggies this season?
NMSU lost 11 straight last year, including to Idaho, and beat zero FBS teams. There’s really not many places to go but up, though part of the independence means playing a slightly more challenging schedule than it did last season. The good news for this team is that last season, it was playing a lot of younger guys, who have valuable game experience.
Last year was a major regression after DeWayne Walker’s team showed some improvements the season prior. Doug Martin takes over after a one-year stint at Boston College. He was on Walker’s staff previously as offensive coordinator, so should continue on the pass-heavy style. Wide receiver Austin Franklin is an outstanding building block, coming off a 1245-yard, nine-touchdown season.
2. Are the Aggies happy to still be in the FBS?
That depends on who you ask. Obviously landing in the Sun Belt was critical, because long-term independence wasn’t feasible for this program. However, NMSU hasn’t been competitive at this level. The program’s last bowl game was 1960, nearly two decades before the I-A/I-AA split.
From a competitive standpoint, a move down to FCS and the Southland Conference would benefit the league tremendously. A candidate for the university’s presidency suggested making that move. It’s certainly on the table.
3. Do you think the Aggies have a chance in Austin?
Well, anything can happen. The game is played for a reason, otherwise UT could just cut New Mexico State a six-figure check and count it as a W. But that said, no. NMSU really doesn’t stand a chance. This will be an opportunity for the Longhorns to work on the playbook in a game situation, get reserves playing time and fine tune.