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Doug Martin: “The Time Is Now” for Aggies Football

Talent and depth should help the Aggies take the next step forward as a program in 2017.

New Mexico State v UCLA
Doug Martin says the talent and depth is there for NMSU to have a breakthrough season in 2017
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Doug Martin spoke with Jeff and JJ from The Opening Drive this past week about the upcoming 2017 season and what it will take for New Mexico State to have a successful season. Here are some of the topics he covered.

Defense

Can they stop anyone? After being number 121 in total defense (out of 128) in 2016, this is the question that will need to be answered if NMSU wants any chance of success in 2016, especially with the schedule they have to face this fall.

However, Coach Martin knows defense has been the issue and he thinks they can improve on last year’s numbers.

“We have ten returning starters...we’re not playing with a bunch of freshman, we have a full scholarship roster, we’ve got a bunch of talent now. We need to get pressure on the QB.”

Consistency on defense is definitely the key to having a successful season in 2017. Martin mentioned that this was the year they had circled when they began the process of rebuilding the Aggie program and knows that they need to make a move defensively for any breakthrough to happen.

Martin also mentioned it’s not all up to the coaches anymore, however. Players, now, must take matters into their own hands to make that happen.

Players’ Mentality

“Players need to recognize that there are no more excuses. Everything with this program, foundationally, is now fixed. We have to put our foot in the ground and win football games, and that time is now for us.”

This was the message Coach Martin has for his team. Will they play more consistently and show up like they did versus UNM, ULL, and Texas State last year?

In the words of Coach Martin, “Are you going to show up every Saturday?” Only time will tell.

Passing Game

The main focus of this topic was on senior quarterback Tyler Rogers, who Coach Martin hinted at was primed for his best season yet.

“Tyler Rogers has matured a lot this year, studies the game now like he needs to. He really flipped things around last year. He just needs to stay healthy.”

New Mexico State v Florida
Can Rogers stay healthy and lead what looks to be a talented Aggies passing attack?
Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The receivers are also gaining praise from Coach Martin:

“This is the best group of receivers I’ve coached in 15 years. We have depth, we have talent, we have some toughness out there. I think our passing game could really accelerate this year.”

There is no doubt the talent is there for the Aggies to have a successful season on offense. In fact, Phil Steele ranked NMSU’s quarterbacks and running backs as some of the top units in all of FBS, and if the receivers can step up and join that group, then the passing game can surely accelerate this year.

Personal Thoughts

I think New Mexico State is primed for a breakout season, as do some outside media members, it just depends on the defense. If the defense responds to Coach Martin’s challenge and shows up on a weekly basis, there is no doubt in my mind that they will pull off some upsets and surprise the nation.

#AggieUp, Aggie fans, this season is going to be fun.