Last week was a disaster. But that was last week, time to forget about it. This week, a familiar foe (with a familiar offensive coordinator) comes to town to try and get back at the Aggies for beating them on homecoming a year ago.
This year is quite different. Georgia Southern has a new head coach, NM State has lost all three of their biggest offensive playmakers and both teams have kind of gone back to the way things were, sort of. Georgia Southern is one game away from bowl eligibility while the Aggies are 2-5 on the year.
So what is there to preview? Keep reading to find out!
Location: Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, NM
Time: Saturday, October 20, 4 p.m. MT
Radio: 99.5 KXPZ or any of these great stations
Alamagordo - 103.7 FM KNMZ, Albuquerque - 1150 AM KNMM, Carlsbad - 1240 AM KAMQ, El Paso - 1380 AM KHEY, Gallup - 1230 AM, 94.9 FM KYVA, Las Vegas - 107.1 FM KMDS
Weather: 67 and sunny
Series History: Georgia Southern leads the series 3-1 but the Aggies won last year 35-27
What did Georgia Southern do last week?
Georgia Southern picked up their fifth win of the season last Thursday, beating Texas State 15-13. The Eagles stopped the Bobcats four straight times at the goal line early in the game, then stopped their two point try late in the game to secure the two point win.
Georgia Southern has not won a non-conference road game since they joined the FBS in 2014. There is no reason to believe that streak won’t be broken Saturday, unfortunately.
The Eagles have gone back to the triple option attack, led by former UNM offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse, and have lots of players who can do it all.
QB Shai Werts is one of those players. He currently leads the team in rushing with 472 yards and eight touchdowns on 98 carries (4.8 average) and is the prime distributor of the ball. He’s also thrown for another 414 yards and four touchdowns but is only completing about every other throw (55%).
When the Eagles throw the ball (which isn’t often) it’s usually to Wesley Kennedy III. He’s the Swiss Army Eagle, catching seven balls for 152 yards, rushing 14 times for 167 yards, returning six punts for 67 yards and 11 kicks for 253 yards. That’s a total of 646 all purpose yards. Expect more than one Aggie defender to be on him all game.
Other offensive names you’ll want to know are Wesley Fields (472 rushing yards, 96 receiving) and Monteo Garrett (268 rushing yards).
If you’d like to see a breakdown of the Eagle offense, click the link in the “Previewing” text above.
The Aggies will need to be careful with the ball on Saturday, not just because Georgia Southern is good at taking the ball away, but because nobody wants to see their GATA chain come out. It’s ugly. It’s a giant metal GATA. I’ll admit its unique but I’m not a fan. It ain’t no Miami Hurricane turnover chain.
The GATA chain has appeared 14 times this season. Seven time because of interceptions and the other seven because of fumble recoveries.
CB Monquavion Brinson is the most likely person to wear the GATA chain this weekend. He leads the team with 41 tackles and has added an interception and six pass break ups.
Another player to watch out for is safety Joshua Moon. He’s having a solid senior season, totaling 34 tackles (two for loss), half a sack and an interception.
New Mexico State was without three defensive starters last week and get their leader, Terrill Hanks back. Still, the Aggies will need a lot more than one returning player to turn things around. They are 126th in scoring defense and gave up over 750 yards last week.
The D is looking for answers and that is hard when you don’t have a lot of options.
Expect the Eagles to come into Las Cruces and dominate on the ground.
Georgia Southern 56, New Mexico State 28