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Three Things We Learned From NM State’s 30-3 Loss to UTEP

What can we take away from Saturday’s loss and what will be recurring themes throughout the season?

Syndication: Las Cruces Sun-News Nathan J Fish/Sun-News via Imagn Content Services, LLC

It was more of the same for New Mexico State on Saturday as their play on the field looked like a team that hadn’t played in nearly two years. That’s understandable though considering they lost a lot of good players and need time to mesh as a team.

So what, if anything, can we take away from Saturday’s 30-3 loss at the hands of rival UTEP? Here are a few I think are worth pointing out.

  1. Coach Martin may have already given up on the school...and it may be time for him to go

Head coach Doug Martin has been lobbying pretty hard all offseason for another year on his contract because COVID cancelled the 2020 season but it may be too late and he may know it.

A lot of fans on Twitter astutely noted that Martin was wearing all black clothing that did not have any reference or logo of the school that employs him. Instead, it just had the Under Armor logo...not a good look for someone lobbying for his job. That is, unless he already knows its too late.

In my opinion, I think it is time to move on to a new coach. What Dana Dimel has done at UTEP, a school that was way worse off than NM State when he got there, shows that Dimel is able to evaluate, recruit, develop and implement players far better than Doug Martin is. I think it’s time for a fresh perspective in the head coaching chair in Las Cruces.

2. Junior College QBs don’t work

I don’t like to comment on players performance because after all, they have more talent than I ever will but I think this is something that needs to be discussed.

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl - Utah State v New Mexico State
While still technically a JUCO QB, Tyler Rogers was able to play four seasons in Las Cruces, improving each season.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ever since Tyler Rogers graduated, HC Martin has brought in JUCO QBs hoping they will be able to pick up the offense right away and they haven’t panned out. Remember Matt Romero? That was ugly.

I know it is only one game in but I don’t think Jonah Johnson is the answer. I’d much rather see Weston Eget play and make mistakes because he’s going to have more time in the system and will only improve. Good coaches bring in freshman and let them play, learn and grow. That’s how you build a competitive team.

3. Our defense is really bad

Again, this doesn’t need to necessarily be pointed out but it is true. Defensive Coordinator Spaziani has never fielded a very good defense, giving up at least 36 ppg each season he’s been here except for 2017.

Sure, COVID didn’t help and all the talent transferring out doesn’t either but even when the talent was here it wasn’t used quite how it should have been.

This may be a bit of an overreaching to just one game but we will see how things change Saturday against San Diego State.