Georgia State-New Mexico State
Start Time: 8:00 P.M. ET, Saturday, Sept. 12
Location: Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Records: Georgia State 0-1, New Mexico State 0-1. New Mexico State leads the overall series 1-0.
Live Stats: here.
Betting Line: New Mexico State -7. Over/Under: 63.5.
Aggievision Drinking Game: Before getting to the game preview, here is a reminder to check out the Aggievision Drinking Game: Week One. As always, use discretion when participating.
Georgia State Outlook: The Georgia State Panthers are coming off of an incredibly disappointing loss to FBS newbie Charlotte in week one.
While there are many things that did not go well with the Panthers offense in game one, the rushing attack did show signs of a pulse versus Charlotte with Taz Bateman (8/64/0TD) showing a knack for big plays. Between Bateman and Kyler Neal (11/37/0TD), the Panthers rushed for 98 yards. Unfortunately, the rest of the team combined for a seven carry, -5 yard effort. Quarterback Nick Arbuckle (25-43/299/2TD) put up very respectable stats on the day but many of the yards came much too late when the game was all but done. Arbuckle did do a good job of distributing the ball with nine different players catching a pass, led by Robert Davis (5/57/0TD).
Bobby Baker (8 tkl, 2 INT, 3 fr) opened his time at Georgia State with one of the best defensive performances in school history. The UAB transfer was involved in a school-record five takeaways with two interceptions and three fumble recoveries in the loss. Baker was also announced as the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week. Despite forcing five turnovers, the Georgia State defense still gave up 408 total yards and 24 first downs on the day. Joseph Patterson (9 tkl, 0.5 tfl, 0.5 sacks) was the leading tackler for a defense that made eight tackles for a loss and four sacks.
New Mexico State Outlook: For a team looking to reverse the double digit loss total of 2014, the New Mexico State Aggies got off to a rough start with a week one loss to Florida.
In New Mexico State's defense, Florida is one of the most talented defenses in the nation with future NFL players all over the field. Even so, 200 yards of total offense and eight first downs is not the way the Aggies coaching staff hoped week one would finish. Running back Larry Rose III (12/64/1TD) was a bright spot for the Aggies with a 5.3 yards per carry average versus the vaunted Gators defense. Quarterback Tyler Rogers (14-27/128/1TD) struggled versus the Florida secondary but did not throw any interceptions in the loss. In his 14 completions, Rogers did complete two or more passes to six different players, led by Teldrick Morgan (3/38/1TD).
It's much better to chalk the terrible defensive performance in week one to a better opponent dominating play than to try to explain things thoroughly. The Gators ran through the Aggies defense to the tune of 606 yards, 382 in the air and 224 on the ground. NMSU gave up 7.7 yards per carry and over 10 yards per pass attempt to Florida in the loss. Jacob Nwangwa (7 tkl) and Terrill Hanks (7 tkl, 1 tfl, 1 sack) led the was for the New Mexico State defense in the loss.
Prediction: Lots of scoring. Both teams have talented offenses that were kept in check during week one losses, but only New Mexico State has an excuse in facing Florida's defense. The Aggies should score their fair share of points with Rose III's rushing ability key to the game. This game screams to be one of those classic FunBelt game that ends up 45-42 with both offenses dominating play.
As long as Rogers stays away from Panther defensive back Bobby Baker, the Aggies should rack up points versus an overmatched defense and pull out a wild, high-scoring affar.