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Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus // New Mexico Lobos

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2009 Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus

Game 1: North Dakota Fighting Sioux // Game 2: Rice Owls // Game 3: Texas Longhorns // Game 4: Houston Cougars // Game 5: New Mexico Lobos

It would be an understatement to say that the Lobos struggled a bit last year, going 4-8 for the year and 2-6 in conference in Mike Locksley's first year as the head coach. New Mexico faces TAMU, New Mexico State and Tulsa prior to meeting up with Texas Tech and I'm thinking that the Tulsa game might tell Red Raider fans quite a bit about what to expect from New Mexico.

Join me after the jump for a closer look at New Mexico.

General Information

Opponent University of New Mexico
Nickname Lobos
Location Albuquerque, NM
Enrollment 18,027
Conference Mountain West Conference
Head Coach Mike Locksley
2008 Record 4-8 (2-6)
Starters Returning/Lost 11/11
Blogs The Mountain West Conference Connection
Links 2009 Spring Media Guide (pdf)
New Mexico Spring Football Central


Statistics

Statistic New Mexico Texas Tech
Pass Offense 131.33 (110) 413.15 (1)
Rush Offense 208.25 (16) 117.84 (94)
Total Offense 339.58 (81) 531.00 (4)
Scoring Offense 21.08 (94) 43.77 (3)
Pass Efficiency 95.69 (111) 158.76 (9)
Sacks Allowed 1.50 (33) 1.00 (4)
Pass Defense 213.50 (70) 242.23 (94)
Rush Defense 122.25 (26) 140.38 (61)
Total Defense 335.75 (45) 382.62 (79)
Scoring Defense 22.75 (46) 27.85 (74)
Pass Efficiency Defense 131.58 (77) 130.56 (72)
Sacks 1.75 (76) 2.62 (18)
Tackles For Loss 5.67 (64) 4.85 (95)
Turnover Margin 0.25 (43) 0.62 (22)


Top Returners

Category Player
Rushing James Wright (54 / 348 yds / 2 TD)
Passing Brad Gruner (99-184 / 1,037 yds / 3 TD / 6 Int)
Receiving Chris Hernandez (33 rec. / 428 yds / 0 TD)
Tackles Clint McPeek (103)
Sacks Ian Clark (4.0)
Interceptions Brett Kennedy, Frankie Solomon and Clint McPeek (1)


A Few Things

  1. Returning Two Passers: Although Brad Guner appears to be the quarterback with the best stats, Donovan Porterie, may be the signal caller that Red Raiders can expect to see. Porterie was injured during the Tulsa game and was unable to return, but it appears that Porterie may be the guy in 2009.
  2. Spread Option: Head coach Mike Locksley was the offensive coordinator for the Illinois Illini, where he helped fashion the spread option attack for the Illini. Obviously, the offense struggled a bit last year, but a big part of that was Guner was a freshman last year and New Mexico was counting on Porterie being the signal caller and there's going to be some adjustments as the team figures out the new offense.
  3. Defense Pretty Good for 2008: I'm always surprised to see a good defense, and from all accounts the Lobos were incredibly good last year considering the circumstances. I've always thought that the defense is the toughest to bring around, but Locksley had success last year. The tough part for the Lobos is that they lose 8 starters from last year, including the entire defensive line and all but one linebacker (Clint McPeek). That's a ton of production that's lost. It's going to be very tough for NM to repeat 2008's success, but I suppose the hope is that the offense picks it up a bit with 8 returning starters.
  4. Rushing Forward: New Mexico loses their top two rushers from 2008 (Rodney Ferguson: 1,176/13 TD and paul Baker: 438/2 TD), so that means that freshman James Wright will get the first opportunity. Keep in mind that because of the spread-option offense, the quarterback is going to factor heavily into the running game and no matter if its Guner or Porterie, you'll see all of these guys run a bit.
  5. Defensive Back = Best Returning Pass Rusher: Ian Clark, a safety/linebacker is the Lobos best returning pass rusher with 4.0 sacks. Just something to keep in mind as we get closer to this game, but you might expect to see some blitzing from every position. This also demonstrates that New Mexico loses 12.0 of their 21 sacks last year. As mentioned above, there's a lot of production to replace.
  6. Lots of Turnovers: When your quarterbacks throw for 14 interceptions and 6 touchdowns, it might be safe to assume that your team is going to be on the negative side of the turnover battle, but the Lobos forced 25 turnovers last year, 13 fumbles and 12 interceptions. Again, a testament to the relatively strong New Mexico defense. The problem of course is that of the 12 interceptions, the Lobos lose 9 of those interceptions to graduation.