Keys to the Game: New Mexico State at Texas State

New Mexico State visits the Bobcats on Saturday. The 'Cats are on a rare one-game winning streak and hope to expand on that against the Aggies. A few keys:

Not your average New Mexico State Team

For nearly half a century the New Mexico State Aggies have been a perennial homecoming opponent, the weak link in college football. Under Doug Martin that is changing, slowly. The Aggies might make their first bowl game since 1960, and they boast one of the best quarterbacks in the FBS. Last season the Aggies beat Texas State by 40. This year the Aggies gave Pac 12 foe Arizona State a scare and have already matched Martin's best season in terms of wins. They aren't invincible by any stretch, they've lost three of their last four, but they aren't the typical Aggie pushovers. 

Under Pressure

The Bobcats turned last years weakness, pass rush, into a strength of the improved 2017 defense. Texas State's risen from 127th last year to 50th this season in sacks, doubling their output from a year ago. New Mexico State's Tyler Rogers will pick a defense apart given time. NMSU's offense doesn't protect well; the Aggies allowed 23 sacks through seven games, 123rd in the FBS. Texas State's pass rushers, Gabe Loyd, Easy Anyama, and Frankie Griffin should have opportunities to move Rogers off his spot and out of his comfort zone. 

Building on Success

For the fourth time in 20 games, the Bobcats are coming off a win; a Sun Belt win no less. Texas State quarterback Damian Williams played his best game as a Bobcat, and the running game looked useful as well against Coastal Carolina. The Bobcats are coming off a bye week and before that a better than expected performance against Louisiana Lafayette. The difference between the Bobcats of 2016 and 2017 version is palatable. Texas State might be turning a corner. Avenging a forty point loss to New Mexico State further proves the point. 

News and Notes

Saturday marks the fifth meeting between the Aggies and Bobcats, the teams have split their previous four games. 

NMSU's Tyler Rogers is currently 3rd in the FBS in passing yards per game. 

Rogers also leads the FBS in interceptions with fifteen. 

Fairfield's Larry Rose is currently second on New Mexico State's All-time leading rushing list. 

Texas State's defense has improved from ninth in the Sun Belt last season to third in the league this year. 

Texas State has yet to register an interception in 2017. 

Saturday's win over Coastal Carolina was Everett Withers first win over a a Sun Belt opponent as coach of the Bobcats. 

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