UTEP goes into the rivalry matchup with NMSU as a heavy underdog for the first time since 2002.
NMSU has a team that can compete in the upper echelon of the Sun Belt this year, and these five players are the main reasons why UTEP is a road underdog, and why NMSU is legit this year.
Tyler Rogers, QB
NMSU’s offense has been built around Rogers’ ability as a crafty playmaker and decision maker with a strong arm, and now he has legit weapons around him.
Against New Mexico, Rogers hit 10 different receivers, and 10 different pass catchers have at least nine or more targets on the season.
The 6’3 senior has NMSU ranked 56thnationally in passing success rate, and four of his top five receivers have catch rates higher than 73 percent which is very, very impressive.
His ability to extend plays also attributes to his impressive 4.2 percent sack rate on 159 pass attempts.
Rogers enters Saturday’s game second in NMSU all-time history in passing yards (7,486) and completions (670), third in attempts (1,134), passing touchdowns (52), total offense (8,098) total touchdowns (60).
NMSU’s passing game might not be an explosive type of attack, but with Rogers decision making, accuracy, and playmaking ability, it can simply pick you apart, and put points on the board.
Larry Rose, RB
Rose entered his senior season as a top-five rusher in terms of career rushing yards among active rushers in FBS.
He’s had a pedestrian start in Larry Rose standards, but still averages 5.0 yards per carry through three weeks.
While Rose hasn’t been as explosive as he has in the past, NMSU has a very low stuff rate, and NMSU’s offensive line has done a better job of giving him big play chances according to advanced stat metrics.
Rose is due for a breakout game.
With UTEP’s struggles in stopping the run, Rose has to be fired up to run on the Miners defense. While the Miner D has to dig deep to stop this future NFL-er.
Dalton Herrington, LB (WILL)
Relentless, productive, and a fearless leader quickly describes what Herrington brings to NMSU’s aggressive defense.
Herrington has one of the highest personal success rate of any defender UTEP has played so far, and he leads NMSU in tackles, tackles for loss, and run stuffs.
“It all starts with Dalton Herrington, the captain.” UTEP Head Coach Sean Kugler said. “He leads their team in tackles, tackles for losses and sacks. He has also got some good quarterback hits. You can see that he is a leader on film, he is getting guys lined up, he is a relentless football player. I really like the way he plays.”
Terrill Hanks, OLB
Hanks has started for the Aggies ever since he crossed the New Mexico state line upon arriving on campus.
He’s one of the fastest linebackers in all of the G5 landscape, and is putting up good numbers in his junior year.
The 6’3, 224 pound junior is second behind Herrington in tackles, and attributes to NMSU’s 53rd ranked havoc rank from their linebacking crew.
“Terrill Hanks, I have always had a lot of respect for him.” Kugler said of Hanks. “This guy can really fly, he is an outside linebacker and one of the fastest guys on their defense.”
Jaleel Scott, WR
Remember the dude who put the Aggies on the map in week one with that sick one-handed catch, meet Jaleel Scott, UTEP fans.
The former JUCO transfer has made a huge impact for the Aggies, and could be earning himself some NFL dollars in the process.
Scott is NMSU’s highest targeted wide out, and leads the team in catches, yards, and is tied for team honors with four touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see how UTEP rolls their zone coverages to keep Scott in check. At 6’6 with speed, size, and ability, he could become a huge matchup problem.
Other Aggies you should know
Malik Demby, DB
Four run stops from his safety spot, second on the team in TFL’s. He. Can. Go.
Roy Lopez, DL
6’2, 310 pounds, and has four run stuffs. Will Hernandez v. Roy Lopez will be a nice matchup to watch in the trenches.
Izaiah Lottie, WR
Lottie has just seven catches on the season, but four have gone for TD’s, and he’s averaging 27.9 yards per catch. #Explosive
Jason Huntley, RB