New Mexico State
(all times local to playing site)
|Aug. 30||SACRAMENTO STATE
|Sept. 8||at Ohio
|Sept. 15||at UTEP
|Sept. 22||NEW MEXICO||6:00|
|Oct. 6||*at Idaho
|Oct. 20||*at Utah State
||*SAN JOSE STATE
|Dec. 1||*at TEXAS STATE||3:00|
It's time for the 2012 New Mexico State football season to officially begin as the Aggies take the field on Aug. 30 to open the season at home against Sacramento State. Head Coach DeWayne Walker feels this team is different than from years past, showing a desire to change history and make a postseason bowl game for the first time in 52 years.
The Aggies return a solid foundation from a year ago, including 18 starters, eight on offense, six on defense and four on special teams. Senior running back Robert Clay will anchor the offensive running game with help from juniors Tiger Powell, Akeelie Mustafa and redshirt junior Germi Morrison.
The Aggies' offensive line is a huge key for the success of new offensive coordinator Jerry McManus's system. Senior guard Andrew Kersten returns from a year ago and with solid play from underclassmen Davonte Wallace, Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, Dada Richards and Andy Cunningham, the Aggies have a solid line they feel can protect the quarterback.
NM State returns a solid wide receiver corps from a year ago, including senior Kemonte Bateman, sophomore Austin Franklin and sophomore Joseph Matthews. Seniors Kevan Walker and Darrius Preston, along with junior Jerrel Brown all look to get solid playing time this season. Bateman leads the returners after catching 28 passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns in 2011, while Franklin caught 34 passes for 524 yards and three touchdowns. At tight end, Trevor Walls had a solid 2011, catching 11 passes for 144 yards, averaging 13.1 yards per catch. Junior transfer Perris Scoggins will also see time at tight end.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley is back from a season ending knee injury a year ago. Manley threw for 892 yards and six touchdowns last season, starting three games for NM State in 2011. Junior college transfer Andrew McDonald will back up Manley to start the season, while sophomore Travaughn Colwell is also available if needed. Colwell played in seven games in 2011 as a true freshman, throwing for 419 yards and two touchdowns.
The defensive secondary is filled with new faces this season as all four starters from last season have graduated. Junior Darien Johnson and senior Jeremy Harris will anchor the outside for the Aggies, while juniors Justin Smith and George Callender look to hold down the safety positions. Junior college transfers Cameron Fuller and Dele Junaid will also see plenty of action, while returns Davis Cazares and Samuel Oyenuga look to also see time on the field.
Defensive end Donte Savage leads the defensive line in 2012 after sitting out in 2011. Savage will be joined by fellow returner senior Walton Taumoepeau along with junior college transfers Kalvin Cruz, Nick Oliva and Kevin Laudermill. Senior Alex LaVoy will make the jump from linebacker to defensive end in 2012. LaVoy had 36 tackles for the Aggies in 2011.
The Aggie linebacker corps is the key for the Aggies' defense in 2012. Senior B.J. Adolpho will hold down the middle linebacker spot for the Aggies, while junior Bryan Bonilla and junior transfer Trashaun Nixon will start on the outside at linebacker for NM State. Bonilla led this year's returners with 71 tackles in 2011. Sophomores Dylan Davis and Anthony Joyner, along with junior Josh Smith are solid backups at this position.
Place kicker Tyler Stampler returns for the Aggies in 2012. Stampler will handle most of the field goal and PAT work for NM State, while redshirt freshman Brock Baca will handle kickoffs. Punter Jake Capraro also returns in 2012 but will battle it out with transfer Cayle Chapman-Brown for the starting spot. Long snapper Mike Kaiser is back this season as well.