The New Mexico State Aggies (3-8, 3-4) will close out their regular season as they travel to face the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks (1-11, 0-7) in Sun Belt conference action Saturday afternoon. New Mexico State has taken three of the four previous meetings with Louisiana Monroe claiming a 30-17 road win as a 6 point favorite on November 22, 2014 in the most recent matchup between the programs.
New Mexico State had their three game win streak come to an end with a 52-28 defeat at home to Arkansas State Saturday. Louisiana Monroe had dropped 10 in a row after a 28-26 defeat at Hawaii last Saturday. The game kicks off at 3:00 pm ET from Malone Stadium in Monroe, Louisiana and can be seen on ESPN3. There currently is no point spread or over/under set for this contest between teams playing out the string.
New Mexico State had won three in a row before getting knocked off in one-sided fashion by Arkansas State. The Aggies took a 7-0 lead but was outscored 35-7 the rest of the first half; they never recovered in the loss. New Mexico State lost the total yardage battle 605-434, allowed 30 first downs while picking up 20 and allowed Arkansas State to hold the ball for 35:17 to New Mexico State’s 24:43 in the game. The Aggies were also hurt by four turnovers; they forced just one takeaway and allowed a punt return for a score in the game.
The Aggies are 43rd in the nation in passing offense (247.8 yards) and 44th in rushing offense (188.8 yards) per game on the season. New Mexico State is scoring 28 points per contest, putting them tied for 68th in the nation in scoring offense while they are dreadful in the scoring defense department; they are 126th in the nation, which makes them the third worst in the country, by allowing 45.3 points per game. Three quarterbacks have seen action for New Mexico State this season; they’ve combined to complete 52.3 percent of their throws for 2,726 yards with 24 touchdowns and 12 picks. Andrew Allen (92 of 178, 1221 yards, 14 TD, 6 INT) has seen the most reps under center with Tyler Rogers and Nick Jeanty in the mix as well. Larry Rose III leads the Aggies in the ground game with 213 carries for 1,587 yards and 12 scores; no one else has more than Allen’s 184 yards on the season. Teldrick Morgan is currently leading New Mexico State with 37 receptions for 450 yards and four touchdowns while Tyrain Taylor is second on the team with 36 catches for a team leading 658 yards plus four scores; Rose III has contributed 28 receptions for 282 yards and two scores out of the backfield. Parker Davidson has had problems splitting the uprights as he is 32 of 38 on extra points and 10 of 16 on field goals this season with a long of 44 yards.
Louisiana Monroe dropped their 10th in a row as they fell behind 21-3 in the first half and 28-10 in the third quarter; their rally fell short as a two point conversion with just over three minutes to play failed. The Warhawks outgained the Rainbow Warriors 376-356, finished with 26 first downs while allowing 22 and held the edge in time of possession by a 30:08 to 29:52 margin in the game. Both teams committed a turnover in the game with Louisiana Monroe scoring on a fumble return for their final score of the contest.
The Warhawks are 88th in the nation in passing offense (205.3 yards) but they are currently just 123rd in the nation in rushing offense as they average 106.2 yards per game on the ground. Louisiana Monroe scores 19.2 points per game, which leaves them 113th in scoring offense while they stand 116th in scoring defense as they allow 36.7 points a night. Garrett Smith is the starter at quarterback and has hit 191 of 333 passes for 2,033 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions; he’s second on the team with 250 yards and two scores on the ground. Earnest Carrington (51 of 104, 396 yards, 3 TD, 5 INT, 94 rushing yards, TD) is the backup should Smith go down or get benched. Louisiana Monroe averages 3.3 yards per carry on the ground; Kaylon Watson is second on the team with 85 carries for 290 yards while Ben Luckett has 78 carries for a team high 475 yards plus two scores and DeVontae Michael (53 carries, 190 yards, 2 TD) is in the mix as well. Ajalen Holley is second on the Warhawks with 56 receptions for 684 yards and six scores while Rashon Caesar chips in 31 catches for 325 yards and two scores; Watson has 19 catches out of the backfield. Jared Mapps (26 grabs, 236 yards, TD) and Marcus Green (team high 61 catches, 638 yards, 5 TD) are secondary targets. Craig Ford has hit all 27 extra points and has booted 9 of 12 field goals this season with a long of 44 yards.
New Mexico State is 4-1 ATS in their last five after allowing at least 40 points, 4-1 ATS in their last five on the road and 4-1 ATS in their last five after allowing at least 280 yards through the air. Louisiana Monroe is 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine following a straight up loss, 1-3-1 ATS in their last five after allowing at least 200 yards on the ground, 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine overall, 1-6 ATS in their last seven conference games and 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight at home.
Louisiana Monroe has been terrible all season and there’s little reason to expect much of a change in this contest. New Mexico State had won three straight before getting carved up by Arkansas State. It’s safe to say that Louisiana Monroe is nowhere near the powerhouse in the Sun Belt that the Red Wolves are. There’s no reason to like Louisiana Monroe here; New Mexico State’s offense puts together a good performance and gets the win.