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Playin' Nice: New Mexico State, Featuring Underdog Dynasty

Matt Monte of Underdog Dynasty fills us in on the New Mexico State Aggies.

1. I'm not even going to pretend to know much about the Aggies. Can you give us an overall look at what kind of team New Mexico State is and what kind of season they're having?

The Aggies are your standard small school, spread team. They don't have much to offer in the defense department outside of some decent corners, but they can definitely move the ball and dominate time of possession. Expect a ton of short passes and bubble screens before they take a shot a little further down field. They also run a good bit of read option.

It may be cliché, but it's all about getting the ball to their play makers as quickly as possible. They don't worry too much about chunk yardage, but when they do break off a big one, it's usually a yards after catch situation.

As far as what kind of year they are having, the Aggies just lost their two biggest rivalry games in back-to-back weeks. First, a pretty solid whoopin' by UTEP, and then a heart-breaker to New Mexico in the Rio Grande Rivalry. On the plus side, they won their first ever Sun Belt conference game in a furious comeback against a mostly terrible Georgia State. So there is that.

2. New Mexico State has given up some big yardage on the ground in recent weeks. What kind of defense is LSU looking at?

Honestly, they cover the edges well enough, mostly due to senior Jay Eakins. The problem is, the rest of the front seven is young as hell. I want to say NMSU is dead last or close to it right now in run defense, giving up just under 300 rushing yards a game.

The secondary isn't too bad though. Lewis Hill is usually pretty solid for NMSU, but he gave up a costly pass interference penalty in the endzone last week to set New Mexico up for the go ahead touchdown. I would say the Aggie DB's are about on par with ULM, who LSU faced a few weeks ago. So that might give you an idea.

3. Quarterback Tyler Rogers has thrown for some nice yardage so far. What kind of talent is he?

Coach Doug Martin had enough faith in Rogers to move one of his backup's to safety in the offseason. Rogers has got a good arm and makes solid throws, but seems to get complacent at times, throwing off his back foot. This means he's also committed more than his fair share of turnovers. He's got six interceptions during the first four games, but he's also getting more production out of his receivers.

He's also a read option threat. Not the fastest guy in the world, but he can pick up five to ten yards when he needs to.

4. Any other Aggies LSU fans ought to know about?

Probably Teldrick Martin. He'll be the target of most of those bubble screens because he can get some serious yardage after the catch. In his last two games he has 324 yards on 17 receptions, but amazingly only one touchdown.

Also, Striking the Wonder Dog. He doesn't have the best change of direction, but his straight line speed is solid.

5. This is NMSU's lone game against a power-five conference opponent. Will they be going all-out on this one to try and shock the world, or maybe trying to save themselves for the rest of the Sun Belt schedule?

Coach Martin has come out and said that the game plan is to enjoy the trip to Baton Rouge, stay healthy, and look forward to playing Georgia Southern next week. That's not to say these players won't be looking to pull the upset. They were beside themselves last week because the crowd in Las Cruces broke 25,000. They might be a little shell shocked by Tiger Stadium, even if it's half full, but I suspect they will come out the gates swinging. The final score won't be pretty, but I suspect the Aggies will be able to leave BR with their heads held high.