New Mexico State Football: Can the Aggies contend in C-USA?

Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 26, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New Mexico State University quarterback Diego Pavia (10) shows off his game MVP trophy as he and his teammates celebrate their win over Bowling Green State University in the 2022 Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 26, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New Mexico State University quarterback Diego Pavia (10) shows off his game MVP trophy as he and his teammates celebrate their win over Bowling Green State University in the 2022 Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /

How will the Aggies fare in its first season in CUSA?

New Mexico State football has an opportunity to play for the Conference USA Championship in its first season in the league. There is some concern about the secondary, but there is not a passing offense in the conference that is potent save for Western Kentucky.

8/26 vs. UMass, W: This should be a win for the Aggies in its home opener against a UMass team still building.

9/2 vs. Western Illinois, W: The Leathernecks should be no problem considering they are an FCS program.

9/9 at Liberty, L: The Aggies’ first 50-50 game. The Flames win because the secondary can’t hold up against the Flames’ passing attack.

9/16 at New Mexico, W: The Aggies are the far better in-state program. The Aggies win easily.

9/23 at Hawai’i, W: New Mexico State should have no problem winning on the island. Hawai’i is rebuilding and isn’t there yet.

10/4 vs. FIU, W: A lot depends on the quality of the quarterback play for the Panthers. Grayson James threw the ball to the other team a lot last year. The Aggies win because FIU is awful against the run.

10/11 vs. Sam Houston, W: The Bearkats debut in FBS in 2023. New Mexico State should win this one easily because SHSU doesn’t have a quarterback figured out.

10/18 at UTEP, W: The Miners have been hit hard by the portal the last couple of years. NMSU wins an easy game here.

10/24 at Louisiana Tech, W: Sunny Cumbie is still building in Ruston. The Aggies should have little issue with the Bulldogs and their porous run defense.

11/4 vs. Middle Tennessee, W: This game could go either way. The Blue Raiders struggled in pass defense. Can the Aggies take advantage?

11/11 at Western Kentucky, L: The Hilltoppers are the only team with a passing game that can exploit a rebuilt New Mexico State secondary. Western is the standard in CUSA and proves so in an entertaining game.

11/18 at Auburn, L: This is a paycheck game for the Aggies. Tigers romp.

11/25 vs. Jacksonville State, W: The Gamecocks make their FBS debut in 2023. They have some uncertainty at quarterback and a lack of size along the defensive line. That is not a good combination against New Mexico State. The Aggies win their season finale.

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Prediction: 9-3, 6-2 CUSA