Rested and refreshed after a bye week the Eagles will have the opportunity to show off in their homecoming match-up against New Mexico State. The Aggies haven’t won a game since September 6th of last year, with 15 losses in a row.
New Mexico State has frequented the bottom of the Sun Belt conference and this year is no different. They have dropped the first five games of the season including a 34-32 loss at the hands of Georgia State. The following week, the Aggies tried to rebound against UTEP but despite a great offensive performance they fell in overtime 47-50. Their in-state rival, the University of New Mexico, handed them another loss along with blowout defeats at the hand of the University of Florida and Ole Miss.
The New Mexico State defense does not have the size or speed to effectively combat the Eagle attack. They are currently allowing an average of 578 yards per game, and giving up 47 points per opponent. With these statistics in mind, it is important to remember that the Aggies do have play-makers on both sides of the ball and on any given Saturday, anything can happen.
One of the play-makers on the defense is sophomore linebacker Derek Ibekwe. The sophomore is tied on the team in total tackles with 42 and leads the team with 3.5 tackles for loss this season. As a freshman last season, Ibekwe made over 100 tackles and he is on pace to break that milestone again. He is the star of their defense and he will continue to be a terror in the years to come.
In the defensive backfield of the Aggies sits their other star defender, sophomore defensive back Jaden Wright. Another sophomore with a promising career ahead, Wright leads the team with 27 solo tackles and is tied with Ibekwe in total tackles with 42. He has also picked up a interception and a forced fumble this year in the defensive backfield and he will likely be the one trying to chase down Eagle running back Matt Breida or one of the receivers most of the night.
If the Eagles can manage to put away the Aggies it would be their fourth FBS win of the season, leaving only two more until they become bowl eligible. The game will likely be a runaway and fans will be able to enjoy the true homecoming experience. The game will kick off at 6pm in Paulson Stadium.