New Mexico State’s ‘maybe’s hinge on its QBs
BEFORE this Western Athletic Conference football season there were more than a few people who looked to Las Cruces and thought, Hmmm. Maybe, just maybe ...
The overqualified coach. The high-powered passing scheme that could serve as an immediate equalizer.
But now here we are, and New Mexico State limps into town at 0-6.
Sure, Hawaii coach June Jones had to come back from an 0-12 season when he first arrived in 1999.
But Hal Mumme doesn't have a Dan Robinson waiting in the wings.
That was huge. Jones had a guy who could step in and run his system. Mumme has openly admitted he's juggling quarterbacks out of necessity. He's joked he might get better results if he told one guy he'd be the starter, then turned around and went the other way.
We've seen a couple of these guys' games on TV. They give you glimpses, make you think, Hmm, maybe, just maybe ... until that next interception or sack or another dropped pass.
One of NMSU's biggest highlights of the season was when Mumme used all three of his timeouts to ice Cal's kicker Sept. 23, resulting in a missed field goal at the end of the first half.
That's where the Aggies are, at 0-6.
The postgame quote sheet from last week's loss to Fresno State pretty much sums it up. In fact, forget the quote, the set-up itself sums it up:
On NMSU's scoring drive: "We did a pretty good job on that drive," Mumme said, "but we need to do it more than once a game."
This may have been a tougher situation than anyone realized.
But seven years ago, Hawaii had Robinson ready to step in at quarterback, and that made all the difference. It's even easier to see that now with New Mexico State at 0-6 and playing musical chairs at the position.
"When I was sitting on the sidelines, I could see all the things Joey (Vincent) was going through out there and he had a lot of bad breaks," Aggies quarterback Royal Gill said at his team's press conference this week. "This offense is tough to run at times, a lot of checking off.
"I now see some things that I didn't see before, though," he said. "I've learned some things."
We all have. Namely, that it's a lot easier to be an offensive genius -- as Mumme was, not so long ago -- when you've got guys who can step in and play.
Jones had Robinson. And the renaissance was on its way.
Mumme is still juggling, at last check. "(Gill's) the guy for this week, I can tell you that," he told the Las Cruces Sun-News. "With as much indecision as we've had, we may as well be consistent."