Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Preview - Eastern New Mexico

Josh LynnThe Greyhounds returned to the running game last year and did not see a  dropoff in production despite the majority of players on the roster being recruited for a pass-heavy attack.  Wes Wood leaves ENMU as the all-time leading passer, despite the change in philosophy in his senior year. 

2012 Recap - Eastern New Mexico finished the 2012 season with a 3-7 record.  On the positive side, they won close games against Sul Ross State, Incarnate Word and Texas A&M-Commerce and improved their rushing attack by almost 100 yards a game.  On the negative side, 6 of their losses were by 20 or more points and the defense was last in the LSC allowing 37.5 points and 434 yards per game.

Who's Back - Just one starter on each side of the ball that received All-LSC honors.  On the offense, John Mendoza (honorable mention) is back on the offensive line along with a couple other starters.  Jeremy Burma had limited playing time last year, but appears to have the edge for the starting QB spot. FB Christian Long is the leading rusher having picked up 400 yards last year.  Jacob Johnson and Dillon Metzger combined for 41 receptions for 587 yards and 6 TDs to lead the WR corps.  Defensively, LB Seth Bailey (honorable mention) was second on the team with 84 tackles.  He will be joined by 4 other players among ENMU's top 10 in tackles.  Up front Wade Bounds had 50 tackles from his defensive end position, but no other returnee had more than 6.   In addition to Bailey, Donavan Amituanai (33 tackles) is back at LB.  Linvel Mosby (45 tackles) and Willie Grant (38 tackles, 2 Ints) are the leading returnees in the secondary.

Who's New - The player we will be watching most closely is running back Jordan Wells.  Wells, a junior transfer from Southeastern Louisiana had 1,383 yards returning kicks (26.6 avg) as a freshman in 2011.  He could share time in the backfield with transfers Christian Thomas and E'lon Spight.  For the offensive line, look for Maanaima Lang to work his way into the lineup.  The defense is need of immediate help, so look for transfer linemen Tannerl Melson and Chevrolet Mikaele to make an early impact, as well as defensive backs Connor Brinton and Rhett Nebeker.

2013 Outlook - While we expect to see another year with some improvement, it is unclear whether that will result in more wins.  The schedule is much like last year, with non conference games against New Mexico Highlands, Sul Ross State and Incarnate Word, as well as former LSC member Northeastern State.  The Greyhounds could win 3 of those and could win another one or two LSC games.  Best case scenario 6-4 - Worst Case 1-9.  Prediction: 4-6 and another step toward respectability. 

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