Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Aggies' Big Name Coaches

New Mexico State's former coach Tony Samuel was a former Nebraska assistant, and the Aggies ran an I Formation based option attack similar to the former Cornhusker offense under Tom Osborne and Frank Solich.

Samuel was fired after last season and NMSU hired former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme. Mumme coached the Wildcats from 1997-2000. He led the Wildcats to back to back bowls in 1998 and 1999 behind the arm of Tim Couch. Mumme resigned after the 2000 season with a NCAA investigation pending.

He resurfaced as a head coach in 2003 at I-AA SE Louisiana. His offense at SLU led the nation in total offense at 537 yds per game, with 408 through the air. New Mexico State still has many players on the roster that were recruited to run the option, not Mumme's pass happy offense. He patterned his offense after the successful system used by BYU. Mumme studied the system while an assistant at UTEP from 1982-1985.

New Mexico State has averaged only 313.4 yds per game on offense, but have given up 455.4 on defense. Mumme brought along his defensive coordinator from SLU, Woody Widenhofer. Name sound familiar to some. Widenhofer was the DC for the Pittsburgh Steelers for their last two Super Bowl titles, and head coach of the Oklahoma Outlaws of the old USFL.

Widenhofer later became head coach at Missouri and DC at Vanderbilt. He uses a 3-4 base defense. Fresno State has had great success against a 3-4, as evident last week when the Bulldogs controlled the line of scrimmage versus Toledo.

Mumme and Widenhofer are veteran coaches and eventually I think New Mexico State can become what Hawaii is under June Jones. However, this year with many players not experienced or recruited for Mumme's pass first attack, the Aggies might not win a game until November.



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