Players to Watch – New Mexico

Matt Warden

1. Demarcus Rodgers
Junior Demarcus Rogers is the leading rusher returning for a New Mexico offense that amassed just over 1,300 yards on the ground as a team last season. Rogers looked impressive in week one, putting together a stat line much like the Longhorns’ backs, with 13 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown. Rogers possesses all the tools to succeed in the Lobos new option offense. He’s of a very stocky build, low to the ground, and has showed glimpses of big play ability with long runs. With an inconsistent signal caller at the helm, Rogers should get a lot of carries against a vastly superior Texas defense. He will have all the opportunity he needs to help his team pick up yards and points, but it will be up to him to shine.

2. Cole Gautsche
Gautsche looked very good with his legs in week one, as he rushed eight times for 88 yards and two touchdowns, including a 47 yard touchdown run. He only threw two passes in that game which suggests he’s most likely going to be wanted against Texas to find big openings to capitalize on. Gautsche is a big kid at quarterback, coming in as a 6-foot-4, 227 pound freshman. His arm hasn’t been seen enough for the Longhorn faithful to worry about it, but his athletic ability has been put on display for everyone to see and should be taken into consideration if he sees any amount of playing time in this game. Senior B.R. Holbrook will likely get the majority of snaps in this game, but his inconsistency could provide an opportunity for Gautsche to get in and show what he can do against the big boys.

3. Joseph Harris
Finding an individual defensive player to watch on New Mexico is a tough job. New Mexico gave up 500 points last season, which averages comes out to almost 42 per game. Although they don’t have much to brag about on either side of the ball, linebacker Joseph Harris is definitely a sleeper pick to watch out for on Saturday. He had 55 total tackles last season, with one sack. Those numbers don’t jump out at anyone, but the team leader in tackles had 85, so his numbers look a little more solid in comparison. Against Southern in week one Harris had four tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown. At 6-foot-2 235 pounds, Harris is a guy that passes the eye test and should warrant a few looks come Saturday. On a team with not much to watch when it comes to defense, he could surprise a few people.