NEW MEXICO LOBOS
Coach: Bob Davie
Record: 11-26 (fourth season); 46-51 career (eight seasons)
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Last year: 4-8 overall, 2-6 MW
Last bowl: 2007 New Mexico (W, 23-0 against Nevada)
Returning starters: 7 offense, 7 defense, 2 specialists
Story line: The wins still aren't quite there, but the Lobos took a big step last season, with six of the losses by 11 points or fewer. Their option-based attack will madden plenty of opponents, led by senior Jhurell Pressley (1,083 yards, 12 TDs). As is often the case with Davie's team, the defense needs to step up after yielding 35.9 ppg.
Star player: Junior linebacker Dakota Cox (6-foot, 231 pounds) was leading the nation with 12.9 tackles per game when he tore his ACL on Nov. 8 against Boise State. He's racked up 215 tackles in his two seasons, and was the first true sophomore in Davie's career to be named a team captain. He anchors the linebacker group that returns two other starters.
Quotable: "For the first time, this is my fourth year, where I honestly feel ... like we have some stability at quarterback, we have some experience at quarterback" — Davie on sophomore QB Lamar Jordan, who ran for 612 yards and threw for 895 last season in 11 games (four starts)
NOTE: This is the seventh in our series profiling the Mountain West’s football teams (except Boise State). We started with the West Division, going in reverse order of the preseason poll, found here. New Mexico was predicted to finish last in the Mountain Division.
Previous Mountain West previews