Scouting report: Gophers vs. New Mexico State
6 p.m. Thursday, TCF Bank Stadium (BTN, 107.9-FM)
A look at the Aggies
New Mexico State opened its season at home Saturday night against Wyoming. Trying to increase the crowd to impress an ESPN2 audience, the Aggies were offering $3 tickets. That price might have been too high after the Aggies laid an egg in a 29-7 loss, with their only points coming with 1:16 left. New Mexico State, which finished 7-6 last year and appeared in its first bowl in 57 years, mustered only 135 yards and rushed for minus-9. Its defense wasn’t much better, surrendering 312 rushing yards to the Cowboys. The 12 penalties New Mexico State committed didn’t help, either.
Who to watch: Matt Romero, QB
The junior college transfer from Palomar (Calif.) College had a rough debut, completing 16 of 27 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown. Romero didn’t throw an interception, but he was sacked four times for minus-46 yards in losses. The 6-2, 204-pounder was replaced by Nick Jeanty late in the third quarter but returned in the fourth to lead a 10-play, 93-yard drive that he capped with a 31-yard TD pass to wide receiver Dan Drew. Coach Doug Martin is sticking with Romero as his starter, pointing to a 59.2 percent completion rate.
From the coach: Doug Martin
Martin clearly wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance, especially on offense, in the opener. “We need to get back out there and play quickly, get that taste out of our mouths from the other night, particularly on offense,’’ he said. “The big takeaway from last week is we’ve got to play a lot more physical offensively than we did. We really played timidly.’’ He was especially displeased with the Aggies offensive line. “We did not protect at all,’’ Martin said. “Our offensive line was horrendous in that entire game. They played like they were scared.’’