Team preview: New Mexico State

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


If Hal Mumme could do for the defense what he has accomplished on the offensive side of the football, his problems at New Mexico State would be over with very quickly.

Unfortunately for the veteran head coach, that hasn't been the case as he prepares for his third campaign in the Western Athletic Conference.

Mumme's first season in Las Cruces was a 0-12 nightmare, and at one point in 2006, New Mexico State had lost 20 consecutive games to Division I-A opponents before beating hapless Utah State the last weekend in November. But that 42-20 victory, coupled with the 50-23 season-ending win over free-falling Louisiana Tech, has Mumme believing life in Las Cruces is about to take a turn for the better.

The head coach welcomed back 17 starters in the off-season, nine on both sides of the football. Experience alone is certainly working for Mumme, who needed a couple of seasons to get his plan in place. Inheriting an option offense, Mumme knew installing a pass-happy attack would take some tinkering.