September 9, 2013

Know Your Enemy: New Mexico

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s),Players — Justin @ 1:00 pm

First off, if the title doesn’t cause you to jam out to Rage Against the Machine in your head a little bit, I recommend the song as a great one to workout to. It’s quite angry, like most of us are at Matt House’s defense right now. Thankfully the defense is getting a huge break this week, going from NFL talent surrounding a future 1st round pick QB to…well, a team who has completed 10 passes in 2 games.


Here’s a quick look at their individual statistics. As you can see, they live and die by the running game. By live and die, I mean they go as far as Kasey Carrier takes them. Carrier’s 345 rushing yards is a whopping 45% of their total offense. He has 4 of their 7 total touchdowns. Carrier single handedly led them to victory over UTEP on Saturday with 41 carries for 291 yards and those 4 touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime.

How does Carrier get his yards? Mostly due to the option. New Mexico is going to use option runs quite heavily. They do run a bit of triple option, but I don’t see any FB carries on their stat sheet and very few WR reverses, so I imagine most if it is going to be a standard QB-RB play. Right now, their QBs have 177 yards passing (on 10 completions) and 172 yards rushing in 2 games. To put that into perspective, Tom Savage has 201 passing yards on 15 completions in 1 game. Yikes.

To be blunt, stop Carrier and you stop their entire offense. I wouldn’t be opposed to running 8 men in the box all game long. Heck, replace Vinopal with Todd Thomas and run a 4-4. If K’wuan and Pitts can’t cover New Mexico’s WRs 1 on 1 we’ve got a huge problem. Then you have Hendricks back there in “oh crap someone got loose” land. If New Mexico’s offense scores more than 20 when the game is still in contention, I’m going to be terrified. When a team is this one dimensional, a BCS level defense with bowl aspirations should be able to shut them down.

Even if New Mexico manages to drive the ball into the red zone, don’t fear, because without a touchdown they may not even score. Their kicker is 0/2, with misses from 42 and 21. Heinz Field is notoriously difficult to kick at, especially on the open end with the swirling winds.


The Lobos run a 3-4 base with a defensive line who seems way too small to be in a 3-4. Their 5-tech DEs are 6’3 272 and 6’2 288. Their NT is 6’2 280. Their best DL is DE Jacori Greer. He’s a good athlete who had 5 sacks and 8 tackles for a loss last year. To put their size into perspective, Pitt’s smallest OL, Artie Rowell, is a legit 6’2 305. That’s a massive size advantage for our OL. 

Between the DL and the LBs, the Lobos generated virtually no pass rush against UTSA and UTEP. Their opponents have completed 67% of their passes for 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. No pass rush, no interceptions, and a high completion percentage for a team that allowed 270 yards per game and 33 touchdowns in the air last season? Not good.

With a small DL, inability to rush the passer, and an atrocious secondary, Pitt should be able to impose their will on this defense. The OL should be able to dominate in the running game. WRs should be able to find plenty of open space. Savage should have the time to throw.

Pitt does have a habit of playing down to opponents, but talent wise, this game shouldn’t even be close. There is such a massive talent gap between a New Mexico team who has only won 8 games from 2009-present and Pitt that fans should get to enjoy the second team offense and defense in the 4th quarter.


How’s this?

Kasey Carrier is from the same Texas powerhouse high school as a familiar name on the Pitt team.

Could be an omen.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.09.13 @ 1:15 pm


Comment by Upittbaseball 09.09.13 @ 1:26 pm

Hopefully we win but didn’t we feel the same way about YSU last season?

They should roll in this game but you just never know with this team.

Comment by Why ask why? 09.09.13 @ 2:13 pm

Thank you Justin – you just did a better job of reporting than any of our local papers who other than criticizing Pitt, see to be void of any other info. Really appreciate

Pitt by 21 in Vegas…we’re a lock…right..

Comment by Dan 72 09.09.13 @ 2:21 pm

Three-star RB Qadree Ollison (Buffalo, NY) selects Pitt over State Penn and Wisconsin.

Comment by Mailman 09.09.13 @ 2:22 pm

Getting Ollison may not look like a big get in relation to how many ‘stars’ he has, but getting a guy that was considering other, more impressive programs is a huge W. I’ll take what I can get.

Comment by MikePITT 09.09.13 @ 2:27 pm

Getting Ollison may not look like a big get in relation to how many ‘stars’ he has, but getting a guy that was considering other, more impressive programs is a huge W. I’ll take what I can get.

Comment by MikePITT 09.09.13 @ 2:27 pm


I only pay attention to offer sheets anymore, not stars.

Im excited, but wonder what this does for Shai..likley still a pitt lean TBO.

Comment by NOPE 09.09.13 @ 2:37 pm

It would be good to see Chad Voytik get “some work” in this game in the second half. on the flipside, if this game is close in the 4th quarter then we are in deep trouble.

Comment by HL2Pitt 09.09.13 @ 2:41 pm

I would not take New Mexico lightly. Their offense improved greatly from week 1 to week 2. They went from scoring 13 points to 42 points. That’s an enormous jump. While they don’t pass much, this an offense that will lull you to sleep on the ground and then try to sneak a long pass on you. And we all know Pitt’s propensity to be beat for long unexpected passes. The Lobos will be coming in off a ‘high’ as well after winning in Overtime on the road.

Pitt has had trouble with 1 dimensional offenses in the past as well. Think Navy. And we have a DC who hasn’t proved he can scheme a defense to stop anyone, as of yet. Until I see I won’t believe it.

Also I want to see PC’s ability to get our team motivated against a team we should beat, but the team is coming off a very disappointing showing in the season opener. Again I need to be convinced more.

Comment by EMel 09.09.13 @ 3:24 pm

Wow, if the lack of comments is any reflection of the interest or lack thereof of this game, we might be looking at 35,000 or so PITT fans clad in all yellow and looking remarkably similar to empty seats.

Comment by EMel 09.09.13 @ 3:28 pm

you talking about actual real breathing bodies or Stevie’s fantasy attendance?

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.09.13 @ 3:42 pm

Justin – Know Your Enemy is a Green Day song. Can’t wait to see Voytik in mop-up duty.

Comment by Jerome Lane 09.09.13 @ 3:49 pm

We better be able to run all day long. Our O-line better manhandle them.

Linebackers and Safeties need to pad their stats with tackles. We’ll find out who the week link is on the outside.

This team better want to inflict some pain after the last one.

Comment by gc 09.09.13 @ 4:20 pm

Season ticket holders better show up, they sold out to FSU last week. To many redshirts where they should not have been.

Comment by gc 09.09.13 @ 4:22 pm

***Lyrics inspired by RATM’s Know Your Enemy and Pitt Football***

Yeah, we’re comin’ back then with another bowl bid
Think ya know what it’s all about
Hey yo, so check this out
Know your enemy!
Come on!

Born with Veritas et Virtus
A witness to the 9 national titles, that’s
As we move into the ACC
Still in an off-campus stadium
Ya got to know
Ya got to know
That when I say go, go, go
Amp up and amplify
I’m a Panther with a furious mind
Action must be taken
We don’t need the key
We’ll break in the endzone

Something must be done
About passing and stopping the run
‘Cause I’ll rip the mike, rip the stage, rip Smiley
I was born to rage against ’em

Fist in ya face, in the place
And Victory lights shine clearly
Know your enemy…Know your enemy!

Hey yo, and dick with this…uggh!
Word is born
Fight the Nits, fuck the ‘Eers
Now I got no patience
So sick of complacence
With the P the A the N the T the H the E the R the S

Mind of a revolutionary
So clear the lane
Pick up a first down and move the chains
What? The land of the ACC?
Whoever told you that is your enemy?

Something must be done
About passing and stopping the run
‘Cause I’ll rip the mike, rip the stage, rip Smiley
I was born to rage against ’em

Now action must be taken
We don’t need the key
We’ll break in for a touchdown

I’ve got no patience now
So sick of complacence now
I’ve got no patience now
So sick of complacence now
Sick of sick of sick of sick of you
Time has come to pay…
Know your enemy!

Come on!
Yes I know my enemies
They’re the beaten teams of the ACC . . .
‘Canes, ‘Devils, Hokies, Cavs, ‘Jackets, ‘Heels (and Terps til next year
‘Noles, Tigers, Orange, Eagles, Wolfpack, Deacons (and Cards next year)

All of which are Pittsburgh dreams (8 times)
All of which are Pittsburgh dreams
All of which are Pittsburgh dreams
All of which are Pittsburgh dreams
All of which are Pittsburgh dreams
All of which are Pittsburgh dreams
All of which are Pittsburgh dreams
All of which are Pittsburgh dreams

Comment by TartanPanther 09.09.13 @ 5:04 pm

lol TonyinHouston

Preferably live ones.

Are the Texans going to cover tonite? Any injury updates or other things going on with them ?

Comment by EMel 09.09.13 @ 5:20 pm

well done TartanPanther.

Happy Hour it tis.

Comment by EMel 09.09.13 @ 5:23 pm

Emel, Navy and GT are not one dimensional offenses. Look at Navy’s 1 game so far. 4 players have at least 9 carries. Georgia Tech has 5 guys with at least 5 carries. New Mexico? If it wasn’t for the QB injury, they’d have 3 guys with 6+ carries and the guy with 6 carries is the backup RB, meaning he is only on the field when Carrier isn’t.

All New Mexico has is Carrier. That’s it. That’s why their one dimensional. Not because they only run the ball, but because the offense doesn’t move without him.

Jerome Lane, please dude: link to

Comment by Justin 09.09.13 @ 8:01 pm

I’ll take Pitt give the points. If they don’t cover I will be very concerned for the remainder of this season.

gc – half the season ticket holder NEVER show up; they either sell to the visitors or the seat stays yellow.

Any of you Metroplex gents planning to take in a Buccos game while they are down there? They need a change of fortune!

Comment by Iron Duke 09.09.13 @ 8:23 pm

Iron Duke. Gaking daughter tomorrow. She will have a actual pirate hat ans eye patch on. Shes 4 so thatay last half a inning.

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.09.13 @ 8:57 pm

Jerome lane. I hope you are joking. Justin is 100% correct. Its Rage not green day

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.09.13 @ 8:58 pm

UPitt, have fun buddy, hope you see a good one.

Comment by Iron Duke 09.09.13 @ 9:33 pm

@ Justin

In terms of Navy & GT they most certainly are 1 dimensional. As my understanding of 1 dimensional is not based on whether 1 player or 2 players carry the ball. Actually with New Mexico it’s 2 guys, Carrier and the QB. Last game Carrier ran for 291 and the QB ran for 59. So in your definition they would be 2 dimensional. lol

My definition of 1 dimensional is this, that particular team passes or runs more than 90% or so of the time. In this example, all 3 teams, Navy, GT & New Mex. would be considered 1 dimensional.


P/S I like the song, but do you actually practice what you preach. lol

Comment by EMel 09.09.13 @ 11:26 pm

If Pitt doesn’t come out and punch NMS in the mouth and then continue to beat them down for the next sixty minutes I’m going to be severely disappointed.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 09.10.13 @ 3:38 am

EMel – I’m splitting hairs but no D1 teams either ran or passed 90% of its offensive plays.

The two teams you mentioned ran about 65% of the time; Navy = 66% & GT = 64%, which is pretty lopsided in itself.

Comment by Reed 09.10.13 @ 7:01 am

My Bad, but I’m too old to be into RATM. Have a daughter who is obsessed with Green Day, so that’s where my reference came from.

Comment by Jerome Lane 09.10.13 @ 7:56 am

I need to see Savage complete at least 60% of his total passes and 50% of his deep throws to make me more comfortable about the QB position going into the rest of the season.

Nothing I saw from his in the FSU game made me change my preseason opinion of what we had at QB.

Comment by Reed 09.10.13 @ 11:56 am

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