It’s unusual for a college football team to possess individual player(s) that account for an overabundant percentage of overall team statistics. New Mexico State has two in QB Tyler Rogers and LB Rodney Butler. In addition to that duo, let’s take a look two additional Aggies that may impress. Saturday is a reunion of sorts as former Wildcat player and coach Doug Martin returns to Lexington. Let’s take a look:
QB Tyler Rogers accounts for 75.7% of NMSU’s total offense by averaging 247.5 yards per game. As a team the Aggies average 329 yards of total offense.
— Tale of the Tape: 6’3 220-pound senior; Peoria, Arizona
— Recent Performance: 21-35 for 205 yards, and 2 TDs in recent win over rival New Mexico. Threw a touchdown pass to Greg Hogan with 5:46 remaining in the game to ensure an Aggie win.
2016: 38-76, 411 yards, 2 TDs passing to go along with 84 rushing yards
2015: 72-135, 974 yards, 7 TDs
2014: 268-436, 2779 yards, 19 TDs. 2979 total offensive yards, 248.2 yards per game
— Best Games: 2015 against Georgia State in which he completed 31 passes for 445 yards and 3 touchdowns. 2014 vs. Texas State: 36-52, 404 yards.
LB Rodney Butler
LB Rodney Butler is the nation’s leading tackler by averaging 19.5 tackles per game. Butler has amassed 39 tackles (13 solo, 26 assisted, 3.5 TFL) through 2 games which accounts for 23% of all NMSU defensive tackles.
— Tale of the Tape: 6’1 235-pound senior; Palm Springs, California
— Recent Performance: 24 tackles in a 32-31 win over rival New Mexico.
2016: 39 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss. Currently leads the country in total tackles and tackles per game.
2015: 55 tackles including 30 solo.
2014: 119 tackles including 58 solo and 61 assisted. 2nd leading tackler in the Sun Belt Conference. 8 double digit tackle games including 17 at UTEP.
2013: 39 tackles as a true freshman. Registered 5 or more tackles in five games.
WR Royce Caldwell
WR Royce Caldwell is NMSU’s all-purpose yardage leader. The sophomore is a receiver/running back hybrid player. Coach Doug Martin utilizes Caldwell’s quickness in all offensive and special team’s concepts.
— Tale of the Tape: 5’8 175-pound sophomore; Columbus, Texas
— Recent Performance: Week 2 numbers include 2 catches, 57 yards to go along with 2 rushes, 20 yards vs. New Mexico.
2016: Accounts for 22% of team all-purpose yards. 5 catches, 114 yards. 7 rushes, 37 yards. Registers an average of 74.5 yards per game.
2015: Played in 10 games, started 5 as a true freshman. 22 catches, 272 yards, 1 TD. Totaled 536 all-purpose yards as a receiver, punt-kick returner, and rusher.
LB Terrill Hanks
LB Terrill Hanks is the nation’s 4th leading tackler by averaging 13 tackles per game.
Tale of the Tape: 6’3 220-pound sophomore; Miami, Florida
— Recent Performance: 15 tackles, 1 INT vs. New Mexico. Intercepted pass that set up NMSU’s game-winning drive.
2016: 26 total tackles, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble
2015: Started 11 games as a true freshman. Accumulated 81 tackles (40 solo, 41 assisted) and 6.5 tackles for loss. Had a career high 10 tackles vs. Louisiana Lafayette.
Head Coach Doug Martin
Head Coach Doug Martin is a Jerry Claiborne disciple. A Wildcat quarterback from 1981-84, Martin went on to become a UK graduate assistant coach. He and his family will have several former Kentucky teammates, friends, and coaches at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday. I’d like to say hello to the former Cat if an opportunity presents itself. Always highly respected and liked Coach Martin.
Much like his mentor, College Football Hall of Famer Jerry Claiborne, Doug Martin has taken on two monstrous challenges of rebuilding downtrodden programs at Kent State and New Mexico State. Last Saturday Martin led his Aggies to its first win over arch rival New Mexico since 2011.
All signs point to a Kentucky win. Stats, matchups, trends, schemes, and so forth all favor the Wildcats. But, the four players featured in this post are very good and respected football players.