LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – After picking up its first win of the 2023 season at home vs. Western Illinois last Saturday, New Mexico State will get its biggest test of the young season on the road at Liberty this week.
Liberty is coming off of a 10-point win over Bowling Green in week one, in which the Flames corralled five interceptions on defense to key the victory. Offensively, Liberty rolled up almost 400 yards of total offense.
It’s the Flames’ tricky offense that will test the Aggies’ defensive coordinator Nate Dreiling and his squad on Saturday. Liberty runs a triple-option offense, but with a twist.
The Flames run the triple-option out of the shotgun spread the majority of the time and do it well. It can be a difficult offense to prepare for in a short time frame.
“It keeps everyone accountable. You have to do your job and you have to trust everyone else to do their job,” Dreiling said. “It’s good that we have this game early on because it’s going to get us better for all the other games as far as relying on each other and understanding where the pieces of the puzzle fit.”
NMSU’s defense improved from week zero to week one, but they’ll have to have their best showing of the season on Saturday vs. the Flames.
Liberty quarterback Kaidon Salter is in his third year with the Flames, but his first in the new offense under head coach Jamey Chadwell. He was 11-20 for 182 yards and two touchdowns in week one, while also rushing for 82 yards. He’ll be a key for the Aggies to slow down.
“They have a few changes and a few dynamic players on offense and a good quarterback that can run. If we do our keys, it’s not unlike anything we haven’t seen,” said cornerback Andre Seldon.
NMSU and Liberty will kick off at 4 p.m. MT on Saturday in Virginia. The game will air on ESPN+.