New Mexico State holds first scrimmage of fall camp, QB battle rages on

NMSU

LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO (KTSM) – With just three weeks until the start of the 2021 college football season, New Mexico State held its first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Media were not permitted to attend the scrimmage, but the Aggies defense is said to have impressed. It’s not uncommon for a defense to be ahead of the offense in fall camp, and that appears to be the case.

Eastern Washington transfer linebacker Chris Ojoh is at NMSU for his first fall camp and will fill a big void in the Aggies defense. He made big steps towards doing so on Saturday.

The biggest question mark for the Aggies during fall camp, is at the quarterback position. Junior Jonah Johnson and redshirt freshman Weston Eget are currently battling for the starting gig after they both saw time during NMSU’s truncated two-game season in the spring.

Johnson has been on campus with the Aggies for nearly two years already, and got the bulk of the spring reps; Eget looked impressive in the spring, before suffering a foot injury vs. Dixie State. He has since recovered completely from the injury.

Saturday’s scrimmage was a good look at what the Aggies may have in store at the quarterback position. While neither player was perfect, head coach Doug Martin told NMSU play-by-play broadcaster Adam Young that he liked some things from both Eget and Johnson.

“I think both had their ups and downs. Jonah did a great job of taking care of the ball, he didn’t have any interceptions, Weston had one interception,” Martin said. “They both need to play a little bit more aggressively in the passing game, especially down in the red zone when we have people open, letting the ball go on time. I think they’re waiting too long to see people come open instead of anticipating people coming open. That’s just reps and live work that gets a quarterback there.”

Martin has hinted previously that both Eget and Johnson could get playing time, and has also acknowledged that they’ll need both of them, too.

At NMSU’s media day, Johnson said he was embracing being a part of a quarterback battle once again.

“My mindset is just competing; I dont think I’m starting yet, that’s just my mindset,” Johnson said. “I want to go compete, win the starting job again, and I like to compete so that’s what I’ll do.”

Whoever wins the job will have some weapons on offense to utilize. Michigan transfer O’Maury Samuels and Juwaun Price will lead the Aggies’ charge at the running back position. Both are dynamic with speed and power. Samuels hasn’t played in nearly three seasons after transferring, but Price showed he could be a force, rushing for nearly 200 yards and a touchdown in NMSU’s two games in the spring.

At wide receiver, the Aggies return Terrell Warner and veteran Robert Downs III. The Aggies also added Missouri transfer Dominic Gicinto, who caught 23 passes and two touchdowns in three seasons at Missouri.

“We have so many talented players that Jonah and I get the chance to get the ball to,” said Eget. “We have to get the ball in their hands and let them do their thing.”

The competition for the starting job is most certainly still open, but NMSU will need to make a decision in a couple weeks. The August 28 season opener against rival UTEP at home in the Battle of I-10 is only three weeks away. Kickoff at Aggie Memorial Stadium is slated for 7:30 p.m.

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