New Mexico State vs Liberty Prediction - College Football Picks 9/9/23
Liberty Flames (1-0) vs New Mexico State Aggies (1-1)
Game Info: Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 6:00 pm (Williams Stadium)
Betting Odds: Liberty Flames -10 -- Over/Under: 54.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Liberty Flames and the New Mexico State Aggies will meet in Lynchburg for a Conference USA matchup this weekend from Williams Stadium. Liberty holds the head-to-head lead, 3-2, but New Mexico State ripped off a massive win in Lynchburg last season.
New Mexico State Aggies Preview
New Mexico State comes in at 1-1 after defeating Western Illinois last week at home, 58-21. The Aggies avenged a Week 0 home loss to UMass last time out, and they’ll now have to make a tough cross country trip to southern Virginia for their first road contest. The NMSU is averaging 554.2 yards per game, gaining 314.5 ypg through the air, while rushing for 240.5 yards.
New Mexico State Player Notes
• Diego Pavia bounced back from a turnover filled outing versus UMass to pass for a lucky 317 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Pavia has thrown for 565 threw two contests, with five touchdowns to two interceptions.
• Junior back Star Thomas led the way with 96 yards and two touchdowns last week. The versatile back has totaled 190 yards (138 rush, 52 rec) through two contests.
• Jonathan Brady and Trent Hudson are tied for the team-lead in receptions with six, with the former gaining 150 yards, and the latter totaling 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns against UMass.
• The NMSU defense let Western Illinois convert 8 of 16 third downs, but they allowed just 280 yards, after being gashed on the ground by the Minutemen in Week 0.
Liberty Flames Preview
Liberty enters at 1-0 after beginning the season with a 34-24 victory over Bowling Green in Lynchburg. The Flames jumped out to a 24-0 lead, then held on to cover the eight-point margin, and they’ll now look to get off to a good start in their new conference with a win here. The Liberty offense totaled 389 yards, passing for 143 yards, while gaining 246 yards on the ground.
Liberty Player Notes
• Kaidon Salter looked comfortable in his season debut last weekend, passing for 143 yards, rushing for 82 more, and tossing a pair of touchdowns. The sophomore signal caller became QB1 at the midway point of the 2022 campaign, and he’ll look to leave his mark here in his first full season under center.
• Wake transfer Quinton Cooley joins him in the backfield, and he gained 78 rushing yards on sixteen carries in the win over Bowling Green.
• Senior wideout Treon Sibley led the team in receiving with three catches for 56 yards.
• The Liberty defense held BGSU to 2/12 on third downs, while allowing 328 total yards.
Corey’s Free Pick
Liberty lost Hugh Freeze to Auburn, but they came out with a familiar, physical approach in Week 1, and there’s a good chance they thrive again here. The Flames love to run the football, and if you cut on the NMSU/UMass tape, you may understand why this contest screams trouble for the Aggies. If New Mexico State let UMass run wild on them, it’s likely Liberty will have an opportunity to do so themselves. The Flames forced five turnovers last week, and they should be able to fluster an offense that hasn’t faced a defense of their caliber just yet. I’m not really a fan of southern Virginia, it’s outdated in many ways, but I do like what Liberty has done on the field over the years, so I recommend rolling with my home state here. Back Liberty to get some revenge here in their first taste of Conference USA action.