#25 Boise State vs. New Mexico: Three Keys to a Lobos Win
Can the Lobos shock the college football world and beat the Broncos? Here’s our preview of what to watch for in UNM’s upset bid.
It doesn’t get easier for the Lobos.
WEEK 12: #25 Boise State Broncos (8-2, 5-1 Mountain West) vs. New Mexico Lobos (3-7, 1-5 Mountain West)
WHEN: Friday, November 16 — 7:00 PM MT/6:00 PM PT
WHERE: Dreamstyle Stadium; Albuquerque, New Mexico (39,422)
TV: CBS Sports Network
STREAM: Get a free one-week trial of FuboTV.
RADIO: The New Mexico broadcast can be found in and around Albuquerque on KKOB, 770 AM, and elsewhere throughout the state on the Lobos Radio Network, so check local listings.
SERIES RECORD: Boise State leads the series 8-1. In the last meeting on September 14, 2017, the Broncos defeated New Mexico, 28-14, in Boise.
FOOTBALL STUDY HALL STAT PROFILES: link
There won’t be any reprieve for the New Mexico Lobos this weekend, not even after five consecutive losses, because the Boise State Broncos are coming to Albuquerque.
Bryan Harsin’s boys in blue are flying high after toppling Fresno State to crack the College Football Playoff rankings yet again. Things may look lopsided on paper, but don’t expect the Broncos to rest on their laurels because you might have said the same thing a year ago. And as we saw last weekend with UNLV’s stunning upset of San Diego State, anything can happen with the right breaks.
Here’s what New Mexico can do to beat Boise State.
Three Keys to a New Mexico Win
Don’t lose the turnover battle.
In a battle against such a powerful offense, the Lobos can’t afford to waste any opportunities. Thanks to one statistical oddity that you might not be aware of, they’ve had plenty in recent weeks. The Lobos have recovered three fumbles in three straight games, so when you consider that they’ve struggled mightily to contain Mountain West quarterbacks — UNM also has just one interception on 179 attempts against them — creating those kinds of opportunities to seize a field position advantage will be big.
Protect the quarterback.
Curtis Weaver’s eyes must be lighting up at the prospect of feasting on this line because the Lobos have struggled recently to protect whoever is under center. UNM has allowed eleven sacks in the last two games against San Diego State and Air Force, and their season sack rate of 9.2% gets even worse on Passing Downs, increasing to 12.3%. Both rates rank 115th nationally but the downfield element is going to be crucial, so they must be better against a top-flight pass rush.
Get Daevon Vigilant more work.
At this point, the running game is a far cry from what it was two years ago, but New Mexico will need it to keep the Broncos from teeing off on Coltin Gerhart and Sheriron Jones. Daevon Vigilant, the redshirt freshman, has emerged in the past couple weeks and probably deserves more playing time for his performance in less-than-ideal situations.
He’s averaged 4.87 yards per carry in the last two games and 4.09 Highlight Yards Per Opportunity (essentially how many yards a runner earns after the first five yards), better than Tyrone Owens, which may make him the more efficient grinder that this offense needs.