New Mexico vs. San Jose State Recap: Lobos Second Half Comeback Falls Short
Turnovers and penalties prove costly for the Lobos.
New Mexico hurts itself in lose to San Jose State.
This had to be one of the sloppiest games of the year for Bob Davie’s New Mexico Lobos and was on full display Friday night as the Lobo visited the San Jose Spartans.
Six turnovers, costly penalties and, just plain sloppy play doomed the Lobo chances of winning against the Spartans at CEFCU Stadium Friday night.
The Spartans would leave the game with a victory over the Lobos 33-21 and look very focused as a team on both defense and offense sides of the ball.
The Spartans are 3-2 overall, equaling their victory total for the first two seasons under Brennan.
They would finish the game with over 464 total yards, 412 passing, and only 52 rushing. Their defense would force six turnovers in this win over the Lobos.
Spartans QB Josh Love looked focused and sharp as he threw for over 405 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 1,418 yards through five games for San Jose State.
The Lobos are now 2-3 and 0-1 in conference play looked like a team that was not prepared mentally or physically to play. They did not look dialed in for the game!
Getting to a bowl game this year for UNM is looking pretty slim with victories alluding to them, especially with games that you think they should beat.
Davie said he challenged his team in the locker room after Friday’s performance.
We took a step back the last two weeks,” he said. “I think it’s performance. It’s a full-on execution. We’re five games into the season; we should be getting better at this point. It’s a gut check, look-in-the-mirror check to play better.”
The Lobos looked bad and out of sync on offense for the first half with Tavaka looking unsure of himself. He just really lacked the poise and leadership we saw two weeks ago against the New Mexico State Aggies.
The Spartans were able to go up on the Lobos 26-0 before the Lobos were able to get something going on offense in the second half when Sherion Jones came in to relieve Tavaka Tuioti.
Davie talked about the decision to bench Tuioti in the first half and bring back up quarterback Jones to help salvage the game.
“I’m not saying everything was Tevaka’s fault,” coach Davie said during a postgame interview that KKOB 94.5 FM/770 AM captured. “But Sheriron came out with fire.”
Davie also said that Jones threw “ridiculous” interceptions — three of them vs. SJSU.
Tuioti was just 4 of 10 for 34 yards and one interception before getting pulled Friday night in the second quarter.
Jones would come in for him and provide a spark, and his speed and commitment to try and put the team on his back was evident.
He showed not only his athleticism but quick feet and speed that caused separation between him and the defenders, especially when he broke the line of scrimmage for runs.
Jones threw three interceptions that overshadowed his three touchdowns and 231 total yards (127 through the air with two TDs; 104 on the ground with another TD).
But there was no doubt he was playing with a greater sense of urgency.
His athletic urgency was on full display when he dived into the end zone from 4 yards out late in the third quarter as UNM closed within 26-14.
It’s very obvious to anyone watching the game, that Jones speed and running back Bryson Carroll speed give the Lobos great separation speed, especially in space.
The Lobos would finish the game with 399 total yards, 161 passing and 238 rushing on the positive side of things and six turnovers, four interceptions and two fumbles on the negative side.
Once again, for a second week in a row a slow start that put pressure on this young UNM defense would prove too much for an offense that is struggling to find its way.
The Lobos are coming to that time in the season where it’s gut-check time, look in the mirror, and they have to get back to executing, playing with discipline, eliminating dumb penalties, moving the chains and scoring points.
“It’s a gut check,” Davie said. “It’s a look-in-the-mirror check to play better. It’s that simple.
“We’ve got great kids. I can talk about the (high grade-point average), but you know we have to play better, which means we have to coach better. I’m not deflecting irresponsibility. We have to play better.
“We have to play better pretty much sums of the 2019 Lobo football team in a nutshell especially if they want to avoid another repeating the last two years record of 3-9.”