New Mexico vs. Nevada: Three Keys For A Lobos Win
Lobos are in dire need of a win.
Here is how the Lobos can win
WEEK 10: New Mexico Lobos (2-6) vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (4-4)
WHEN: Saturday, November 8:35 p.m. Mountain time
WHERE: Mackay Stadium; Reno, Nevada
STREAMING: SlingTV – (Get a 40% discount)
SERIES RECORD: Series is tied 3-3-1
ODDS (via OddsShark): Nevada -3.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Nevada by 6.7
New Mexico takes on the Nevada Wolf Pack with head coach Bob Davies’s Lobo having lost five straight games and is in dire need of a win in the program that has struggled that last three years.
The Lobos have back-to-back 3-8 seasons and are trying their best not to repeat with Davie is under tremendous pressure to right this Lobo ship.
The Lobos are hoping to get off to a better start this game against Nevada than wait till the second half, as in last week’s game against Hawaii where it was too little too late.
Nevada’s biggest win this year would have to be the opening game against Purdue in a field goal by Brandon Talton, a 56-yard field goal. Since then the Wolf Pack have struggled a bit and juggled around quarterbacks due to injuries and benching.
The Lobos are 0-4 in conference and 2-6 overall record while the Wolf Pack are 1-3 in conference and 4-4 overall.
Bob Davie, at his mid-week presser, was giving his players lots of kudos for not giving up during this tumultuous season.
“Not many people know what 35-3 at halftime feels like, being down to a team that could score 100 on you,” he said. “Coming out and saying that we have to get a stop and turn this around. I give those guys a lot of credit.”
Even though the Lobos lost last week’s matchup with the Rainbows, offensive coordinator Joe Dailey’s offense made strides on the offensive side of things last week against the Hawaii Rainbow.
The offense had over 500 yards total offense, 207 yards rushing, and 293 yards passing from Tevaka Tuioti.
So my three steps to a Lobo Victory
1. The Lobos must have good leadership on the road from its Quarterback.
Tevaka Tuioti must lead with poise on the road, throw the ball accurately to the very athletic receivers that the Lobos have, and not throw interceptions. The Lobos have some potent receivers but they need one or two to step up and make plays.
These athletic receivers have and have been underused this year with all the quarterback dynamics that have gone on for the Lobos.
Get the ball to these guys in open spaces where the can make plays. It’s ok to not be so conservative in play-calling, calling read option so often, yes throw the post route on first down to keep them honest.
The defense won’t be ready for it, and with these receivers, you might get some more touchdowns. I am talking not on these bubble screens to the short side of the field but down the field in some long post routes, dig routes, or out routes.
Putting pressure on corners or safety who are not quite as athletics as the Lobo receivers.
2. Don’t turn the ball, protect against turnovers at all cost!
Football is a game about emotion, field position, and momentum. If there is one thing that will suck the momentum from a visiting team, it’s giving the ball up.
UNM has done this early in some games, and the home team has made them pay, don’t give the home team gifts. The Lobos must play smart football and make the Wolf Pack earn every point they get, not love gifts in turnovers.
As good as Tuioti did last week against Hawaii, he did throw into double coverage in the second half. He has to be smart and not throw interceptions, especially on the road.
3. They must win the battle in kickoffs, kickoff returns, field goals and play smart in the red zone.
In football, so many big games have come down to a field goal. The Lobos strength this year has been field goal kicker, Andrew Shelley, plus they have a quality punter in Tyson Dyer.
These guys have been rock solid steady in helping to put the Lobos in advantageous positions for both the offense and defense.
Where the Lobos have struggled, this year is scoring in the red zone. It does no good to have a running back rush over 150 yards, quarterback who puts up numbers in passing and not score touchdowns.