New Mexico vs. San Jose State Preview: Keys For A Lobos Win
Lobos finally get their season to start its season.
Home games turns to road for New Mexico
New Mexico has to travel on the road to get to play a game their first game of the year against the Spartans, after last week's away game against CSU was canceled.
WEEK 9: New Mexico Lobos (0-0) vs. San Jose State Spartans (1-0)
WHEN: Saturday, October 31 — 4:00 PM PT/5:00 PM MT
WHERE: CEFCU Stadium; San Jose, California (game relocated from Albuquerque, NM)
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of FuboTV, including FS1, by following this link. You can also click here to find more information on accessing the channel via different platforms.
RADIO: The New Mexico broadcast can be found in and around Albuquerque on 770 AM (KKOB). The San Jose State broadcast can be found on 90.5 FM (KSJS) in and around San Jose and on the flagship KDOW (1220 AM and 96.3 FM) out of Palo Alto. You can also find the audio broadcast on TuneIn.
SERIES RECORD: San Jose State leads the series 13-5-1. In the last meeting on October 4, 2019, the Spartans defeated the Lobos, 32-21, in San Jose.
LAST WEEK: San Jose State defeated Air Force at home, 17-6. New Mexico’s game against Colorado State was canceled.
You really have to feel for the Lobo football team having last week’s game against CSU in Fort Collins canceled and now having to go on the road against San Jose State.
This will be the first game of the year under new head Lobo Coach Danny Gonzales.
This team has jumped through so many hoops even to compete on the gridiron this year.
With that being said, Coach Gonzales has said more than once in his pressers how excited he is just for his team to finally compete, considering all the ups and downs this year with the pandemic COVID-19.
“We are thankful to everyone that worked behind the scenes to give our team an opportunity to compete,” New Mexico coach Danny Gonzales said. “We are excited to take the field and represent this city and this state, and we hope all of New Mexico watches on Saturday.”
As the state of New Mexico struggles to contain the Covid-19 virus, the decision was made to play at San Jose State instead of a home game in Albuquerque.
This decision was made a week after the Lobos were forced to cancel its season opener against the Colorado Sate Rams due to the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in Bernalillo County in Albuquerque.
Because the University of New Mexico has made plans to play its first game on the road in San Jose State this Saturday, as California moved to a restricted list for travel with Covid-19, the UNM football team would have to quarantine for 14 days upon their return.
“Right now, we’re moving forward with plans to play the game (Saturday at San Jose State), and we’re exploring multiple scenarios for what we will need to do next week and beyond,” Athletic Director Nuñez told the Albuquerque Journal.
Here’s how the Lobos can defeat San Jose State
Great play from Rocky Long’s aggressive 3-3-5 defense.
The Lobos have got to get the solid play upfront by the defensive front to give the Lobos a chance to win the game, solid play by the secondary, and their linebackers playing very physical.
Rocky Long’s defenses of past teams he has coached to fly at the ball, play physical old school football to cause turnovers and try to impose their will on the offense.
With this being the first game for the Lobos with lots of new pieces, adapting fast will be very important for the Lobos. Can the Lobo play at the level that both Gonzales and Long expect?
Jerrick Reed II, a solid playmaker with 51 tackles in 2019, is the top tackler returning for the Lobos defense.
Devon Sanders, who sacked the quarterback 1.5 times last season, returns to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
The Lobos lost three of its four starters in the defensive secondary, so Coach Long will look to replace them with some playmakers who can step up and thrive with this defensive scheme.
1.Great play under Derek Warehimes’s new offense.
Coach Warehime’s who was on staff for Texas for three seasons as a special team’s coordinator and tight ends, was also with the Lobos staff for three seasons, adding the title of run game coordinator in 2014.
The Lobos finished the 2014 season ranked fourth nationally in rushing with an average of 310.4 yards. Of course, the Lobos were running the triple option with an emphasis on the run as well.
The UNM offense actually has some proven weapons that Coach Warehime can work with. Starting quarterback, Tevaka Tuioti returns for the Lobos.
He has thrown for over 1,460 yards, seven touchdowns, and has six interceptions; Tuioti staying injury-free will be important for the Lobos.
The offensive line should be a Lobo strength under Offensive line Coach Jason Lenzmeier; with both Teton Saltes and Kyle Stapley shoring up the offensive line.
Bryson Carroll is the Lobos leading rusher from last year with 536 yards and two touchdowns.
Then leading the receiving from last year is Jordan Kress, who had over 530 years and six touchdowns receptions, and Anselem Umeh with 272 yards receiving is another weapon for the Lobos.
One guy that should have a great season is 6’4 senior Marcus Williams at the Tight End spot; he is a matchup problem for most defenses with his size and speed.
What makes him unique is under the Derek Warehime offense, where it can both play the line and spread out as a receiver. He should excel in this Warehime’s offense.
2. A solid effort from special teams.
The Lobos have a one-two punch with both their punter Tyson Dyer and kicker Andrew Shelly. Walk-on Andrew Shelley and Palomar Community College (San Marcos, California) transfer Tyson Dyer are weapons for the Lobos.
Shelley, a local kid, an Eldorado graduate, quickly moved up the depth chart, beating out kickers, and has done a great job for the Lobos.
Dyer, a native Australian now 27 years old, became a weapon with his booming punts. Last season, he finished as a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter.
This young man from Down Under has one of the strongest legs in the MWC and the potential of playing on Sundays at the next level.
Special teams sometimes get the least attention on football teams, but many football games are won and lost there.
One of the advantages San Jose State has with one game already under their belt is that they know what they have to work on versus a team playing their first game like the Lobos. They have already got a taste of the game speed and getting hit by an opponent on the football field.
That being said, it will be important for the Lobos to adapt quickly to give them a chance to get the win. Both players and coaches will have to adjust as they see what the Spartans are throwing at them.
Now, this coaching staff is very seasoned and should recognize what the Spartans are doing. Coaching football is much like a chess match between the coaches on opposing sidelines.
Getting all these Lobos on the same page, especially after a year with COVID-19 and all this team has gone through, will be the challenge.
The first time you experience the onslaught of aggressive hits, this can be a wake-up call for players who have not really hit since spring. It’s not so much the Seniors who will have a potential problem but your younger players.
College-level speed is so much faster than many of the younger players, many who played at high school level speed last time they played a competitive game.
How they adapt on the fly will be very important for the Lobos, as there is no replacement for real live game action!
You find out real fast what kind of team you have,
Any team that has not had live hits since last spring will have an adjustment period; there is no replacing live practicing with real bodies.
But that can also work for you when you have these student-athletes who have been cooped up all year, jumping through so many hoops to get on the field!
This will be the challenge of Coach Danny Gonzales and staff for this Lobos group for the upcoming season.