New Mexico vs. Texas A&M: Game Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction
Lobos face a stiff challenge
A win is unlikely but can UNM impress
WEEK 3: New Mexico Lobos (2-0) vs. No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies (2-0)
WHEN: Saturday, September 18 — 10 a.m. MT/ 12 p.m. ET
WHERE: Kyle Field; College Station, Texas
TV: SEC Network
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes the Pac-12 Network, by following this link.
ODDS (as of 9/15, via Vegas Insider): Aggies -28.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Texas A&M by 38.6
FEI PROJECTION: Texas by 23.8
The New Mexico Lobos (2-0) head to Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, to face the No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies (2-0) Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET
The 5th ranked Aggies come into the game heavily favored by 28.5 points, so this will be a baptism by fire for the younger Lobos players.
This is the classic “David & Goliath” matchup for the Lobos as they face the nationally-ranked Aggies in front of a hostile environment of 102 733 fans at Kyle Field.
The Aggie’s offense struggled last week and needed a touchdown in the fourth quarter to defeat the Colorado Buffaloes’ home team 10-7, but the defense looked stout giving up only 262 total yards.
The Aggies starting QB Haynes King left the game early, suffering a broken ankle, and is out till mid-October.
Backup QB Zane Calzada would come in and go 18-for-38 and 184 yards and a touchdown to seal the victory on the road for the Aggies. He will make his first career start against the Lobos from New Mexico.
The Aggies struggled to put up points against the Buffaloes, so look for them to try and bounce back as far as the offensive side of the ball against the Lobos.
The Lobos defense are coached by their former head coach and former UNM head coach Rocky Long who runs the 3-3-5 defense.
“New Mexico is 2-0 and has won 4 in a row; their defense is a pain in the tail, they twist, stunt upfront for you lineman and quarterbacks as much as anybody we will play anywhere.”
“The multiplicity of what they do on defense is as good as anyone we will see this year, times two,” Jimbo Fisher commented about New Mexico.
This Rocky Long defense is allowing an average of 21 points per game and 216 yards per game, including 166 yards passing per game and just 50 yards rushing.
The Lobos leading defender is a strong safety (Lobo) Tavian Combs with 17 tackles, including nine solo, interceptions, and pass deflections.
The Lobos, led by Kentucky Transfer Terry Wilson, who has some awe-inspiring numbers of individual performance, was named the MW offensive player of the week this week.
Wilson was a bona fide SEC starter with 25 SEC games under his belt and a considerable upgrade for the Lobos especially considering all the Quarterback injuries the Lobos have had the last few years.
Wilson threw for a career-high 381 yards on 26-of-37 passing with three touchdowns, was honored by league officials as the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week.
In two games against Houston Baptist and their interstate rival New Mexico State, he has passed for 556 yards and has six touchdowns and no interceptions.
Wilson’s 17-8 record as the starter at Kentucky in the SEC offers UNM far more success and experience than the Lobos have seen at that position in a long time.
Aggie Head Coach Jimbo Fisher said in his presser this week about Wilson:
“He is athletic as heck, saw him a few years ago when we played him and they some very good backs and a returner who is averaging forty something yards a return”
Now for all his individual performances in just two games, the Lobo offense has just 308 total yards combined in its two victories and failed to cover the spread in wins against Houston Baptist and New Mexico State.
Defensive Coordinator Rocky Long’s defense has picked up the slack with 93.5 yards allowed per game and -9 rushing yards allowed this season.
So the bottom line is this is a big test for New Mexico to go into a big-time environment, especially for the young players that New Mexico has on the team.
College football is such a game of field position and momentum swings, so it will be critical for the Lobos not to turn the ball over, move the chains and keep the Aggies from an offensive breakout game, especially after only scoring 10 points last week.
Can they play with discipline and not give the ball up and keep the game close and this will be quite the challenge against the nationally-ranked Aggies.
This is why the game is played and Lobos are hoping to make some noise for the Mountain West Conference and the state of New Mexico.