New Mexico vs. Fresno State: Keys to a Bulldogs Win, How to Watch, Livestream, Odds, Prediction
The Bulldogs look to rebound against New Mexico. Here’s how to watch on TV or by livestream and what to watch for against the Lobos.
Will the ‘Dogs take out their frustrations?
WEEK 11: New Mexico Lobos (3-6, 1-4 Mountain West) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (7-3, 4-2 Mountain West)
WHEN: Saturday, November 13 — 4:00 PM PT/5:00 PM MT
WHERE: Bulldog Stadium; Fresno, CA
TV: In Fresno and elsewhere across the Central Valley, the game can be found on CW59. Elsewhere, the game will be broadcast on Stadium.
RADIO: The Fresno State broadcast can be found on in and around Fresno on Fox Sports 1340 AM, as well as on the affiliates of the Bulldog Radio Network around the San Joaquin Valley. The New Mexico broadcast can be found on the Lobo Radio Network, including flagship 770 AM (KKOB) in Albuquerque.
SERIES RECORD: Fresno State leads the all-time series 13-5. In the last meeting on December 12, 2020, the Lobos defeated the Bulldogs in Las Vegas, 49-39.
LAST WEEK: Fresno State lost to Boise State at home, 40-14, while New Mexico lost at home to UNLV, 31-17.
ODDS (as of 11/10, via Vegas Insider): Fresno State -24.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Fresno State by 24.6
FEI PROJECTION: Fresno State by 19.2
PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: Fresno State 97.64% win probability
After suffering an embarrassing home loss to Boise State last Saturday, Fresno State is back in action at Bulldog Stadium this weekend against New Mexico.
Danny Gonzales’s Lobos have shown a propensity for surprises throughout his time at the helm, but last week’s home loss to UNLV is proof that the rebuild in Albuquerque is still very much a work in progress. You can be sure, however, that head coach Kalen DeBoer and the Red Wave won’t take anything for granted, especially after this same New Mexico squad toppled the Bulldogs in 2020.
Here’s how the ‘Dogs can beat New Mexico.
Three Keys to a Fresno State Victory
1. Don’t let Joey Noble disrupt the offensive game plan.
New Mexico’s defensive end is one of the most underrated playmakers anywhere in the conference and he’s in the midst of a career year. The Red Wave probably remembers how Noble collected two sacks in last year’s matchup and, with a team-high 4.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2021, will hope he doesn’t wreck the backfield again.
The good news, at least, is that the rest of Rocky Long’s 3-3-5 defense up front is much more pedestrian. Sophomore linebacker Ray Leutele is the only other Lobos defender with more than five TFLs, so assuming that Ronnie Rivers and/or Jordan Mims are more fully recuperated from their recent aches and pains, they’ll have plenty of opportunity to get the running game on track against a unit that’s good, but not great, at defending the run overall.
— New Mexico Football (@UNMLoboFB) October 23, 2021
2. Make the Lobos pay for their quarterback upheaval.
Recent word from Steve Virgen of the Albuquerque Journal suggests there’s a likelihood that Terry Wilson, who started the first six games before suffering an elbow injury, might be finished for the year. At a minimum, that means the Bulldogs are likely to see Isaiah Chavez under center though he, too, got banged up last week against UNLV. If he’s limited or is forced to give way to C.J. Montes, the defensive line has to step up get in the backfield.
That’s because the Lobos haven’t made a lot of progress along the offensive line in terms of pass protection. New Mexico currently ranks 121st with a 10.8% sack rate and while that’s been mitigated somewhat by transitioning to a more running-heavy offense in the last few weeks, it’s an area of the game where Fresno State should own a substantial advantage.
In other words, if Arron Mosby and Kevin Atkins and company aren’t feasting for sixty minutes, something might be terribly wrong.
3. No killer mistakes on offense.
It should come as no surprise to note that Fresno State has lost three games in large part to losing the turnover battle in each instance, to the tune of a -9 margin driven largely by 12 giveaways in those contests. The good news, if you want to call it that, is that New Mexico can be just as careless: With 14 giveaways and a -9 turnover margin in six losses, the Lobos are almost as likely to cough up the ball.
One unusual wrinkle that could play a factor is the fact that both Fresno State and New Mexico have suffered from lousy fumble luck this year. The only team in the conference to lose a greater percentage of fumbles is UNLV, but the Rebels have only put the ball on the turf six times this year.
Though the Lobos pulled a fast one on the Bulldogs to close out last season, it doesn’t seem especially likely that they’ll do it again. They’re going to have to deal with an angry and motivated Fresno State team and it’d be a shock if the final score didn’t reflect that.
Fresno State 42, New Mexico 10