New Mexico vs. Utah State: Preview, Odds, How To Watch

New Mexico vs. Utah State: Preview, Odds, How To Watch

Mountain West Football

New Mexico vs. Utah State: Preview, Odds, How To Watch

By


New Mexico vs. Utah State: Preview, Odds, How To Watch


Lobos will have a tough go in their finale.


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

Can the Lobos get a win in the final home game?  

WEEK 12:  New Mexico Lobos (3-8) vs. Utah State Aggies (8-3) New Mexico Lobos 

WHEN: Friday, November 26, 2021, 1:00 pm EDT

WHERE: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico

TV: Fox Sports 1 DirectTV: 219 Cox: 78 Dish Network: 150 

STREAMING: FuboTV – Get a seven-day free trial

WEATHER: Kickoff temperature of 42 degrees, 37 degrees with the wind chill

RADIO: The New Mexico broadcast can be found on the Lobo Radio Network, including the flagship 770 AM (KKOB) in Albuquerque. Utah State radio broadcast on 1280 the zone (1280 AM), 1280thezone.com / Tunein.com

SERIES RECORD: Utah State leads series 14-13last meeting on November 26, 2020, the Aggies defeated the Lobos, 41-27, in Logan. 

 LAST WEEK: New Mexico lost to Boise State 37-0 at Boise, Utah State lost to Wyoming 44-17 

WEBSITES: GoLobos.com, the official New Mexico athletics website 

GAME NOTES (PDF): New Mexico | Utah State 

ODDS (as of 11/18, via Vegas Insider): New Mexico Lobos +15.5 / Utah State Aggies -15.5

Second-year head coach Danny Gonzales Lobos will look to spoil Blake Anderson’s Utah State Aggies chances at a Mountain Division title this Saturday in Albuquerque. 

He looks to spoil a berth in the MWC league championship game as the Lobos host the Aggies this Friday in an early morning matchup at 11:05 am at University Stadium. 

It’s no secret that both Danny Gonzales and Blake Anderson are close friends who go back many years in their coaching roots; they keep in touch, as it were. 

Utah State head coach Blake Anderson spent three years (1999-2001) as an assistant (WR, RB) at New Mexico under Rocky Long, who was the head coach of the Lobos and is now UNM’s defensive coordinator. 

Current UNM head coach Danny Gonzales was a graduate assistant for the Lobos during Anderson’s time on staff in Albuquerque. 

If one looks at both of their histories in the college coaching world, they certainly have paid their dues to get where they are today as head coaches. 

Both have reputations as great fathers, men of faith, and players coaches, but make no mistake when they compete is fierce and hate to lose football games. 

Both coaches have the respect of their players, and the players would go through a brick wall, very similar in style and competitive nature! 

Gonzales has gone on record that he thinks Anderson should be considered for coach of the year in the MWC and nationally for what he has done in one year at Utah State. 

“He has done a great job, and I think he should be the national coach of the year for turning around a team that won one game last year… that team was 11-2 in 2018, had a coaching change went 7-6, but they have really good players, that’s why Matt Wells got the Texas Tech Job.” 

The Utah State Aggies entered last week’s game against the Wyoming Cowboys, flying high at 8-2 overall and alone at the top of the Mountain West Mountain Division. 

They are 8-3 and tied with Air Force and Boise State for the top spot in the division. So they need a win against the Lobos and Boise State to lose to San Diego State, who are 2.5 road favorites. 

There is a lot on the line for the Aggies in this game, and the Lobos are playing for pure pride and the future of Lobo Football under Danny Gonzales. 

THREE KEYS TO A NEW MEXICO VICTORY

The offense must stay on the field and score points as well. 

There is no sugar-coating lack of production in the Lobo offense; the Lobos haven’t scored more than 17 points in any of the last nine games and only scored more than 14 in one of those – a loss to UNLV.

Their average offense production now is 12.4 versus 31.9 for the Aggies, so they need to score points to keep the Aggies off the field. 

The Utah State defense is hardly dominant – it just got beat by Wyoming 44-17 in one of the weirdest under-that-radar blowouts of the year, credit to the Pokes on the big win. 

There is no denying that when Lobo quarterback Terry Wilson was hurt against San Diego State and has not played a down since the Lobos were limited on what they could execute.

With Wilson, the Lobos at least had a dual-threat quarterback who could both pass and run and had game experience at a high level that these Lobos needed.

They have had to rely on backup Isaiah Chavez, who has been struggling with injuries the last few games. Chavez is solid at the option, plays hard but throwing is work in progress. 

So after Chavez was injured Danny Gonzales asked graduate manager Bryson Carroll who still has eligibility, to put the pads on and help the Lobos out at quarterback. 

The plan was to have him in reserve in case Chavez was hurt, and so it turns out he was early in the game against Boise State.

Carroll, who in 2019 Played in 10 games, starting four … was second on the team in rushing with 536 yards and two touchdowns with a long of 56 yards

He is a coach’s son under his dad Matt Carroll at Roosevelt High school in San Antonio where his dad is the head coach.

Carroll is a very fast quarterback with 4.4 speed who rushed for 2,417 as a junior and a senior at Roosevelt High School in San Antonio

He is no slouch; he just looked a little rusty at moments in last week’s game against Boise State but also busted loose for a few plays. 

The Lobos, out of necessity, changed from a spread first offense to an option based in the game against Wyoming. 

Offensive coordinator Derek Warehime knew a change in philosophy was needed before Wyoming, and it could be for more than just one game.

“We’re thin in the offensive line, struggling in pass protection the entire season,” Warehime said. “We’re better off reading people instead of blocking everybody. We got some kids that could run on the perimeter. We got to do a better job of getting it to them on the perimeter. Use different ways. We got quarterbacks who can do it.”

The Lobos have had freakish injuries at the quarterback position and struggled in the pass protection part of the game, so this was a great move.

The rushing numbers have improved, with both Bobby Cole and Aaron Dumas getting the bulk of the carries so we will see what the performance is like this weekend.

Having watched this team for many years, it appears that the Lobos don’t have scheme problems as much as player development issues. 

It still takes players on the field to execute, play smart football and be big and physical on the field. 

These Lobos are very young, and I genuinely believe the future is bright once they get bigger, faster, and stronger. 

Gonzales knew that his second year would be very hard but knows the recipe for the Lobo program as it was done when Rocky Long was the head coach. 

Where the Lobos lacked in talent, the were usually one of the physically strongest teams and it paid dividends. 

The Lobos must get much more physically stronger to compete in the MWC and this was the recipe that previous head coach Rocky Long had and it paid big dividends!

In college ball, it’s tough to compete with seasoned teams, especially in the Mountain West Conference when playing over 17 redshirt freshmen in game situations. 

  1. The defense must play lights out and get turnovers.

This Rocky Long defense is giving up 238 yards a game to opponents, and at times you can see glimpses of what fans were used to seeing from its former head coach.

This 3-3-5 defense is a heck of a lot of fun to play (ask former players), and he allows them to fly to the ball with various looks that blitz and confuse the quarterbacks of the offense teams they play. 

The Utah State defense is not looking dominant – it just got destroyed by Wyoming 44-17 in one of the weirdest under-that-radar blowouts of the year, credit to the Pokes on the big win. 

The Aggies are giving up 458.7 yards per game, so this should bode well for the Lobos, knowing they can get some movement from the big offensive linemen up front.

UNM’s defense will be tasked with stopping a top-20 offense averaging 457.5 yards per game and scoring 31.3 points per game. 

This Aggie team is one of the more talented passing teams they will face, At the forefront of that is Biletnikoff semifinals Deven Thompkins, who leads the nation in receiving yards per game at 137.1 and in all-purpose yardage at 160.6. 

Savon Scarver is back returning kickoffs, and in 102 career returns, he has seven touchdowns, including at least one in each of the last five years. 

Calvin Tyler Jr. and Elyon Noa are an effective 1-2 punch at running back with 686 and 517 yards apiece, and Logan Bonner is just 70 yards from 3,000.

So this Rocky Long defense must contain some potential big-time players who very well could be playing on Sundays.

Long’s defense for the Lobos has the potential to finish in the top 40 for the first time since 2008. 

  1. Big plays out of special teams with skill guys.

The Lobos must play solid on special teams play in all facets of the game. We saw two blocked punts early in the game against Boise State that was huge in determining the course of the game. 

This has not been a problem for the most part, and the Lobos have been solid, so this is the part of the game that no one thinks is important till a big play happens from a punt block, last-second field gold, or missed extra point. 

This should be a great game from a fan viewing point, but Aggies have a lot of incentive still to play for and the Lobos are playing with some key injuries that could really make the difference in the outcome of the game. 

But it’s senior day for the Lobos and think the 20 plus seniors will rise to the occasion and give head coach Danny Gonzales win! 

Going to go out on a limb and say Rocky Long shuts down this offense and the Lobos get a win to finish off the season. 

Prediction

New Mexico 28-21 over Utah State


Advertisement

Latest

More MWWire