Boise State vs. New Mexico: Keys To A Lobos Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Boise State vs. New Mexico: Keys To A Lobos Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Mountain West Football

Boise State vs. New Mexico: Keys To A Lobos Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

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Boise State vs. New Mexico: Keys To A Lobos Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction


The Lobos look to keep the Broncos reeling as their homestand rolls on. Here’s how to watch and what to watch for in New Mexico’s upset bid.


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UNM hopes to do the unthinkable.

WEEK 2: Boise State Broncos (0-1) vs. New Mexico Lobos (1-0)

WHEN: Friday, September 9 — 7:00 PM MT/6:00 PM PT

WHERE: University Stadium; Albuquerque, NM

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy, low of 64 degrees

TV: CBS Sports Network

STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes ESPNU, by following this link.

RADIO: The Boise State broadcast can be found on the affiliates of the Bronco Radio Network, including flagship 670 AM (KBOI) in Boise. The New Mexico radio broadcast can be found on the affiliates of the Lobo Radio Network, including flagship 770 AM (KKOB) in Albuquerque.

SERIES RECORD: Boise State leads the all-time series, 11-1. In the last meeting on November 20, 2021, the Broncos defeated the Lobos, 37-0, in Boise.

LAST WEEK: Boise State lost on the road against Oregon State, 34-17, while New Mexico defeated Maine at home, 41-0.

WEBSITES: BroncoSports.com, the official Boise State athletics website | GoLobos.com, the official Auburn athletics website

GAME NOTES (PDF): Boise State | New Mexico

ODDS: Boise State -17

SP+ PROJECTION: Boise State by 18.4

FEI PROJECTION: Boise State by 25.0

PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: Boise State 91.65% win probability (41.06-21.85)

The New Mexico Lobos opened their 2022 season last Saturday with a resounding victory over the Maine Black Bears, but the second game of their three-game homestand to open the campaign brings a much different challenge… and a much bigger opportunity.

Boise State looked mortal, at least for one night, in a Week 1 loss to Oregon State. It suddenly made it that much easier for the cherry and silver faithful to imagine a sequel to their shocking 2015 upset of the Broncos, but it’s also true that Andy Avalos’s team will be that much more motivated to prove the season-opening flop was an aberration. Here’s what New Mexico can do to put the lie to that line of thinking.

Three Keys to a New Mexico Victory

1. Play cleaner football on offense.

Derek Warehime’s unit looked much improved from the young and battered offense that New Mexico ran out late in 2021 against Maine, averaging six yards per play for just the fourth time in Danny Gonzales’s three-year tenure. It wasn’t an A-plus performance, though, with five offensive penalties that totaled 40 yards, three second-half fumbles (all of which were recovered by the Lobos), and two Miles Kendrick interceptions.

A lot of things went wrong for Boise State in Corvallis, but creating turnovers is one area where the Broncos picked up from last year despite the loss. They picked up one Oregon State fumble and two Chance Nolan interceptions, so any chance of pulling an upset will involve UNM taking greater care of the football to maximize their offensive possessions.

2. Bottle up whoever’s at quarterback.

One of the most shocking developments from Boise State’s road loss to the Beavers was how quickly veteran quarterback Hank Bachmeier got pulled for redshirt freshman Taylen Green, who flashed dangerous wheels with 102 rushing yards and two touchdowns but also looked scattershot as a passer and averaged only 5.5 yards on 28 attempts.

No one can seem to agree on the proper path forward, but another thing that will shape the game is how defensive coordinator Rocky deploys his linebackers to attack the line of scrimmage (or chooses not to in some situations). Reco Hannah had 1.5 sacks against Maine, but Alec Marenco will miss the first half after being removed from last week’s contest for targeting. It’ll be a chess match worth following from play to play.

3. Win on special teams.

One thing that doomed the Lobos early in last year’s matchup were two blocked punts that got turned into first-half touchdowns, helping Boise State build a 17-0 lead that New Mexico would never really threaten. That isn’t likely to happen again, of course, just as Broncos kicker Jonah Dalmas isn’t likely to miss two more field goals (as he did against OSU), but there’s more to this key.

For starters, new Broncos punter James Ferguson-Reynolds didn’t have a great debut against Oregon State, averaging just 37.4 yards per punt; the Beavers actually started at their own 39-yard line or better on four of Ferguson-Reynolds’s five kicks. By contrast, Luke Wysong had a couple of nice returns himself and averaged 11 yards on three attempts, so there could be opportunities for the Lobos to set themselves up with a field position advantage if things break right.

Prediction

The Broncos didn’t look good in their opener against Oregon State and New Mexico did look revitalized against Maine, but overreact to a one-game sample size at your own peril. This game should be more competitive on paper, but Boise State still has the overall talent advantage here and, even if they don’t play flawlessly, the Broncos should be able to hold off the Lobos for another year.

Boise State 31, New Mexico 17

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