Three Keys for a Lobo Victory
— Dominate on Defense
One solid silver lining to the 2022 Lobo football team is their Rocky Long 3-3-5 Defense this year: this Lobo team flat-out plays physical & fast!
The Lobos have been solid defensively, allowing 22.8 points per game 347.2 total per game, but it’s just 19.3 points as 21 points have been scored off of UNM’s offense and special teams
Their run defense has continued to save them, as it hasn’t been easy to move the ball on the ground against the Lobos.
They allow 116.2 rushing yards per game, the 30th least in the nation. Their front seven has continued to rally toward the ball, as I would watch for Cody Moon in this one.
He leads the team with 47 tackles this season and has already recorded 3.5 sacks.
Another huge factor in the secondary is Senior Jerrick Reed, who is second in tackles with 46; this guy seems to be always at the right place at the right time and is one of Lobo’s biggest hitters!
A big key for this game against the Aggies could be turnovers and, more importantly, takeaways for UNM.
The Lobos have taken the ball away 13 times, ranking in the top 10 nationally in FBS.
NMSU has turned the ball over frequently, with ten interceptions and three fumbles, and UNM would love to increase those numbers.
The Lobos have allowed 231 passing yards per game, the 71st least in the nation. Last week, they surrendered 107 passing yards to the Cowboys.
New Mexico State’s offense has been a bottom-25 unit in total offense this season, generating 265.5 yards per game, ranking fifth worst in the FBS.
They will have more than they can handle against this run defense of the Lobos, so look for them to throw the ball in the air against the Lobo Secondary.
The Aggies have traditionally used some trick play or something to catch the Lobos off guard for a big play, which has worked for them in the past.
— Dominate the line of scrimmage
The Lobos have a large offensive line that has improved a lot since the begging of the year, primarily due to the coaching of former Lobo Jason Lenzmeier.
He played on what could be arguably the most dominant Lobo offensive line in Lobo history, with four of the players playing in the NFL.
He must have them ready to play against a hungry, scrappy Aggie Defensive front.
The Lobos entire team must realize that this Aggie team looks at this game as a Super Bowl, and if there is one game they want to win most desperately, it’s the Lobos.
Even Coach Kill admitted, “To me, it’s like a big bowl game, and you are playing for something, playing for pride and for Las Cruces,” he said. “I want our fans to come out, and when they are on offense, I don’t care what they bring in the stadium, but I want them as loud as they can be to affect the game and affect their offense.”
So, this Lobo offense must be prepared mentally that they are playing a team that looks at this game and think about it all years
It’s that old saying, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog” the Lobos must be the latter!
— Special teams play
The Special team’s play must be solid during this game, as the game could be close in the end and could determine the outcome of the game.
Punter Aaron Rodriguez must flip that field when called up duties to do so, Also, there must be better consistency of the Kicker.
. George Steinkamp must make be accurate when kicking field goals for the Lobos, especially if the game is close at the end.
Kickoff returns or punt returns can dramatically change the outcome of the game and the Lobos needs some big offensive explosive plays to change the game’s dynamics.
Special teams are one of the things that most fans don’t pay a lot of attention to, unless their team losses on a muffed punt or a missed field goal.
The Lobos must play smart football, move the ball with a solid running game to set up long passes in the secondary and then dominate on defense as well.
The offense must find some down the field explosive plays that take advantage of their very fast receivers, both Luke Wysong, Bobby Wooden, and Geordan Porter
Prediction: UNM Lobos 28-NMSU Aggies 17