New Mexico vs. Utah State: Lobos Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction
Can the Lobos offense get back on track?
UNM is looking for its third win
WEEK 9: Utah State (3-5, 2-2) vs. New Mexico Lobos (2-6, 0-4)
WHEN: Saturday, November 5, 2022, 1:30 MST, 3:30 pm EDT
WHERE: Logan at Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium
WEATHER: High of 43°F Low of 30°F Rain & Snow
TV: CBS Sports Network, Direct TV 221, Dish 158
Play-by-play: John Sadak Analyst: Randy Cross
LIVE Stream: FuboTV (Watch for free)
RADIO: 77KOB Lobo Radio Network
Rob Portnoy (play-by-play), Dontrell Moore (analyst)
SERIES RECORD: Utah State leads 15-13*
*Utah State has won five-straight games against New Mexico, and all five of those wins have been by double digits. USU is 7-2 against UNM since it joined the Mountain West in 2013.
LAST WEEK: Utah State lost to Wyoming 28-14, UNM lost to Fresno State 41-9
WEBSITES: golobos.com | utahstateaggies.com
GAME NOTES (PDF): New Mexico I Utah State
FEI PROJECTION: Utah State by 9.7
PARKER FLEMMING PROJECTION: Utah State 22.24, New Mexico 19.87
Point Spread Prediction: Utah State Aggies -16.5
Point Total Prediction: Over 43.5
The Utah State Aggies (3-5) host an MWC battle against the New Mexico Lobos (2-6) on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.
In last week’s game, the Aggies lost to the Cowboys from Wyoming 28-14, and the Lobos lost to Fresno State 41-9 in Mountain West Conference play.
The Lobos come into the game at 2-6 and have struggled to balance the offense and defense this year in a very challenging year for the Lobos.
New Mexico started the year with two wins over Maine and UTEP and a loss to Boise State over their first three games.
The Lobos have hit a losing streak since then, falling to LSU, UNLV, Wyoming, New Mexico State, and Fresno State in succession.
Danny Gonzales, UNM Lobos, and Blake Andersons, Utah State Aggies, are looking to rebound after losses last week, and both teams are having a bye week.
For the Lobos, the off week was a chance to get some action for the younger players and get game-speed reps for guys like newly minted starter Justin Holaday, who was 8-for-16 in his first start at Quarterback against Fresno State.
More importantly, UNM was able to get back several of the starters missing in the last few weeks. CJ James (center), Ray Leutele (MLB), Geordon Porter (WR), and Donte Martin (CB) all practiced and should start and play against Utah State, and that might be the biggest impact the off-week had on the team, according to head coach Danny Gonzales.
3 Keys for a Lobo Victory
— The physical presence of the offensive line play
On the offensive side of the ball under new interim Offensive Coordinator, Heath Ridenhour hopes to jump-start the Lobos with new starting QB Justin Holaday.
Quarterback Justin Holaday got his first live-action, playing the whole game, not just making limited appearances in games for the offense this year.
He notched 37 passing yards against the Bulldogs 8-15 with no touchdowns and zero interceptions.
He had 11 carries for 39 yards while running back Nate Jones had seven carries, a 28-yard game, for 4.0 yards per carry. Deuce Jones recorded 15 yards on one catch.
He showed promise on some long runs on the read option plays but missed some reads on others, but it was his first complete game at the D1 level in a few years.
It goes without saying the Lobos need to win a game, and the next four games are very winnable if they can be solid on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
The Lobo’s biggest issue this season has been the team’s offense. New Mexico has had issues on defense as well, but the team’s biggest problem has been on the offensive side of the ball.
The Lobos have scored 14 points or less in 4 of their last five games, and the team has failed to score more than 20 points in any of their last five games.
This Lobo offense has all the weapons as far as a good-sized offensive line and some very explosive wide receivers in Luke Wysong, Geordon Porter, Bobby Wooden, and Duece Jones.
Another Lobo that showed such promise last year is TE Jace Taylor, who played in all 12 games, starting seven … caught two passes for 20 yards on the season and has largely been missing from the offensive as far as receptions this year.
Both wide receiver Porter and offensive lineman CJ James have been injured and are expected to play against the Aggies.
Add to the fact of the Lobos’s very talented running backs Nate Jones and freshman sensation Christian Washington, who can run the rock if given some holes from the offensive lineman.
Utah State has surrendered a total of 1,635 yards on the ground (204.4 yards per contest) and 13 touchdowns via the rush for the year. They have conceded 14 touchdowns via the pass and 194.5 yards/outing, ranking them 27th in the country.
So, the Lobos should be able to run the ball on the Aggies if given the right opportunity and situation.
One of the positives, despite the absence of much of a passing game, is that the Lobos are seventh in the MWC in rushing with over 1065 yards despite injuries on the offensive line.