New Mexico Lobos
@ Wyoming Cowboys
Saturday, Oct 10, 2009, 11:00 AM PDT
War Memorial Stadium
TV: The Mtn.
Surprise! surprise! Wyoming is tied for the lead in the Mountain West and should become 2-0 in leauge play and then 4-2 overall and close to a bowl bid. However, New Mexico is looking to get their first win on the year. Weather will play a factor with a 70% chance of snow and a high at 22 for the noon kickoff. That weather and altitude is a huge advantage for the Pokes, and will make the desert folk from New Mexico struggle.
Wyoming finally has a quarterback in true frosh Austyn Carta-Samuels who was player of the week last week. With this settled it will definitely help Wyoming be more consistent on offense without a quarterback looking over their shoulder when they make a bad play. The rushing game does need to show some kind of improvement; so far on the year the Pokes are averaging 142 yards per game on the ground and their leading rusher is Alvester Alexander and he is managing just over 40 per game.
This could be the game that Wyoming breaks out offensively, not because they are that good but because the Lobos are terrible on defense and are 108th in total defense.
All is not lost on New Mexico last week against Texas Tech did create five turnovers which is a move in the right direction. In 2009 Wyoming is not as turnover prone as in 2008 when they were second to last in the nation with -1.83 turnover margin or a nice round minus 22 on turnovers. If New Mexico can force some turnovers and then actually move the ball like a football team is supposed to do then that inches them closer in this game.
With the weather projected as snow the running game could be more critical for both sides; Wyoming as mentioned above has little to no running game. New Mexico may have found their back in AJ Butler who had his first 100 yard game last week, but has only 144 yards on the year so Saturdays game will be interesting. New Mexico has James Wright but he has only been used sparingly.
One edge New Mexico may have is their defensive line that knocked out Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts last week. The Lobo line was able to get five sacks and for the year UNM has 15 which puts them eighth in the nation in sacks. While on the other hand Wyoming has given up three sacks per game and is near the bottom in sacks allowed. This will be a good matchup to watch for; the New Mexico defensive line against the Wyoming offensive line. I can guarantee with a freshman quarterback that New Mexico will bring different looks and more pressure to make the Carta-Samuels uncomfortable.
Neither team really has any offensive playmakers the closest is UNM QB Donovan Porterie and that is it. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win this game.