The New Mexico Lobos will travel to Colorado Springs Saturday afternoon to visit the Air Force Falcons, but they have lots of questions heading in to the game. The three major questions facing the Lobos as a team are:
1. Who is going to replace Crusoe Gongbay?: The Lobos struggled last week to run the ball again San Diego State, part of it was the Aztec's defense but the struggles were also due to the lack of an inside runner. In the triple option offense all three of the options are important and with Gongbay gone the Lobos do not have a true threat to break a big play up the middle. The running backs that are left on the Lobos roster are more tackle to tackle runners.
Jhurell Pressley should be the Lobos candidate to get those runs but last week he looked hesitant in running the ball and was trying to bounce all of his runs to the outside. The Lobos need the balance in the run game in order for the option to work but because Air Force runs a similar offense, New Mexico may struggle to run the ball because the Falcons see the option every day in practice. In order to bolster the run game freshman Romell Jordan will also get some touches this weekend. Jordan is a 5'10 freshman from Rio Rancho, Cleveland High School.
2. Who is the Lobos quarterback? : Cole Gautsche is the incumbent starter and Bob Davie has already said that Gautsche will start against the Falcons but should he? Gautsche started the last two games but did not make it to the second half as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury that his has been dealing with since the Lobos first game. During the San Diego State game he looked uncomfortable and never found a rhythm.
Gautsche is the home town kid but he is no longer the fan favorite as the crowd booed and called for Lamar Jordan on every incomplete pass. Jordan has led the Lobos to their only two wins of the season. He entered the San Diego State game in the second quarter and had a 45-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Wiggins. During the second half of the Aztec's game, Jordan started to look like a freshman making bad reads and inaccurate throws. Jordan still gives the Lobos the best chance to win because of his ability to run the ball and also because he can make big throws in the passing game. It will be a matter of time before he enters the Falcons game and he should be given the opportunity to show that the second half of the SDSU game was a fluke.
3. Can the Lobos stop the Falcons rushing attack?: The Lobos are giving up an average of 286 yards per game on the ground. They have already allowed three running backs to eclipse the 200 yard mark and they are now facing the Falcons that average 274 yards a game. If the Lobos are going to beat the Falcons they must find a way to limit Air Force's big plays on the ground. Lobos head coach Bob Davie believes that the Lobos defensive struggles are due to poor tackling and immaturity. The Lobos must force the Falcons to pass the ball if they are going to win Saturday.