The Lobos will face the UNLV Running Rebels this week but their biggest opponent might be down the street. Just a half hour after the completion of the football game New Mexico basketball will tip off their season with an exhibition game. Historically once basketball tips off in Albuquerque football is an afterthought. With an entertaining and competitive team Bob Davie has done a good job building a foundation but with only two wins on the season the Lobos are once again out of the Mountain West Conference race which would generate fan support. The Lobos are still technically can make a bowl game but they must start by getting a road win against the Rebels if they plan to make bowl eligibility for the first time in 6 years.
WEEK 10: New Mexico Lobos vs. UNLV REBELS (2-6/1-3 MW)
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014- 3:30 PM, MST
WHERE: Sam Boyd Stadium (36,800/TurfTech)
2014 SEASON: New Mexico 2-5 (0-3MWC), UNLV REBELS (2-6/1-3 MW)
TV: ROOT Sports/MWN (Ari Wolfe, Sed Bonner & Tori Holt)
ONLINE: Live stream of game and stats at UNLVRebels.com
RADIO: New Mexico's Albuquerque radio affiliate is part of the Lobo Radio Network, 770 AM (KKOB).
UNLV'S radio affiliate ESPN 1100 AM & 100.9 FM (Russ Langer & Mike Pritchard)
SERIES RECORD: UNLV leads the series 11-10
WEB SITES: GoLobos.com, New Mexico's official athletic site, http://www.unlvrebels.com UNLV's official athletic site
What to watch:
- Lobos quarterback situation: Cole Gautsche is back and he looked better against Air Force the Lobos moved the ball and actually had a chance to win the game. Many felt that Bob Davie would still use Gautsche and Lamar Jordan but to every one's surprise Jordan was not used until the end of the game. This decision brought a lot of questions because UNM ran the ball four straight times on the last series not utilizing Jordan's passing ability. As the season progresses the situation gets more confusing, hopefully both players are team guys and there is not a divide in the locker room. Do not expect this situation to get resolved this season as both quarterback's do a good job but neither has a clear advantage because each has their flaws. Jordan is the more electric player and the fan favorite but Cole is the incumbent starter and makes better reads on the option.
- UNLV Defense: The Rebels are giving up 263.8 yards per game and the Lobos are one of the Nation's leading rushing teams gaining 304.4 yards per game. UNLV will have the tough task of stopping the Lobos triple option in which very few have been able to do. The Rebels will have to be mindful of the Lobos many options on the Ground but also have to respect the play action pass when Lamar Jordan is in the Game.
- UNM'S Defense: The Lobos are susceptible to the big play they have had issues with tackling and give up a ton of yards on defense. Despite the defensive woes they have only given up 35 points one time this year. The Lobos are thin at DB because of injury and they will be put to the test by UNLV Blake Decker and his receiving core senior All-America candidate Devante Davis and true freshman Devonte Boyd. The Lobos must pressure the Rebels and force turnovers if they plan to win the game.
Prediction: UNLV has taken three straight games at home vs. UNM and won last year's meeting 56- 42. The Lobos looked good against Air Force and should have won the game but they must learn to tackle if they want to close out games. The Lobos are still young and learning to win is hard but they 2-1 on the road. The Lobos must get back to their offensive identity, run first to open up the pass. The game will once again be decided in the fourth quarter look for the Lobos to win 35-31.