New Mexico vs. Utah State
Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time
Television: Facebook, Stadium Network
Radio: Lobo Radio Network, 770 AM or 94.5 FM KKOB in Albuquerque
The New Mexico Lobos will be looking to end their two game losing streak when they go to Logan, Utah Saturday afternoon to pay MWC Mountain Division leading Utah State a visit. The Lobos were soundly beaten by Fresno State last week by a final of 38-7, that coming off the heels of a 20-18 loss to Colorado State. And if folks think this will be the bounce back game, it may need to wait another week.
Since their season opening 38-31 loss to Michigan State, the Aggies of Utah State have reeled off six straight wins, including three in conference play. At 6-1 on the season the Aggies are bowl eligible for seventh time in eight seasons. Last week the Aggies struggled against Wyoming, held to just 194 yards, but still managed a way to win 24-16. In that game it was the USU defense and special teams that came up big; forcing two turnovers on defense and returning a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. Aside from last week’s game the Aggies boast the fourth best scoring offense in the country at 47.7 points per game. The Lobos will have to deal with sophomore quarterback Jordan Love who is completing 64% of his passes, third best in the MWC, and has 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions. Now if the Lobos want to slow down the Utah State offense, they will need to duplicate what Wyoming did last week; put tons of pressure on Love, and take away Ron’quavion Tarver and Jalen Greene in the passing game. Both of whom were held to a combined one catch against Wyoming. The Lobos defense will once again face an uphill task in this one.
For the Lobos’ offense, needless to say, they have sputtered the last two games. Against Colorado State they gained only 304 yards. Last week against Freson State was even worse, garnering just 280 yards. Not to mention the eight punts and one turnover in the game last week. Quarterback Sheriron Jones has disappeared offensively in the last two games as well. He had two straight games in which he gained over 300 yards of offense by himself. He has had 379 yards combined in the last two games. Now the Lobos did shoot themselves in the foot a couple times early on last week with penalties that wiped out big plays. The key this week will be to not have self-inflicted wounds because they will come back to bite them this week just like last week. The offense needs to find their rhythm if they want to stay in this game.
The Lobos do have a tendency to play Utah State close. They will need everything they have and then some to have a shot at winning Saturday afternoon, especially being 20-point underdogs. Now I’m not calling for an upset, but am simply going to point out the last time the Lobos played in Logan they won, and the last time Utah State was favored by double digits against UNM the Lobos won that day too.