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Lobos Doomed By Late Mistakes

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Roberto E. Rosales

With 10:07 left to play in the game New Mexico quarterback Coltin Gerhart hit receiver Delane Hart-Johnson for a 4-yard touchdown pass to give the Lobos a 23-14 lead. It appeared as though New Mexico was going to get a much needed win, and stun most across the Mountain West Conference by beating San Diego State. Then the Lobos suffered some self-inflicted mistakes and the Aztecs took advantage.

Early on UNM rode their defense to the lead. On the first possession of the game San Diego State quarterback Ryan Agnew was hit and fumbled the ball, which was picked up by Lobos defensive linemen Adebayo Soremekun and run back 44 yards for the touchdown.

San Diego State followed that up with a long, grinding, drive that ended with Chase Jasmin taking it in to the endzone for the Aztecs to tie it at 7-7. Which is what the score was at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Lobos defense again came up big; this time recovering a fumble deep in Aztec territory. This led to an Andrew Shelley 41-yard field goal that gave the Lobos a 10-7 lead heading into halftime.

In the second half the Aztecs got off to a quick start; taking great field position from a bad UNM punt and punching it in, as Juwan Washington, in his first game back from injury, took a hand off and went 34 yards to put the Aztecs ahead 14-10.

After trading punts the Lobos defense forced another turnover, another fumble recovered at the SDSU 13-yard line. Two plays later and Coltin Gerhart found Anselem Umeh from 12 yards out to give the Lobos the lead back, 16-14, as the extra point ended up being blocked. The Lobos then forced a punt, and Gerhart engineered an 11 play 57-yard drive, and hit Hart-Johnson with the aforementioned touchdown to put the Aztecs on the ropes with just over 10 minutes to go.

New Mexico’s defense then faltered after carrying the team all game. A blown coverage on the ensuing Aztecs drive allowed Christain Chapman, also back from injury, to hit Kahale Warring from 19 yards out to cut the lead to 23-21 with 7:29 left to play.

The Aztecs then forced a three and out for the Lobos, and UNM’s punt team struggled to bring down Garrett Binkley, who took the punt 34 yards to the UNM 41. After 26 yards the SDSU offense sputtered, but kicker John Baron II hit a 32-yard field goal to put the Aztecs up 24-23 with 2:56 to go.

On the very first play of the next drive Coltin Gerhart tried to force a pass down field and was picked off by Luq Barcoo to give the Aztecs the ball right back. Two plays later Juwan Washington was celebrating in the end zone that all but put the game away with 55 seconds to go.

The Lobos offense turned it over on downs the next drive and the Aztecs ran the clock out to get the 31-23 victory.

The loss dropped the Lobos to 3-6 on the season, 1-4 in the MWC, and is their fourth consecutive loss.

The Lobos will be on the road next weekend as they visit the Air Force Falcons in Colorado Springs on Saturday. San Diego State will host UNLV next Saturday night.