A Look Behind
Things started fast for the Lobos last Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin, but it also went down hill for UNM just as quickly.
The Lobos struck first in the game with a long 17 play drive that ended with a touchdown from QB Tevaka Tuioti to WR Delane Hart-John on a slant pass in front of the goal line. Wisconsin would respond with a long drive of their own, taking it down the field in 12 plays, but only came away with a field goal by K Rafael Gaglianone. The first quarter would end with the Lobos leading 7-3. This quarter would also mark the end of Tuioti as QB, injured during a running play, the red shirt freshman QB would be replaced by the third name on the depth chart, Sheriron Jones, a senior transfer from the University of Tennessee.
The start of the second quarter is when the Badgers were able to start imposing their will in the run game. While all three drives the Lobos had in the 2nd quarter resulted in punts, Wisconsin came away with a touchdown in one of their 3 drives of the quarter to take a 10-7 lead into halftime. Jones would finish the first half with 28 yards passing and 6 yards rushing since coming in for the injured Tuioti.
HALFTIME: WIS 10, UNM 7
The second half would begin with both teams trading interceptions. UNM LB Evahelotu Tohi would pick off UW QB Alex Hornibrook and return the interception 29 yards all the way to the Wisconsin 26 yard line. This would waste opportunity however as the Lobos would commit a turnover of their own 3 plays later when WIS S Scott Nelson intercepted a rushed throw from Jones as the pass rush was in his face. Wisconsin would take control of the game after this turnover, proceeding to score on the next 5 offensive possessions in a row to finish off the route by a final score of 45-14. The Badgers racked up a total of 417 yards rushing from 8 players collectively. The Lobos would find the end-zone once the rest of the second half which was a 5 yard touchdown from Jones to WR Eiljah Lilly. The star of the game would be WIS RB Johnathan Taylor, who would finish with 33 carries for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jones ended the game with 6 completions on 16 attempts for 79 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.
A Look Ahead: Rio Grande Rivalry Renewed
Through two games, the Lobos are 1-1, but maybe more importantly, they are down to their 3rd string quarterback. Much like Tevaka Tuioti, Jones is a duel threat quarterback who fits nicely into coach Davie’s triple option offense nicely. Even through they are riding into Las Cruses on Saturday with the 3rd name on their depth chart, the Lobos are looking considerably better than the NMSU Aggies. Three games into their season, NMSU is 0-3 and have been outscored by their opponents in their opening three games by a combined score of 137-30. The Aggies defense is probably the best thing Jones could be going against this week. But it is always a close game whenever these two teams meet up, their last two meetings resulted in games decided by 2 in 2017 and 1 in 2016 points respectively, with NMSU taking the win both times. But even with a 3rd string quarterback, Davie and the Lobos march into Las Cruses with great chance to win. It’s these types of circumstances that make this rivalry so great, no matter how big the gap between the two teams, the games always end up as a classic.