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Howling With the Lobos: Colorado State Preview

Lobos vs Rams under the Friday night lights

New Mexico v Notre Dame Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

What: New Mexico Lobos vs Colorado State Rams

When: Friday October 11th, 2019

Where: Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque

Series: Colorado State owns the series with a record of 41-25, including the last nine against the Lobos.

Coverage: CBS Sports Network will have the television coverage, while the Lobo Radio Network will be on the radio side. One can catch the game in Albuquerque on the radio at 94.5 FM/770 AM KKOB.

Breakdown and What to Watch/Listen For:

The Lobos are back home after losing two consecutive games on the road, at Liberty and San Jose State, in consecutive weeks. The losses have really put a strain into UNM’s chances of making it to a bowl game this season. The Lobos sit at 2-3 on the season and 0-1 in Mountain West Conference play. However, a Friday night showdown with struggling Colorado State might be what the doctor ordered.

Quarterback play?

After winning the starting job with an exceptional game against New Mexico State, Tevaka Tuioti struggled against Liberty, and then really struggled in the first half at San Jose State, leading the Lobos coaching staff to go back to Sheriron Jones for the second half against the Spartans last week. Jones was up and down during his stint in the game; going 7-of-16 for 127 yards two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran for 104 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Head Coach Bob Davie has, as of this writing, yet to announce a starter for the game against CSU and has stated to the media that both will see action on Friday night.

Secondary Gets a Rest?

As has been stated many times this season the Achilles’ heel for the Lobos defense this season has been their secondary. This week the secondary might catch a break as the Rams passing game is all but unimpressive so far this season. Colorado State is averaging just 301.8 yards per game through the air. They also exchange quarterbacks during the course of games going back and forth between Patrick O’Brien and Justice McCoy. O’Brien saw more action last week against San Diego State going 19-of-30 for 217 yards with one touchdown and one interception. In order to win the Lobos need to stop the deep ball from happening; the Rams could try to find Dante Wright or Nate Craig-Myers on the deep throws in the contest.

Secret Weapon?

The Lobos may have found another speedy receiver late in the contest against San Jose State when Jones hit Cedric Patterson III on a nice 38-yard touchdown pass. Though the game was out of reach, it was something of a eureka moment for the Lobos coaching staff as far as their receivers go. Look for the Lobos to try to get Patterson more involved in the game this week, the more touches with him the merrier.

Prediction

This will be a must win game for the Lobos. If they’re able to dispose of the Rams, then their slim bowl hopes remain alive given their tough schedule down the stretch. A loss might send the Lobos into a similar spiral that they experienced last season that ended in a 3-9 record. Coach Davie can ill afford that to happen if he hopes to be on the UNM sidelines for next season. Interestingly enough the same could be said for CSU Head Coach Mike Bobo heading into this contest. I fully expect Jones’s play to be the difference in this contest, along with his speedy teammates around him. I like the Lobos to win 34-27.