What: New Mexico Lobos vs Boise State Broncos
When: Saturday November 16th, 2019 at 8:15 p.m. Mountain
Where: Albertson’s Stadium in Boise, ID
Coverage: ESPN2 will have the television broadcast. UNM Sports Radio Network will have the radio call (770 AM/94.5 FM KKOB in Albuquerque).
Series: This is the 11th meeting between the Lobos and Broncos, Boise State owns the series lead at a record of 9-1. The lone Lobos victory came back in 2015 when they stunned Boise State 31-24 in Boise. Last season the Broncos hammered the Lobos in Albuquerque to the tune of 45-14.
The Lobos take the field for the first time since the death of defensive tackle Nahje Flowers. The emotions will be running high in this contest, no doubt. New Mexico comes into the game 2-7 and 0-5 in Mountain West Conference play, while the Boise State Broncos are 8-1 and 5-0 in MWC play, seemingly headed for the MWC Championship Game in December.
During the Lobos’ six game losing skid they have been outscored 173-103. There have been games where the defense has shined and the offense failed to show up, most notably the last time out against Nevada where the defense provided the opportunities for a win, but the offense failed to cash in. This time it will be more difficult against the Broncos who are ranked 21st in the Playoff Poll and 19th in the Associated Press Poll.
Cause for hope:
The Broncos did struggle to put away Wyoming last week, needing the Cowboys to miss a field goal in overtime to win 20-17. That coupled with a big contest on the horizon against Utah State, one that could decide the Mountain Division of the MWC depending on how Utah State fairs against Wyoming today, might be a sign of hope for the Lobos. Just as back in 2016 when the Lobos won, the Broncos might have been looking ahead a week at their matchup with Air Force that season which is similar to where we sit again here in 2019.
Cause for concern:
Boise State starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier was listed as questionable for the game yesterday, though there has been a lot of talk that the Broncos expect him to play. Boise State is 7-0 when Bachmeier starts. Chase Cord will get the nod if Bachmeier is not able to play, and the Broncos passing attack has struggled when Cord is running the show. Not saying that the Lobos will catch a break if Cord starts, because the Lobos haven’t been able to slow anyone’s passing attack, but they might be in the game a little longer if Cord gets the start.
For the foreseeable future, I don’t see this changing given the fact that the Lobos give up an average of 340 passing yards a game, the x-factor again tonight for the Lobos will be their secondary. The little bright spot is that they only allowed 305 yards passing last game against Nevada. This isn’t the Wolfpack, though, this is a team who is still looking to make a splash and make their way into a New Year’s Six Bowl. Expect a lot of passing early on, and if the Lobos hope to stay in this game, their secondary needs to play similar to the way they did against Nevada.
This is an uphill battle, no doubt. The emotions of the team will be running high in this one, and with really nothing to lose, the Lobos will play inspired throughout. I feel as if Boise State is going to reach into their bag of trick plays several times early to try and establish momentum. With a big game coming next week for the Broncos I don’t know how much they will be in this one mentally. That might be good news for UNM, but I don’t think it’ll be enough. The Lobos will hang in there early, but I feel Boise State will pull away late and win. I got Boise State-42 Lobos-24.