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Howling With The Lobos

New Mexico vs Nevada Preview

NCAA Football: New Mexico at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

What: New Mexico Lobos at Nevada Wolfpack

When: Saturday November 2nd, 2019 at 8:30 p.m. Mountain

Where: Mackay Stadium in Reno, NV

Coverage: The game will be televised on ESPNU, and the Lobo Radio Network will have the coverage over the AM/FM frequencies.

Series: This is just the 8th meeting between these two schools with the series record an even 3-3-1. Last time they met the Lobos won 35-26 in Albuquerque in a lightning delayed game that ended about two in the morning.

Breakdown:

In a game between two reeling teams the New Mexico Lobos (2-6, 0-4) take on the Nevada Wolfpack (4-4, 1-3) late Saturday night on ESPNU. The Lobos come into the game on a five-game losing streak after dropping a 45-31 decision last week to Hawai’i. The Wolfpack aren’t in very better shape, losing two in a row and three of their last four contests, including being blown out by Wyoming last week, 31-3.

Three Keys to watch/listen for:

Slow down the passing game:

The Lobos have been extremely balanced, even during the losing streak, averaging 216 yards passing per game and 211 yards rushing per game. New Mexico, however, has not been able to stop anyone’s passing game. And, not to sound like a broken record, but the Lobos need to figure out how to slow down Nevada’s passing attack. Last week the Lobos were surprised how the Rainbow Warriors were able to run the ball on them, but still they put up 323 yards passing. That is a little down from their average of 344 yards per game but is still the Achilles heel of the UNM defense. The Lobos need to slow the passing game to have a shot.

Run Forest, Run:

Okay so there is no running back named Forest on the team, but with the way the Lobos have run the football the last three weeks they should do it more. Nevada gives up almost 150 yards per game rushing, and the Lobos have enough depth in the backfield with Ahmari Davis (200 yards rushing last week) and Bryson Carroll (193 yards vs Colorado State) to make a difference. The more the Lobos run the more they can keep the Nevada offense off the field and slow down the passing attack.

Try to get ahead early:

Right now, this Lobo team is very low on confidence. As hard as this is to imagine the Lobos have led only once during this five-game losing skid, and that was a 14-7 lead over Colorado State that quickly evaporated. New Mexico needs to build confidence early to keep from having a snowball effect in this game like in the others during the losing streak. One way to do that will be to get ahead early, and if the Lobos can get up say 7-0, or 14-0, the confidence this will make for the Lobos will be enormous and might be enough to power them to victory.

Prediction:

This might be the best shot the Lobos have the rest of the season to get a road victory. Nevada is a little shaky on offense, only averaging 19 points per game, and only averaging 127 rushing yards a game. The Lobos need to run the football, not turn it over, and that could very well lead to a UNM win. I actually like the Lobos in this one: Lobos 34 Nevada 30.