What: New Mexico at Notre Dame
When: Saturday September 14th, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. Mountain
Coverage: NBC (TV), Lobo Radio Network. Flagship station in Albuquerque is 770 AM/94.5 FM KKOB
Series: This will be the first ever matchup between the two.
What to Watch For:
No Coach Davie
No surprise after given the life threatening situation that occurred after the Sam Houston State game, Coach Bob Davie will not be making the trip to South Bend this weekend to take on his former team. Instead he’ll be watching from his home in New Mexico. Offensive line coach Saga Tuitele will be the interim head coach on Saturday.
Interestingly enough the Lobos will enter their second game with still some questions to be answered about who will be under center. Brandt Hughes is out for this game with a shoulder injury, meaning that it will more than likely be Sheriron Jones seeing a lot of playing time.
There really shouldn’t be any surprise either if Tevaka Tuioti sees some playing time in this game after not seeing the field against Sam Houston State.
What will be the X-Factor for a Lobos Win?
This is an uphill climb for the Lobos, no doubt, but if there is one area where the Lobos could excel and keep the game close, it will be in the passing game. Notre Dame is known for running the football a ton, but with the Lobos giving up 443 passing yards to Sam Houston State, the Irish could change it up this week and air it out. The Lobos need to be ready and slowing down the aerial attack might give the Lobos some hope in this one.
Notre Dame players to keep an eye on:
Ian Book is the obvious first choice here. He is 10-1 as a starter at Notre Dame, and his stat lines are unreal in a lot of those games. The Lobos will need to contain not only Book’s arm, but his mobility and ability to tuck it and run.
Tony Jones Jr. is a name Lobo fans might get tired of hearing this weekend. Jones had 110 yards and a touchdown against Louisville in Notre Dame’s first game. And now with Jafar Armstrong expected to miss some time in the Irish backfield, Jones should carry the load.
Notre Dame has several stout receivers, led by Chase Claypool. Claypool had five catches for 94 yards against Louisville, but with a struggling Lobo secondary, that number might double this Saturday.
As a kid that grew up watching many Notre Dame games, and Lobo games as well, this one is a game I’ve been dreaming about for a long time. Although the Lobos are mismatched and heavy underdogs in this game, it’ll be nice to see them playing on the historic field of Notre Dame Stadium.
Though the kid in me might enjoy this game, the end result might be something none of us enjoy. I think the Lobos will ride some emotions from what occurred two weeks ago with Coach Davie and might even run out to an early lead. However, this is a Notre Dame team poised to make it back to the College Football Playoff this season and will more than likely pull away from the Lobos in the second half to win 45-14.