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Lobo Pack: Nevada recap, takeaways

So close

New Mexico v Hawaii Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

For the 12th straight game, the New Mexico Lobos were on the losing end of a contest. Dropping this one to the Nevada Wolf Pack, 27-20, in Las Vegas in what was a home game for the Lobos.

This one might have stung a little more than the loss last week to Hawai’i, a game in which the Lobos had a 20-7 lead. In Saturday’s tilt, UNM owned a 10-0 first half lead, and led at halftime by a 13-10 score. Once again, though, the Lobos allowed big plays in the passing game in the second half as they saw their lead slip away.

Touchdown passes of 61 and 59 yards from Nevada quarterback Carson Strong to wide receiver Romeo Doubs put the Lobos behind the eight-ball down the stretch. The Lobos, down 27-13, got back into the game with just over four minutes to go with a drive that culminated in a Bobby Cole one-yard touchdown run to cut the Wolf Pack lead to seven.

The Lobos were able to get the ball back, after making Nevada go three and out, but failed to convert on a fourth down with a minute to play to seal the win for the Wolf Pack.

On the brink?

It’s easy to see that this Lobo team appears on the brink of breaking through in the win column. As of right now, the only one’s standing in their way is the Lobos themselves. At least that is what head coach Danny Gonzales believes. “Our biggest opponent right now is the Lobos,” Gonzales said following the contest. “We gave away one that I thought we had a chance to win.”

For the second consecutive week the Lobos led by double digits, and also led at halftime. Something that, up until last week, was a rarity in the previous few seasons. To add to some confidence is the fact that there are winnable games on the horizon. Next week the Lobos are scheduled to play Air Force, who haven’t played since October 31st due to COVID-19 issues within the program. Following that is a matchup with a reeling Utah State squad that just recently fired their head coach.

With four games left to play, the Lobos could still come away with a winning season, and potentially receive an New Mexico Bowl bid, all hinging on the COVID-19 numbers in New Mexico if that game will be played.

Expect no 2020 games in New Mexico.

With a two-week shelter in place ordered to begin on Monday for the state of New Mexico, the chances of the Lobos playing a game in Albuquerque this season is all but unlikely. The Lobos did relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada to practice, and to play home games at Sam Boyd Stadium, the former home of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.

The next two Lobo home games are scheduled for December 5th and 12th, but unless anything drastic happens in New Mexico to make the COVID-19 numbers tumble, those games will likely be played in Las Vegas.

Up next:

The Lobos are scheduled to have a short week, as they are to play Air Force on Friday night in Colorado Springs. However, the Falcons haven’t played their last two contests due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Air Force program.

If the Lobos and Falcons are unable to play on Friday night, UNM’s next contest will be on Thanksgiving night against Utah State.