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Lobo Pack: Utah State game takeaways

Ugly again for UNM

For yet another game the second half became a problem for the New Mexico Lobos football team. This one, a Thanksgiving night visit to Utah State, was a 13-6 halftime lead for the Lobos that quickly evaporated in the third quarter and snowballed into a deficit that couldn’t be overcome by UNM. The Lobos lost by a final of 41-27 to drop to 0-5 overall.

Breakdown:

The Lobos pass defense was once again suspect, as Utah State got big play after big play through the air in the third quarter.

Utah State quarterback Andrew Peasley threw three touchdown passes on three consecutive drives to open-up the third quarter. Peasley first found Justin McGriff from 36 yards out for the first touchdown. Then Peasley found Savon Scarver from 26 yards out and Carson Terrell from 25 yards out. Add in a Kina Maile 16-yard fumble return and suddenly it was 34-13 Utah State.

Peasley ended up going 14-of-21 with 239 yards and three touchdowns through the air. However, it was Peasley’s legs that did in the Lobos late.

After two UNM touchdown drives cut the Utah State lead to 34-27 late in the fourth quarter, Utah State had the ball with a little over four minutes to play facing a 3rd-down and five yards to go, that’s when Peasley spun out of an almost sack and rambled past defenders on his way to a 62-yard touchdown run that put the Aggies up 41-27. An insurmountable lead for Utah State.

Lobos might have lost more than the game:

One of the bigger developments late in the contest was that Lobo quarterback Trae Hall exited the game with a rib injury. Connor Genal came in when Hall exited halfway through the third quarter and finished the contest.

The Lobos were already without normal starter Tevaka Tuioti, who remains in concussion protocol, having missed the previous three games.

If Hall or Tuioti cannot go against Wyoming next week, it will be Genal who will get the start. Genal was 5-for-10 for 61 yards but did have a late interception in the loss on Thursday.

Looking ahead:

The mountain to UNM’s first win of the season is a lot steeper now. With just two games remaining the chances of UNM going winless this season has increased big time.

The Lobos will face Wyoming next week in Las Vegas and will follow that up with the season finale against Fresno State on December 12th.

The Wyoming Cowboys sit at 1-2 and will play UNLV tomorrow after having their last two games canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Wyoming did hammer Hawai’i for their lone win on the season, but that’s a Hawai’i team that beat the Lobos.

Fresno State is 3-1 on the season and have also had their last two games canceled due to COVID-19. The last time out for the Bulldogs was a dominant win over the same Utah State team that just beat UNM.

Next Saturday’s game for the Lobos against Wyoming will be televised on CBS Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. MT.