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Lobo Pack Football: Utah State Preview

2021 season comes to an end

New Mexico v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

What:

New Mexico Lobos vs. Utah State Aggies

Where:

University Stadium in Albuquerque, NM

When:

Friday November 26th, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Mountain Time

Coverage:

The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 and on the radio side it will be the Lobo Sports Radio Network. If you are in Albuquerque, the Lobo Sports Radio Network can be found at 770 AM/96.3 FM KKOB.

Series:

Utah State leads the series at 14-13 with four straight wins over UNM.

Breakdown:

The New Mexico Lobos will close out their 2021 season by hosting the Utah State Aggies at University Stadium on Friday.

The Lobos come into the game with a record of 3-8 on the season, having lost their previous three contests.

Last game out, UNM was defeated 37-0 by Boise State last Saturday.

Utah State comes to Albuquerque with a record of 8-3 on the season, well on their way to playing in a bowl game.

Utah State had been riding a five-game winning streak until they were blown out by Utah State last week by a final of 44-17.

The Aggies still have a shot at making it to the Mountain West Conference Championship game. Utah State would need to beat UNM and have Boise State lose to San Diego State in order to play in the MWC Championship Game.

What the Lobos do on offense:

Another quarterback injury on the season left the Lobos looking to Bryson Carroll, and some others, last week against Boise State.

Carroll, who was a runningback between 2017-20 at UNM, was a graduate assistant this season with some eligibility left. The Lobos needed that eligibility last week when Isaiah Chavez was injured.

Conor Genal, who played in some games last season for New Mexico, also saw some action.

As to who will play this week at quarterback, head coach Danny Gonzales didn’t sway one way or another, and one should expect it to be a game-time decision as both Chavez and Carroll practiced this week with the first team.

Whoever is at quarterback, expect a lot of running.

With no threat of a passing game last week, Boise State loading the box and shutdown UNM’s running attack. Utah State will try to do the same; but can they?

Before last week, Utah State had held three straight opponents—Hawaii, New Mexico State and San Jose State—to under 50 yards of rushing in each game. Last week was different, though, as the Aggies gave up 362 yards on the ground to Wyoming. It will be interesting to see which defense shows up for the Aggies.

What will Utah State do:

The Aggies can attack with either the pass or the run and have success. Early in the season the Aggies were leaning on the pass more. However, there have been game where they have a clear rushing edge and have used it to their advantage.

Logan Bonner is the starting quarterback for Utah State. During the five-game winning streak, Bonner was on fire, throwing 16 touchdown passes to just four interceptions, while completing over 64% of his passes.

Last week, Bonner did throw two touchdowns, but completed under 50% of his passes.

Bonner’s top receiver is Deven Thompkins, who has 82 catches for 1,508 yards and nine touchdowns on the season.

The Aggies running game shouldn’t be forgotten either.

Calvin Tyler Jr. and Eleyon Noa are a good one-two punch for the Aggies. Tyler has 686 yards this season, while Noa has 517 yards. Both will see some carries in this contest.

Final Thoughts and Prediction:

New Mexico’s season will end Friday, and while three wins isn’t what UNM, or their fans, wanted for the season, they can take comfort that it was a step in the right direction.

The Lobos topped the win mark of each of the last two seasons and have played a ton of freshman and sophomores this season. That playing time will come in handy in future seasons.

As for now, this game appears to play right into the hands of Utah State. But I do expect the Lobos to play extremely hard and make it difficult on the Aggies.

I expect a little closer of a game than the experts are predicting. I like Aggies-34 Lobos-19.