New Mexico State Aggies vs. New Mexico Lobos
Saturday October 15th, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time
Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces, NM
The game will be streamed on FloSports, it will also be shown on AggieVision. On the radio, it will be on the Lobo Sports Network. Flagship station is 770 AM/96.3 FM KKOB in Albuquerque.
This is the 110th meeting between the two in state rivals. New Mexico owns a 73-33-3 mark in the series. Last season, the Lobos took care of the Aggies 34-25 in Albuquerque.
The New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State Aggies will hook up for the 110th time in the Rio Grande Rivalry. The Lobos have won the last three meetings between the two.
New Mexico comes into the contest with a record of 2-4, following a 27-14 loss to the Wyoming Cowboys last Saturday night.
In that game the Lobos jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but, just like the week prior against UNLV, UNM could not hold that lead.
New Mexico State is 1-5 on the season. The Aggies took last week off following a 21-7 loss to Florida International at home.
In that one New Mexico State was held to just 221 total yards of offense, and did not score in the second half of the contest.
What to watch for:
New offensive coordinator
New Mexico fired offensive coordinator Derek Warehime following the loss to Wyoming. Warehime had been at the coordinator position for each of Danny Gonzales’ seasons as the UNM head coach.
The Lobos struggled to find offense this season, but it was glaring over the last three games. Following a shutout loss to LSU, the Lobos grabbed double digit leads in their next two games, against UNLV and Wyoming, by using gimmick plays to exploit unprepared defenses. However, once the Lobos got through those drives and resumed their normal offense, the team could not move the ball and put the defense in precarious positions.
Taking over at the offensive coordinator position will be Heath Ridenour beginning this week against the Aggies. Ridenour was an offensive assistant this. Prior to that, Ridenour spent 10 years as the head coach at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, winning three state championships and compiling a 96-18 record.
It will be interesting to see what kind of offense the Lobos have under Ridenour.
Will New Mexico State’s offense be up to the task?
The Aggies have struggled on offense this season, and it may not get any easier on Saturday.
New Mexico State averages just 266 yards per game this season. Only twice this season have the Aggies gone for more than 100 yards rushing, and only once have they thrown for more than 200 yards.
That might spell doom because the Lobos allow just 116 yards per game on the ground and 214 yards through the air. Much of that is skewed due to the loss to LSU in which the Tigers had 219 yards rushing and 414 yards passing.
Final Thoughts and Prediction
This renewal of the Rio Grande Rivalry might seem what some would call a pillow fight looking at the records of both teams. Aside from that, in the state, both sides take this seriously. This is also a chance for the Lobos to get back on track, looking for a potential bowl bid.
The Lobos are breaking in a new offensive coordinator with still questions on how they will produce on that side of the ball. Defensively, this is exactly the kind of matchup that coordinator Rocky Long looks forward to: a young team that struggles to move the ball and turns the ball over a lot. Gavin Frakes and Diego Pavia split time at quarterback for NMSU, but both have combined for 10 interceptions on the season.
With the kind of offenses each have, I expect a lower scoring game, but am going with the Lobos. I got Lobos-17 Aggies-7.