Utah State Aggies vs. New Mexico Lobos
Maverik Stadium in Logan, Utah
Saturday, November 5th, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time
The game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network. On the radio waves it will be carried on the Lobo Sports Radio Network, 96.3 FM/770 AM in Albuquerque.
This will be 28th meeting of the two schools on the gridiron. The Aggies own a 14-13 edge. Last season, the Aggies dominated with a 35-10 win over the Lobos in Albuquerque.
The New Mexico Lobos are in a free fall once again late in a season. This time, they have a five-game losing streak, and will be looking to end it when they pay the Utah State Aggies a visit.
The Lobos are coming off a bye week last week, but prior to that, had dropped a 41-9 decision to Fresno State to go to 2-6 on the season and 0-4 in the Mountain West Conference.
Utah State is also coming off a bye week and a loss in their previous contest, losing to Wyoming by a 28-14 final. That decision dropped the Aggies to 3-5 on the season and 2-2 in the MWC.
Both teams are still alive for bowl eligibility, but with a loss, UNM will be eliminated.
What to watch for:
The Lobos offense has gone from bad to worse under new offensive coordinator Heath Ridenour, having mustered only 138 total yards of offense against Fresno State.
With that lack of offense, the Lobos are now averaging just 218 yards of offense in conference play.
This is yet another season in which the Lobos have been sent into a tailspin to end the season. After opening 2-0 last season, New Mexico went 1-9 over their final 10 games to end at a 3-9 record. This year, after a 2-1 start, the Lobos have lost five in a row. It will be interesting to see if the Lobos can generate enough offense to at least contend, let alone win.
The Utah State Aggies were down to their 4th quarterback against Wyoming a couple of weeks ago but will look to get one of their QBs back this week.
After Logan Bonner went down earlier this season with a foot injury, Cooper Legas had been filling in, including leading the Aggies to two wins in a row. Legas missed the contest with Wyoming with a concussion. Levi Williams, the Aggies third stringer to start the season, also missed with an injury, leaving the duties to Bishop Davenport. The true freshman Davenport was 17-of-26 for 104 yards against the Cowboys, while adding 45 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in the rushing game.
Head coach Blake Anderson says that he expects Legas to return against the Lobos. Legas had started the previous three games, throwing five touchdowns and four interceptions. However, the offense averaged 398.6 yards per game with Legas as the signal caller.
With Legas returning, that should also open up the running game. The Aggies have a formidable back in Calvin Tyler, who has rushed for 717 yards this season, going over the century-mark in four of those contests. With both Legas and Tyler healthy, this will be a tough offense to stop for anyone, including a Rocky Long defense.
Utah State has won five straight meetings with New Mexico.
The New Mexico defense had 15 sacks during the first six games of the season, have had zero in the last two games.
Final Thoughts and Prediction:
As I said above, New Mexico is in a free fall. After a 2-1 start, with lots of winnable games ahead of them, the Lobos faltered and sit at the brink of being eliminated from bowl eligibility at 2-6.
The Lobos passing game is non-existent, and the defense can only do so much. I don’t expect much to change outside of the fact that they might use the running game in the rain to keep this one closer than expected. I still like Utah State, 23-16.