New Mexico Lobos vs. Nevada Wolf Pack
Saturday October 28th, 2023, at 8:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
Mackay Stadium in Reno, NV
The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. On the radio waves, the Lobo Sports Radio Network will have the call. The flagship station is 96.3 FM/770 AM KKOB in Albuquerque.
Nevada owns the series edge 5-3-1, including winning 21-10 the last time these two hooked up on the playing field back in 2019.
The New Mexico Lobos and Nevada Wolf Pack will be looking to create a two-game winning streak when they square off Saturday night in Reno.
The Wolf Pack some how stunned their way to a 6-0 win over San Diego State last Saturday. That win was Nevada’s first on the season and in the MWC, which now sits at 1-6 and 1-2 in the Mountain West Conference. The win is just the third in the coaching career of Ken Wilson at Nevada and broke a 16-game losing streak.
The Lobos on the other hand put on an offensive clinic against Hawai’i on Saturday evening, pounding the Rainbow Warriors 42-21. With that win the Lobos are now 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the MWC. The win was the first conference win for UNM since 2021.
Somehow the Wolf Pack’s defense, which had given up nearly 500 yards a game entering the game last week, gave up only 204 yards against the Aztecs.
While the Lobos rolled to 429 total yards offense with a balanced attack of 202 passing yards and 227 yards on the ground. Dylan Hopkins was named the Manning Award quarterback of the week after tossing for 202 yards on 20 of 25 completions to attempts with three touchdowns.
With that, the Lobos kept their postseason hopes alive. However, this is a must win for UNM if they do hope to keep Coach Gonzales’ promise of making it to a bowl game this season. After this week, UNM will play the next three games with teams in the top five of the conference standings and finish off the season with Utah State.
Now, Utah State is a winnable game, but the Lobos need to at least take care of business here, steal one from either UNLV, Boise State or Fresno State and take down Utah State to go bowling. This is a very doable situation given Boise State’s inconsistency this season.
Nevada struggles on offense. They have averaged just 311 yards this season, which ranks last in the MWC. While their defense allows 468 yards a game, again worst in the MWC and 127 out of 130 FBS teams. This is the dream matchup right now for the Lobos.
Nevada’s quarterback Brendan Lewis is their offense. The transfer from Colorado isn’t only the Wolf Pack’s leading passer, but also their leading rusher. He could find holes in the pass defense of UNM, but if they do bother him the way they bothered Brayden Schager of Hawai’i, he is prone to mistakes with six interceptions on the season.
The key for the Lobos will be to get some distance between them and the Wolf Pack. Much like last week, if Nevada keeps hanging around, they might find a way to win.
Final Thoughts and Prediction:
This one will be tough to call. The Lobos have been inconsistent this season, but last week feels like a turning point. Not only did their offense show up and put on a clinic, but their defense also showed up and made key stops and came up with turnovers. A repeat of that would lead to another victory.
I think this team not only has turned a corner, but it will continue to show they have this week with a great game from both sides. I expect the Lobos big in this one, 49-20.