New Mexico Lobos at Fresno State Bulldogs
Saturday November 18th, 2023, at 8:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
Valley Children’s Stadium in Fresno, CA
The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. 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.
Fresno State owns a 15-5 series lead. Last time these two met the Bulldogs won 41-9 last season in Albuquerque. Last time UNM won against FSU was in 2020 with a 49-39 win. The last time UNM won in Fresno was in 1994 when they won 49-32.
The New Mexico Lobos will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak when they visit the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday night in a Mountain West Conference contest.
Last week, the Lobos were eliminated from bowl eligibility with a 42-14 loss to Boise State. That loss dropped UNM to 3-7 on the season and 1-5 in MWC play. Assuring the Lobos of their seventh consecutive losing season, and their fourth under current coach Danny Gonzales.
Devon Dampier got the start against Boise State, going 17-for-16 for 200 yards passing and carrying the ball 13 times for 48 yards. It will be interesting to see if Gonzales sticks with Dampier since UNM is now eliminated from postseason contention.
Jacory Croskey-Merritt had a solid night in Boise, carrying 15 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Croskey-Merritt sits at 748 yards on the season and will be looking to crack the 1,000-yard mark over the next two weeks, but he needs to average 126 yards a game. The Bulldogs average allowing just over 144 yards a game on the ground total. They allowed 200 yards to Kairee Robinson last week, so expect UNM to feed Croskey-Merritt a ton in this game and he should be in line for that 1,000-yard season.
Fresno State is coming off a blowout loss of their own, a 42-18 loss to San Jose State last Saturday. With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the MWC. With that loss as well, the Bulldogs fell to third in the MWC standings and will now need some help to make the MWC Championship Game in a couple of weeks. First things first, they need to take care of business here.
Mikey Keene was knocked out in the first half of last week’s game against San Jose State, and Logan Fife stepped in to finish off the game. There hasn’t been a lean one way or another between Keene or Fife, but it may not matter. Fife played the Lobos last season and scored three touchdowns in the win. If Keene gets the nod, he should have an easy time picking apart a Lobos defense that has allowed 244 yards a game. Either way, whoever starts for the Bulldogs should have a decent day.
It goes without saying that the Lobos are reeling. A 28-point loss to a Boise State team that would fire their head coach on the day following the contest. That came on the heels of a 42-point blowout loss to UNLV, who are now in line for the MWC Championship Game.
This has a 2019 feel to it where Bob Davie was let go at the end of the season after making changes and nothing seemed to work. Gonzales made changes entering the season, he has made changes during the season, and yet again, the Lobos are going to end with a losing season.
Now, catching a Fresno State team that will be looking to get back into the win column after what occurred last week with San Jose State. The Bulldogs still are in the hunt for a conference title appearance, but they will need a loss from UNLV, or Air Force and wins both tonight and next week against San Diego State.
This seems like the perfect storm for another Lobos blowout loss, leaving them with a Senior Day contest next Saturday against Utah State to finish the season.
Not to sound like a Debbie Downer, but I really cannot see how, if at all, that the Lobos stay in this contest. The defense is porous, the offense cannot quite do enough, and now that they are eliminated from bowl contention, how many are actually going to still give one hundred percent?
The Bulldogs are in the right place catching the Lobos and are hungry coming off an embarrassing game last week. The Bulldogs are a 23 ½-point favorite right now on DraftKings, and I would think they will handle that spread. I like the Bulldogs winning 55-14.