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Lobos Host New Mexico State

Rio Grande Rivalry Time

Tennessee Tech v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images


New Mexico Lobos vs. New Mexico State Aggies


Saturday September 16th, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.


University Stadium in Albuquerque, NM


The game will be streamed online at The Mountain West 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.


New Mexico has a 73-34-3 edge in the series. Last season, New Mexico State stifled the Lobos offense in a 21-9 victory for the Aggies.


It is time for the 2023 edition of the Rio Grande Rivalry as the New Mexico Lobos host the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday night in Albuquerque.

The Lobos come into the contest off a 56-10 win over Tennessee Tech last Saturday. The win evened the UNM record at 1-1 on the season.

New Mexico State is trying to bounce back from a 33-17 defeat to Liberty on Saturday. That loss dropped the Aggies to a 1-2 record on the season.

What to expect from the Aggies:

New Mexico State’s defense has been a little leaky this season. In three contests the Aggies have given up 21 or more points in each, including their 58-21 win over Western Illinois.

Quarterback Diego Pavia has been up and down this year. In the two losses he has four touchdowns and four interceptions. In the lone win, he completed 80 percent of his passes with 317 passing yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Pavia will need to keep the turnovers to a minimum in this one to help his defense out.

The Aggies rushing game has been up and down as well. Going for 270 yards against Western Illinois but have been held under 200 yards the other two contests.

New Mexico State will split the carries between Monte Watkins, Star Thomas, Jamoni Jones, and Pavia himself. None have broken the century mark in a game this season.

The Lobos Can Win if:

The offense was flying high against Tennessee Tech, and with another weak defense on deck in New Mexico State, it appears as though it will stay high flying.

Pressuring Pavia will force him into mistakes, and the Lobos can take advantage of that with how good the offense has been. If the Lobos are ahead, one can look at the turnover category to be an indicator as to why.

The Lobos will lose if:

If somehow the Tennessee Tech game was a fluke, and NMSU’s defense has been playing coy all season and somehow force Lobo quarterback Dylan Hopkins into trouble, then the Lobos will likely fall again.

Hopkins needs to duplicate his Tennessee Tech showing that earned him MWC Offensive Player of the Week. If he doesn’t, this game will be closer than it needs to be. And the longer a team like New Mexico State sticks around, the more confidence they will gain, the better the chance of an Aggie victory.

Final Thoughts and Prediction:

The Tennessee Tech game was night and day with what occurred the week prior in College Station. On top of that, the New Mexico State defense has struggled to date, including allowing 41 points to a UMass team that has been abysmal since joining the FBS ranks.

This game, however, might turn into a little bit of a shootout given the youth on the Lobos defense. Nonetheless, I expect Hopkins and company to have the upper hand in this one and will pull away at the end to cover their 1-point spread. I’ll take UNM 44-27.