If you're a New Mexico fan you had a pretty good feeling the Lobos would enter Saturday's game against Wyoming 1-2. There was optimism after the Mississippi Valley State game that the Lobos might be able to steal a win against the Tulsa, but those hopes were quickly dashed by Golden Hurricanes potent pass offense. In the Arizona State game aside from a few big plays the Lobo defense looked good but UNM struggled to score points.
New Mexico who has been one of the nation's top rushing teams the past two years is now in the middle of an identity crisis they have tried to implement some passing plays to keep the defense honest but they have not been efficient when doing it. The Lobos also have two quarterbacks in Jordan and Apodaca that are splitting reps which has caused the offense to look out of sync at times; generally if you have two starting quarterback you really don't have one. If the Lobos are going to go up to Laramie and beat the Wyoming Cowboys this week the following three things must happen.
1. Constant quarterback play: Lamar Jordan was tabbed the Lobos starting quarterback after a long battle with Austin Apodaca in the offseason. During the last two games both players have been given reps with neither of them has been able to grab control of the job. If the Lobos want to win Saturday and constantly during the season the quarterback role has to be defined most successful programs do not have two starting quarterback. This situation is one that even Ohio State is struggling with and they have come to the same solution the Lobos have to. Pick a leader and ride them the rest of the way, their season depends on the decision.
2. Jhurell Pressley must have a big game: Pressley is the Lobos leading rusher but after three games he only has 145 yards through three games; he is averaging 3.8 YPC which is down from his 9.4 from last year. With all the hype surrounding Jhurell but he has struggles to get going this year. Pressley who was the team home run hitter last year has failed to record a carry over 30 yards. If the Lobos plan to get back in to the top five in the nation in rushing and win against Wyoming Pressley has to have over 100 yards rushing on Saturday.
3. Defense must limit big plays: The New Mexico defense has played better this year and are currently 73rd in the nation in total defense, but they have been susceptible to big plays in the last two games. While Wyoming does not have the athletes that Tulsa or Arizona State has they are still capable of making the occasional big play. This should be a game the Lobos should win but if they allow a big run or a pass for a touchdown, and if the crowd really gets in to the game it will be more difficult for the Lobos to come away with a victory.