The Mountain West announced on Monday that New Mexico running back Richard McQuarley was named as the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week.
The running back tied a 21-year-old school record for most rushing touchdowns in a game, set by Reginal Johnson against Tulsa during the 1996 season.
McQuarley rushed for 179 yards and five touchdowns on 11 carries in the win over Air Force.
The running back said he the offensive line did a great job in preparing for the game. He said their film study was exceptional, and it seemed like the line had a plan for everything.
“The holes were there, it was just up to us to hit them,” McQuarley said. “They did an outstanding job.”
He said he knew the big plays were going to eventually start happening for the team. He said the chant players use in the locker room is “famine, famine, famine, feast” — meaning, sometimes there may be some lulls, but the big pickups will come in due to time.
McQuarley said he showed last year that he wasn’t just a third down or short yardage back, and it was “awesome” to be recognized for his accomplishments on the field.
The running back set a new career high in the fourth quarter with a 63-yard touchdown run, only to surpass it later in the game with a 65-yard sprint to the end zone.
McQuarley, nicknamed “Rock,” has proven to be a tough back to take down. But he also said he knew he was gone as soon as he made it to the second level and had nothing but open field in front of him.
He said, as a running back, he prides himself on not getting caught from behind or being taken down from a solo tackle. McQuarley said he has been putting in the work with the coaches to continue improving on speed.
He became just the seventh player in the history of the Mountain West Conference to rush for at least five touchdowns in a single game, and the first to do it since current Miami Dolphin running back Jay Ajayi did so in 2014.
It was the first time that a Lobo player won Offensive Player of the Week Honors since Kasey Carrier rushed for three touchdowns against UTEP in 2013.
McQuarley’s player of the week honors marked the third such distinction garnered by a New Mexico player this season. He joined Jake Rothschiller (defensive, week one) and Jason Sanders (special teams, week four) in accomplishing the feat.
New Mexico will have its bye weekend this Saturday and return to the field at Fresno State on Oct.14.
Cameron Goeldner is a freelance sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @goeldfinger.
Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers basketball, football and tennis. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Robert_Maler.