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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Second scoreless week mixes resolve and anger

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By Dylan Smith / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNM quarterback B.R. Holbrook, no. 12, throws the ball past Air Force’s Bobby Watkins, no. 8, on Saturday at University Stadium. The Lobos were shut out for the second time, losing 42-0.

After a 42-0 defeat Saturday for its eighth consecutive loss, the Lobo football team still has nothing to be happy about, running back Crusoe Gongbay said.

“Everybody’s mad,” he said. “We’re mad like that after every game.”

Despite being shut out for the second week in a row, interim head coach George Barlow said his team gave a good effort.

“It’s not the result we wanted,” he said. “I thought the effort was better. A lot of the stuff that happened we did to ourselves — the penalties, the turnovers. I thought the kids kept fighting.

They were doing things to try to stay in the game.”

The Falcons racked up 335 yards on the ground and a mere 26 yards through the air. They only attempted three passes, all of which came in the first half.

Falcon quarterback Connor Dietz, who came into the game after starting quarterback Tim Jefferson was injured in the first half, led the team with 87 rushing yards. The Falcons had four players with 42 rushing yards or more.

Air Force’s running attack wasn’t the only thing that hurt the Lobos on Saturday. UNM committed 10 penalties for a total of 67 yards, seven of which were committed in the first half.

The longest pass play of the game for UNM went only 13 yards, and the team only made two trips to the red zone. It couldn’t capitalize on a scoring opportunity by missing two field goals.

Linebacker Carmen Messina led the team in tackles on Saturday with 15,but he said the Lobos are running out of time to win.

“It’s nothing to be happy about,” Messina said. “It’s nothing to be laughing about. It’s definitely frustrating. We only have a few more opportunities left to get this thing rolling.”

Getting that first win of the season would be huge for the morale of the team, and the Lobos have not given up hope, Barlow said.

“I think the kids still have some fight in them, and I’m going to keep coaching them as long as they keep fighting,” he said.

The Lobos are set to play against San Diego State, Wyoming, UNLV and end the season against Boise State, the No. 5 team in the nation. The game against UNLV will be the only one in which the Lobos will have a home-field advantage.

Messina said his spirit is still high despite the losses.

“Give up? I don’t know what that word means,” he said. “It’s not in my dictionary. Every time I step on the field, I want to win.”