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Football: Lobos dominate UNLV on the road in Mountain West opener

The University of New Mexico football team put on a dominant performance behind quarterback Sheriron Jones and stellar defensive play, as they defeated the UNLV Rebels 50-14 in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon.

Jones threw for 250 yards on 13-of-20 attempts, including four touchdowns through the air. His offense, in a well-balanced affair, had 252 yards on the ground. Jones rushed for 72 yards.

Meanwhile, New Mexico’s defense forced eight three-and-outs during the game, and didn’t allow the Rebels’ offense to pass the 100-yard threshold until halfway through the fourth quarter.

The Lobo defense also recorded a season-high five sacks. Defensive lineman Cody Baker had two of them.

However, neither team was able to put up points in the first quarter, but New Mexico started to work on a drive towards the end — and leading into the second.

On third and goal at the UNLV one-yard line, running back Zahneer Shuler barreled into the end zone for the first score of the game to give UNM the lead.

The Rebels were still out of sync, as they were most of the first quarter, behind Max Gilliam, the sophomore QB who took over this week after the team’s starting QB, Armani Rogers, injured his toe in their last game.

UNM scored on its first full drive of the second quarter, going eight plays and 56 yards — on mostly run plays — to go up 12-0. The drive was capped by a one-yard touchdown run from running back Tyrone Owens.

The Lobos’ defense remained dominant and held the Rebels scoreless. Meanwhile, their offense continued to drive the ball. A 43-yard field goal from Andrew Shelley made it 15-0 New Mexico with a little under five minutes before the half.

Jones made a spark on the next drive as he hit wideout Elijah Lilly for a 74-yard touchdown. After a made extra point, New Mexico quickly grabbed a commanding 22-0 lead.

But the Lobos didn’t stop on offense, and they continued to put the stop on defense.

Jones took his offense 60 yards down the field on just five plays to give UNM one more touchdown before the half. He completed two passes over 15 yards, one of which was to Anselem Umeh for a 26-yard touchdown. Jones also had an 18-yard rush on the drive.

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The 29 points UNM scored in the second quarter broke the record for most points in a quarter against an FBS opponent. Previously, the Lobos were able to put up 28 points four different times.

New Mexico’s defense didn’t miss a beat entering the third quarter. On the Rebels’ first drive of the frame, the Lobos forced a three-and-out, which was capped by a sack from linebacker Rhashaun Epting.

Meanwhile, UNM’s offense kept churning. On third down, Jones managed to find wide receiver Emmanuel Harris for a 33-yard touchdown pass.

In the end, New Mexico went on to defeat UNLV, 50-14, behind a stellar performance from Jones and also the Lobos’ defense.

Up next for UNM is a road game in Fort Collins against the Colorado State Rams. Kickoff for that game is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Matthew Narvaiz is a sports beat reporter and senior writer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers football, but also contributes content for other sports. He can be reached at or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.

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