On Friday, Nov. 26, the University of New Mexico football squad was defeated 35-10 by Utah State University at University Stadium in the final game of their disappointing season. The loss sends UNM into the offseason riding a four-game losing streak, while the team finished 1-6 in conference play and 3-9 overall.
UNM was forced to start Bryson Carroll at quarterback, though he has previously played mainly as a running back. Running back Aaron Dumas and wide receiver Luke Wysong did not play; both Dumas and Wysong are freshmen who head coach Danny Gonzales pulled out in order to save for offseason work.
“In an effort to continue to build this program, decisions for guys like Aaron Dumas and Luke Wysong are made so they don’t go out there, (get hurt), and then we lose them and we can’t get better,” Gonzales said.
The Lobos failed to score in the first half, while Aggies quarterback Logan Bonner burned a UNM defense that played well at times and was shaky at others. Bonner threw four touchdowns total just in the first half, including a 76-yard bomb to wide receiver Derek Wright.
Utah State cooled down in the second half, which, after the game, Gonzales said he felt was the opposing head coach being “a good guy” who refused to run the score up. UNM managed to score a field goal in the third quarter and one touchdown late in the fourth.
UNM ends the season with the 130th-best offense in the Football Bowl Subdivision, which is last in all of the FBS. Gonzales lamented the end of a difficult season after the game but reassured fans that the team is still on the right track.
“Even though I know it doesn’t look like it in the results that we are getting, we are making progress as a football team,” Gonzales said.
As for what the immediate future holds, Gonzales said that he is excited to get the team in the weight room, something that they were previously unable to do due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Gonzales also said the evaluation process for the coaching staff will begin immediately and didn’t rule out changes in the offseason.
“It’s my job as the head football coach to evaluate every aspect of this program, from equipment training, strength, coaches, you name it, and that starts immediately,” Gonzales said. “We’ll do what’s best for this football program.”
Spencer Butler is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SpencerButler48