The University of New Mexico’s football team played the California State University, Fresno Bulldogs for their homecoming game and lost 41-9. The Lobos are now on a five-game losing streak with a 2-6 overall record and have yet to win a conference game. A win would have kept the dream of a bowl game alive for at least three more weeks, but now UNM will have to win their last four games in a row to end with a 6-6 record.
With the win, Fresno State now has a 2-1 record in conference play. They are tied for first in their division and will be competing for a spot at the Mountain West championship game.
In his second game as offensive coordinator, Heath Ridenour’s offense was only able to put up 9 points from Luke Drzewiecki’s three field goals. Ridenour and the coaching staff opted to start quarterback Justin Holaday and in his press conference after the game, head coach Danny Gonzales confirmed he will be the quarterback moving forward.
The offense had a disappointing showing, but the defense was able to hold on for the first half only giving up 13 points. But with the offense not able to get anything going throughout the game, Fresno State put 79 plays on offense and eventually wore the defense down.
UNM put up 87 rushing yards and just 51 passing yards. In his first start, Holaday threw 8-15 but led the team in rushing with a total of 39 yards. Christian Washington and Luke Wysong each had an incredible play on special teams running for 63 and 38 yards, respectively. Freshman safety A.J. Haulcy had an outstanding 24 tackles and an interception; he was one of four true freshmen starting in the backfield during the game.
Fresno had a net total of 510 yards in the game. Fresno was able to convert on 10 of their 16 third downs. Quarterback Logan Fife threw for a touchdown and ran two in himself. He connected with receiver Jalen Moreno-Cropper nine times for 158 yards and a touchdown. Running back Jordan Mims also had a touchdown and rushed for 165 yards. Defenders Johnny Hudson Jr. and Andres Fox each had a sack during the game.
After the game head coach Gonzales talked about his feelings on the game and commented about the state of the program. He stressed that despite their record, they are moving in the right direction.
“Obviously a very, very disappointing outcome. I thought the first half of the football game was very competitive, I thought they played really hard … Three years ago, when I took this job, the challenge of fixing this program was mighty — that has not changed. The sky is not falling in, we are not going backwards … We were competitive in the last four games up until tonight,” Gonzales said.
Looking towards the offseason, he commented on how it might be a struggle to keep some players on the roster.
“Here is going to be the biggest challenge, is getting them to stay here with the day of the transfer portal and all those things. Some will have other opportunities. I think we have a really strong core of young kids and we’re going to continue. Then obviously trying to replace the ones you lose in recruiting, to give yourself a chance. We still have a lot of things going in the right direction,” Gonzales said.
The Lobos will go to Logan, Utah for their next game against Utah State University on Saturday, Nov. 5. The Lobos play their last home game of the season against San Diego State University on Friday, Nov. 18.
Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @thomasbulger10
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