New Mexico football doesn't technically need to win against Utah State to keep its postseason hopes alive, but with some tough opponents remaining on the schedule, many are viewing Saturday's game as a must-win. The Lobos (3-5, 1-4 MW) have pretty much played their way out of a chance at winning the conference or even a division title, and find themselves in a situation where the team must win three of its final four games to become bowl eligible. That might be easier said than done, with Texas A&M and perennial Mountain West powerhouse San Diego State looming—both of which are on the road. Head coach Bob Davie acknowledged Saturday that the remaining schedule essentially means the team has to win against Utah State to keep hope alive, but the focus will be getting the team to play the best it can down the stretch.
New Mexico football had more turnovers that it did points on Saturday evening, getting thoroughly dominated by Wyoming in an embarrassing road loss. The Lobos (3-5, 1-4 MW) finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter with a Jason Sanders field goal, but all it did was prevent the team from getting shut out for the second consecutive time on the road. The University of New Mexico committed seven turnovers in the game, and the Cowboys cashed in on almost all of them, scoring five touchdowns off takeaways on the way to a 42-3 slaughter in Laramie, Wyoming.
Last season, New Mexico and Wyoming met with the Mountain Division title on the line, but on Saturday the teams enter the matchup looking up in the standings. New Mexico (3-4, 1-3 MW) lost a close game, 27-24, to Colorado State last Friday, Head coach Bob Davie said he received confirmation for the Mountain West that there were multiple missed calls toward the end of the game that could have affected the outcome. But it will not change the result and the head coach doesn’t seem to be the type to dwell on the past or consider what-if scenarios. He has shifted his attention to a new challenge—trying to game plan for Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.
UNM football suffered a shutout at the hands of Fresno State over the weekend and things could be even more difficult as the team prepares to host Colorado State on a short week. New Mexico (3-3, 1-2 MW) had the same overall record at this point in the season last year—coming off an ugly 49-21 home loss to Boise State. The team responded to win five straight games to right the ship and salvage the season. But it was Colorado State that put an abrupt end to that win streak—a team that has won the last seven meetings over the Lobos. And although UNM gets to play the game at Dreamstyle Stadium this time around—that doesn’t mean things will be easy.
Lobo fans suffered a painful case of deja vu this weekend. University of New Mexico head coach Bob Davie said he hoped the Lobos would fare better Saturday against Fresno State than the last time they traveled there to play — they did not. In 2013, UNM lost a game Davie described as “brutal,” 69-28 to Fresno State. This time, New Mexico (3-3, 1-2 MW) took it on the chin again as Fresno State (4-2, 3-0 MW) administered a 38-0 thumping to the Lobos.
The New Mexico football team picked up a big win heading into its bye week over Air Force, but the uphill climb to have a chance at a second-straight division title is just beginning. New Mexico (3-2, 1-1 MW) defeated Air Force 56-38 on Sept. 29 to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole in conference play and have settled into the middle of the pack in the Mountain Division standings. And the team could potentially pick up more ground if it can find a way to win on the road Saturday against Fresno State (3-2, 2-0 MW). Boise State and Wyoming, both of which are ahead of UNM in the division, are playing on the road as underdogs.
Football: UNM leaders and student groups remain largely supportive of athletes kneeling during anthemAaron Cowan | October 5
While it remains controversial on the national level for professional athletes to take a knee during the national anthem, the reactions of UNM leadership and student groups to our five football players who knelt during the Homecoming game have been largely supportive. When asked about the situation, UNM interim President Chaouki Abdallah said, “I support all rights spelled out in our Constitution. I also agree with the statement from Air Force’s football coach Troy Calhoun.” Abdallah then quoted Calhoun who said, “That's their right. They live in a country where they're allowed to do that...There's no law, and there should be no law and it should be your choice.” While Abdallah did not respond to a follow-up question concerning whether the athletes might be sanctioned in any way for their actions or whether UNM might try to create a future policy about athletes taking a knee, it seems unlikely that the president would support such a move.
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 Lobos 56-38 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.
Five different Lobos took a knee during the national anthem, which was played during halftime of last Saturday’s football game against Air Force. The players who knelt were Kimmie Carson, Michael Sewell Jr., Stanley Barnwell Jr., Elijah Lily and Garrett Hughes. Through the act, the Lobos became the second team at the collegiate level to kneel during the anthem — three Nebraska players knelt last season during a game against Northwestern. At the University of New Mexico, the anthem is usually played during the pregame, when the teams are not on the field. But due to accommodations made for the weather Saturday night, the anthem was played during the brief five minute halftime.
For Richard McQuarley, the first few weeks of the season were humbling. On 40 attempts through four games, the senior rushed for only 122 yards and no touchdowns. Not to mention that he fumbled three times in the opening quarter of three consecutive games, a trend that started against New Mexico State. But that all changed on Saturday night, when McQuarley rushed for 179 yards and five touchdowns on only 11 carries, setting career highs for both yards and touchdowns for a single game. The five rushing touchdowns also tied a school record, set by Reginal Johnson against Tulsa in 1996. It was McQuarley’s second career game in which the running back surpassed 100 rushing yards. All it took was a little more focus on ball control.
Lightning brought a lengthy delay and eliminated Homecoming festivities, but Lobo football welcomed home its vaunted rushing attack Saturday evening. New Mexico (3-2, 1-1 MW) rushed for 363 yards against Air Force, its highest output on the ground so far this season. The Lobos picked up huge chunks of yards running and passing, averaging well over 10 yards per play. Officials called for a stoppage after the first quarter due to lightning in the area of Dreamstyle Stadium, which led to a 61-minute delay before play resumed. To get things back on track, halftime lasted just five minutes.
New Mexico football is set to return to Dreamstyle Stadium for its Homecoming game against Air Force on Saturday. Head coach Bob Davie said the team will also welcome back starting quarterback Lamar Jordan after he sat out last week as a precaution after suffering a concussion in the previous game against Boise State. “Lamar is 100 percent and ready to go and excited to go,” Davie said. New Mexico (2-2, 0-1 MW) won with Coltin Gerhart behind center against Tulsa, despite the Lobos committing three turnovers in the game.
New Mexico will host Air Force on Saturday for its sixth homecoming game under head coach Bob Davie since he started leading the program. During his time at the helm, the Lobos have transformed into a team that has the ability to compete week-in, week-out. Here is a look back at the previous five homecoming games and some of the notable performances.
A 53-yard field goal from Jason Sanders with time expiring and an impressive outing for the New Mexico defense allowed the Lobos to secure a close win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 16-13. Playing without starting quarterback Lamar Jordan, who is still injured following a vicious hit last Thursday at Boise State, and without backup Tevaka Tuioti, meant that the man running New Mexico’s offense was third-stringer Coltin Gerhart. The Lobos started out strong in the first half and wasted no time putting points on the board. They drove 79 yards down the field and Gerhart capped it off with a 19-yard touchdown run. The defense came out and showed that they were ready to play immediately and forced a turnover on downs.
Unless overtime is involved, most football games are decided in four quarters. The Lobos have 12 regular season games on the schedule, and with a quarter of those already in the books, it seems like a good opportunity to take a closer look at things some may have missed along the way. Abilene Christian New Mexico won its season opener 38-14 over Abilene Christian, but many people may not realize it was the first loss dealt to first-year Wildcat head coach Adam Dorrel in quite a while. Dorrel was the previous head coach at Northwest Missouri State, a team he guided to back-to-back undefeated NCAA Division II Championship seasons in 2015 and 2016.
The Lobo football might still be looking for an identity, especially on offense, as the team will prepare for perhaps its toughest test this season thus far. New Mexico (1-2, 0-1 MW) suffered a 28-14 loss to Boise State last Thursday and lost starting quarterback Lamar Jordan in the process. But the Broncos were short-handed as well, playing without their quarterback, Brett Rypien. The Lobos shut down the Broncos running attack for the most part, but head coach Bob Davie said the running attack of Tulsa will look quite different from what the Lobos saw against Boise State.
New Mexico football had some good things show up in the box score — more yardage, more first down, winning the time of possession battle — but lost the game and its starting quarterback on the way to a 28-14 loss. The Lobos fell behind 7-0 after an early turnover and, although they briefly tied the game in the second quarter, it felt like UNM was playing catch-up for the rest of the game following the opening drive. Head coach Bob Davie has repeatedly said how small the margin for error is for most teams, including the Lobos, to win football games. And being on the wrong end of some key plays may have been the difference on Thursday, especially after UNM lost its starting quarterback just before the half. Here is how the offense, defense and special teams fared in week three.
Lobo football hung with Boise State for much of Thursday night, but had their starting quarterback knocked out of the game and couldn't overcome some mistakes in key moments. New Mexico (1-2, 0-1 MW) fumbled on its opening possession for the second game in a row after running back Richard McQuarley picked up enough yardage for a fourth down conversion, but had the ball dislodged before he was down.
Lobo football was dealt a difficult loss to their I-25 rivals on Saturday, and things won’t get any easier as the team hits the road for a pair of games, starting with the conference opener against the Boise State Broncos. The game will take place on a Thursday, making it perhaps an even more difficult task by facing a team that has been a perennial powerhouse in the Mountain West — the Broncos have finished first or second in the division in each of the last six seasons since it became a member. But head coach Bob Davie said, as difficult as it is to prepare for a team like Boise State, the short week is probably a good thing.
For Larry Chavez, CEO of Dreamstyle Remodeling, last week was a dream come true, as the signs bearing the name of his company went up at The Pit and formerly known University Stadium. “It’s pretty incredible; when I saw the sign up at the stadium, I got goosebumps,” Chavez said. “I think it’s been told that my first job was selling sodas when I was 14-years-old at the stadium, so it’s been phenomenal. To see it on TV and read it in print, and one thing or another, it’s kind of surreal. It’s like a dream come true.” Last May, the University announced that Dreamstyle had pledged a $10 million gift as part of an agreement that both Wisepies Arena (aka The Pit) and University Stadium would be renamed after the company. There will be an initial payment of $1 million with annual payments of $900,000 through 2027.