Wyoming will try to get back above the .500-mark in conference play after taking a tough loss to San Diego State. On the other hand, the Lobos are dealing with some adversity after losing three in a row. New Mexico enters the weekend in search of their first conference victory of the season, but they have question marks at quarterback heading into Saturday’s contest. Can the Lobos pull off the upset as 20-point underdogs on the road versus an underrated Wyoming team?
Tuioti elects to remain on bench vs. CSUNew Mexico suffered its third consecutive defeat last week, losing at home to Colorado State. The Lobos’ defense was gashed for 551 total yards, including 420 through the air, while the team displayed a lack of discipline, committing 11 penalties for 102 yards to make matters worse. Senior quarterback Sheriron Jones drew the start, completing 8-of-17 passes for only 89 yards and an interception, while sophomore running back Bryson Carroll rushed for 193 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Carroll caught the attention of the national media after the game, but for the wrong reasons. He dropped the ball as he was inning into the end zone for a would-be 57-yard touchdown run, making ESPN Sportscenter's Not Top-10 and ESPN Monday Night Countdown’s “C’Mon Man” segment. Ahmari Davis, who was the Lobos’ leading rusher, did not play because of back pain.
University of New Mexico football coach Bob Davie is still trying to sort out his quarterback situation after a strange situation unfolded last week. After electing to go with Jones to start the game, Davie apparently asked sophomore signal-caller Tevaka Tuioti if he wanted to replace Jones under center to give the team a spark. However, Tuioti elected to remain out of the game, instead of voicing his support for the senior Jones, who replaced him in the team’s previous loss versus San Jose State. It remains to be seen whether Tuioti will get another chance to have his name called this week.
New Mexico enters the weekend with the nation’s worst pass defense. The Lobos have allowed an FBS-worst 2,350 passing yards through six games, but it will be their run defense that will be tested this week. Wyoming comes in ranked among the top rushing offenses in the nation, which should play right into the Lobos’ hands. New Mexico has been stingy versus the run, allowing just 128.2 yards per game (45th in FBS) and only 3.66 yards per carry.
Chambers to continue physical running styleWyoming will try to bounce back after suffering a heartbreaking loss on the road versus San Diego State last week. Quarterback Sean Chambers finished 5-of-14 passing for 109 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while also adding 49 yards and two scores on the ground. Sophomore running back Xazavian Valladay led the team in rushing with 73 yards, but San Diego State’s Ryan Agnew completed a game-winning drive with 2:09 remaining to send the Cowboys to a 26-22 defeat.
As you might have expected, the Cowboys’ biggest strength on offense comes on the ground, where they lead the conference in efficiency at 5.4 yards per carry. Part of the reason for that number is the physical play of Chambers, a quarterback who routinely delivers blows to opposing defenders and finishes his runs with the ferocity of bruising running back. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Chambers leads all Mountain West quarterbacks in rushing yards with 493 and his 6.4 yards per carry ranks sixth overall in the conference. Despite his physical running style, don’t expect the Cowboys to play it safe with Chambers down the stretch of the regular season. The redshirt freshman suffered a broken fibula in his fourth collegiate game last season, but with Wyoming’s second and third-leading rushers currently nursing injuries, Chambers might be relied on even more heavily this week.
Wyoming enters Saturday’s matchup versus New Mexico averaging 29.5 points per game and 348.3 yards of total offense per contest. They rank 17th in the country in rushing offense at 233 yards per game and the Cowboys have been stiff against the run on defense as well, allowing just 89.5 rushing yards per contest, which ranks 10th in the country. Opposing teams have mustered just 21.3 points per game versus the Cowboys’ defense, but they’ve found success through the air against them. Wyoming comes in allowing 308.8 passing yards per game.
- Lobos are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 conference games.
- Lobos are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Lobos are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in October.
- Cowboys are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- Cowboys are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games in October.
- Cowboys are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.