Lobos Fall at No. 7 Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish showed exactly why they were in the College Football Playoff a year ago, throwing for 434 yards and scoring on six straight drives after a respectable start by UNM’s defense as New Mexico was on the wrong end of a 66-14 loss in the home opener for the Fighting Irish.
The Lobos fell behind early after getting a stop on Notre Dame’s opening drive, forcing a punt. UNM moved the ball from its own two to the 30-yard line, but on third and eight, Sheriron Jones had his pass deflected and in went right to Kyle Hamilton who returned it 34 yards for a touchdown.
From there, the Lobo defense was stout, forcing two more punts and allowing just a 1-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal at the 11:47 mark of the second quarter. Notre Dame then moved well into the lead with three straight long scoring passes. First Avery Davis took a forward toss on a jet sweep for a 59-yard touchdown, and then Javon McKinley broke several tackles on a 65-yard pass. Chase Claypool also scored on a 37-yard touchdown.
UNM was hampered by three interceptions from Jones, who was 4-for-15 passing for 19 yards. He was replaced by Tevaka Tuioti in the second half, and Tuioti showed why he was the presumptive quarterback heading in to the season, moving UNM well, although UNM turned the ball over on downs at the Notre Dame 35-yard line on one drive, and suffered a fumble and a 28-yard loss on a field goal attempt when the snap sailed over holder Tyson Dyer’s head.
UNM’s major highlight came from the smallest guy on the field. Bryson Carroll, who led UNM in rushing with xx yards on just x carries, scampered for 47 yards and a touchdown with just 29 seconds left in the first half. It was Carroll’s first career touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Bobby Cole scored on his first career touch, a brilliant 37-yard run to the corner of the end zone.
Tyson Dyer had a solid day punting the football, averaging 46.5 yards per punt with three inside the 20-yard line. He also had his first career rush, faking a punt and running two yards for a first down.
Postgame Notes: No. 7 Notre Dame 66, New Mexico 14
This was the 1st meeting between the two teams.
Notre Dame now leads 1-0
Notre Dame now leads 1-0 in South Bend
Starting lineup changes for UNM from published two-deep
Offense: David Zavala started at left guard and Jacob Jankoviak started at right guard. Chris Estrella did not start. Erik Beilman started as a second tight end in Jay Griffin IV’s spot at receiver due to UNM’s opening drive starting at the 2-yard line. Javohn Jones earned his first career start at running back in place of Ahmari Davis.
Defense: Letayveon Beaton started at free safety for Kameron Miller.
*New Mexico’s captains were Alex Hart, Aaron Blackwell, Kyle Stapley and Trent Sellers
*Javohn Jones carried the New Mexico flag onto the field.
*Notre Dame won the toss and elected to receive. UNM is now 0-2 on the coin toss after going
*The game was a sellout at 77,622. That marked the sixth-largest crowd to watch a New Mexico football game, just below last year’s 77,003 that watched UNM lose to No. 5 Wisconsin 45-14.
*New Mexico fell to 6-56 against ranked teams all-time, and 2-30 on the road. New Mexico has now lost 21 straight games to ranked opponents since winning 47-35 at Utah on October 25, 2003.
*The Lobos allowed five passing touchdowns for the first time since losing 61-19 at Utah State on October 27, 2018.
*The 66 points were the most allowed in a game since November 23, 2013 when No. 15 Fresno State won 69-28.
*Sheriron Jones was intercepted for a 34-yard touchdown on UNM’s opening drive. It marked the second straight year that Jones threw a pick-six on his opening drive in his first start of the season, having done so at New Mexico State last year. The pass was tipped, leading to the interception.
*Tyson Dyer’s 63-yard punt in the second quarter was his longest of the season, and it marked his sixth 60-yard punt of his career (14 games).
*Bryson Carroll’s 47-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the first of his career, and a career long.
*Tyson Dyer faked a punt for a first down, rushing for two yards.
*Tevaka Tuioti entered the game in the second half, his first action of the season.
*Jeffrey Jones, Jr. recorded his first career catch.
*The touchdown for Bobby Cole came on his first career touch.