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Lobos Can’t Recover from Early Deficit, Lose 32-21

Box Score | 2019 Season Statistics |

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sheriron Jones came off the bench and led a game effort for New Mexico, but the Lobos suffered five fumbles (losing two) and four interceptions, and that hurt any chances of a road win.  UNM couldn’t overcome a 26-0 deficit in losing 32-21 at San Jose State at CEFCU Stadium.  The loss dropped New Mexico to 2-3 on the season and 0-1 in the conference.
San Jose State improved to 3-2 on the year and 1-1 in the Mountain West.  New Mexico lost its Mountain West opener for the just the second time in the last five years.

The game started well for UNM as Erin Austin and De’John Rogers teamed up for a big play for the second straight week.  UNM’s Austin hit Josh Love when he went back to pass, forcing a fumble that Rogers recovered.  UNM moved the ball inside the 15 but stalled, and Andrew Shelley missed from the far right hashmark from 29 yards, his first miss of the season. 
That miss started a roll for the Spartans, a run that was keyed by several big yardage plays by San Jose State.  The Spartans got a pair of long passes to set up a 9-yard touchdown by quarterback Nick Nash for a 6-0 lead, and UNM’s Adebayo Soremekun blocked the extra point.  After UNM blocked a field goal, San Jose State scored again when Bill Humphrey’s caught a 5-yard pass from Josh Love to make it 13-0.

UNM drove the field after that and had a chance to get on the board, but Tevaka Tuioti threw an interception in the end zone, the first of UNM’s six turnovers.  On the next play, Love hit Bailey Gaither, who earlier had blocked a punt, and Gaither traversed 80 yards for a 20-0 lead.
UNM then suffered two turnovers inside the Lobo 25, the first by Bryson Carroll was at the Lobo 2-yard line, and the second was an interception by Sheriron Jones, but UNM’s defense held twice, forcing a pair of Matt Mercurio field goals and it was 26-0 San Jose State.
UNM got on the board just before the half when Jones, who had a career-high 104 yards rushing, hit Jordan Kress at the front pylon for a 34-yard touchdown, making it 26-7 at the break.
UNM had a chance to cut the lead further early in the second half when UNM drove inside the 10, but Ahmari Davis fumbled on a second effort play, and UNM turned the ball over.  UNM’s defense held, and Sheriron Jones led a quick 60-yard, 4-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 26-14 late in the third quarter.
However, San Jose State tacked on two more field goals, including a 49-yarder that followed a blocked kick that UNM seemingly would have scored a touchdown on, but the play was ruled dead due a false start by Mercurio.  He also added a short field goal later in the quarter.
Jones didn’t stop however, and he threw his second TD pass of the game, a 38-yarder on a scramble to Cedric Patterson III to make it 32-21, and UNM nearly recovered the pooch kick from Donovan Murphree at the Spartan 30-yard line.  UNM got the stop it needed, but on a third-and-10 play, Jones dropped back and threw his third interception of the game, and UNM’s fourth.

Postgame Notes:  San Jose State 32, New Mexico 21
This was the 19th meeting between the two teams.
San Jose State now leads 13-5-1
San Jose State now leads 7-2-1 in San Jose
San Jose State leads 6-3 in Albuquerque
San Jose State has now won 1 straight in the series
San Jose State has now won 5 straight in San Jose
Starting lineup changes for UNM from published two-deep
: Emmanuel Logan-Greene started in the slot for Jay Griffin IV. Chris Estrella started at left tackle for Javon Mosely, with true freshman Cade Briggs making the start in Estrella’s normal left guard slot.
Defense: Brandon Burton started at the star position for Johnny Hernandez, and Erin Austin started for Trent Sellers at defensive end.
*New Mexico’s captains were Alex Hart, Kyle Stapley and Trent Sellers
*New Mexico lost the toss and San Jose elected to receive.  UNM kicked off defending the North goal.  UNM is now 2-3 on the coin toss.
*When UNM stopped San Jose State on the opening drive, it became the first team this year to do so.  The Spartans had scored three touchdowns and a field goal on their opening drives of their other four games this year.
*Tyson Dyer had a put blocked in the first quarter.  It was the first block given up by UNM since 9/29/2018 when Liberty’s Corbin Jackson blocked a Dyer punt.  This punt did travel for 20 yards.
*UNM entered the game having allowed 31 plays of 20 yards or more, which was tied for 122nd, and allowed six for the game.
*UNM’s offense lost its first fumble of the season when Bryson Carroll fumbled at the Lobo 2-yard line.  UNM was able to hold for a field goal.  Overall UNM lost two fumbles in the game.
*New Mexico, which was allowing an average of just 5.0 tackles for loss per game, allowed just one.
*UNM recorded a season-high-tying three sacks, all in the first half.
*UNM recorded a season-high seven pass breakups.
*De’John Rogers picked up his second fumble recovery in as many weeks on San Jose State’s opening drive of the game.  The forced fumble was by Erin Austin, his second in as many weeks.
*Andrew Shelley missed a 29-yard field goal on the opening drive, his first miss of the season and it ended a string of eight straight made kicks dating back to last year.
*Adebayo Soremekun blocked San Jose State’s extra point, his first block of the season and UNM’s first blocked extra point since November 5, 2016 when Ryan Santos blocked a Nevada extra point.
*Tuioti was intercepted in the end zone for the second straight week.
*Sheriron Jones hit Jordan Kress for a 34-yard touchdown, his first touchdown pass of the season.
*Tyson Dyer’s 47-yard punt to start the fourth quarter ended a string of eight straight punts downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.  He averaged 48.3 yards on three punts.
*Donte Martin had a career-high four pass breakups.
*Jones became the first Lobo QB with 100 yards rushing and 100 yard passing in the same game since Coltin Gerhart did it against Tulsa on September 23, 2017 (156 rushing, 108 passing).