Short Week as UNM Preps for Air Force
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The University of New Mexico has a short week to prepare for its game this week, which normally isn’t a big deal. Except:
It’s Air Force.
UNM isn’t in Albuquerque, it’s in Las Vegas.
Air Force runs the triple option, and UNM’s defense is three games old.
Air Force hasn’t played in two weeks due to COVID issues and there is no clue who is actually playing.
The game with Air Force will kick on Friday night at 7:30 pm on FS1 with Alex Faust and Petros Papadakis on the call and Robert Portnoy and Preston Dennard handling the radio side of things on the Lobo Radio Network.
UNM is coming off a frustrating loss in which UNM took it to the Mountain West leader in Nevada, but fell 27-20, stalling out at the Nevada 24-yard line in the final minute. UNM was the more physical team, and took the game to the Wolf Pack, which head coach Danny Gonzales admitted was good to see. “You saw a lot of their guys lying on the ground, and you saw our guy flying to the ball and being very physical,” said Gonzales. “I think Nevada wanted no part of that. Now, credit to them because they won the game, and I think Carson Strong is one of the best quarterbacks in this league, but we did some good things during the game.”
Some of those good things were by sophomore quarterback Trae Hall who was making his first start of the season. He caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter, and then led UNM on a touchdown drive with four minutes left that got UNM within seven. “We were going for two if we scored there at the end,” said Gonzales. But, UNM didn’t in what turned out to be a frustrating turn of events.
Two dropped passes on the final set of downs doomed UNM when just one would have resulted in a first down in the red zone. Nevada took deep shots all night long and hit on three of them, which also frustrated Gonzales. “They ran that same route six times and even more, and we defended it really well. Donte Martin made a great play early, and Jerrick Reed got a pick, but three times we made mistakes and Romeo Doubs is a good player, and all three times he burned us,” said Gonzales. “Right now the Lobos are our own worst enemy.
UNM still had great performances in the loss. Joey Noble recorded a career-high 10 tackles, Bobby Cole punished Wolf Pack defenders in rushing for 90 yards, and Manny Logan-Greene had six catches. But none of that matters as UNM looks to end a few ignominious streaks. UNM has lost 12 straight overall, 11 straight on the road and 18 straight in conference, not to mention eight straight to Air Force on the road. All of those streaks can end this week, which would give Gonzales win number one and prevent Air Force’s Troy Calhoun from win No. 100.