Lobos Shutout By Air Force 28-0
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Air Force scored on its first three drives of the game, opening up a 21-0 lead on the way to defeating New Mexico for the ninth straight time at Falcon Stadium, winning 28-0, dropping UNM to 0-4 on the season. The Lobos now head to a Thanksgiving night matchup at Utah State at 5 p.m. in Logan on FS1.
UNM got into Air Force territory nine times including seven straight and all six of the second half, but UNM couldn’t capitalize on any of them. Meanwhile, UNM’s defense struggled out of the gate, but picked it up after the first three drives forcing four fumbles, recovering three and getting a fourth down stop in the fourth quarter inside the five-yard line.
UNM opened with the ball and moved it well behind sophomore Trae Hall, making his second straight start in place of the injured Tevaka Tuioti. UNM’s drive stalled and the Lobos punted, and Air Force went 86 yards in 11 plays, all on the ground to go up 7-0. Haaziq Daniels capped the drive with a 4-yard run.
It stayed at 7-0 after the first quarter, but Brad Roberts scored from five yards and 12 yards out to make it 21-0. UNM was able to drive into Air Force territory three times in the half, but came away empty all three times. First, UNM got a big first down run to the 34 by Bobby Cole, but it was wiped out by a penalty, and UNM ended up punting from the Air Force 43. Down 14-0, UNM drove to the Air Force 34, but Marcus Williams was stripped just as he went to the ground, and the Falcons recovered the football.
To end the half UNM got to the Falcon 33-yard line with two seconds left, but George Steinkamp’s 50-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Michael Purcell. It was one of four missed field goals for UNM.
UNM’s defense tried everything to keep UNM in the game and give it good field position. Nico Bolden twice forced fumbles that were recovered by Joey Noble and Patrick Peek, and Noble got one as well in the third quarter with Jerrick Reed II recovering, all in Air Force territory, but all led to missed field goals.
In the fourth with Air Force threatening inside the five-yard line, the Lobos stops Daniels on a fourth-and-1 play to get the ball back, and UNM drove into Air Force territory, but whether an ill-time penalty or sack, UNM couldn’t ever get on track.
This was the 38th meeting between the two teams.
Air Force now leads 24-14
Air Force now leads 13-2 in Colorado Springs
Series is tied 10-10 in Albuquerque
New Mexico leads 2-1 in neutral games
Air Force has now won 2 straight in the series
New Mexico has now won 4 straight in Honolulu
Starting lineup changes for UNM from published two-deep
*New Mexico’s captains were Kyle Stapley and Kyle Jarvis on offense and Joey Noble and Brandon Shook on defense.
*New Mexico’s Andrew Erickson carried the state flag of New Mexico onto the field.
*UNM lost the toss for the third straight week but Air Force deferred. UNM received the opening kickoff for the fourth straight week and is 1-3 in the coin toss.
*UNM’s score on the opening possession marked the first time this season that Hawai’i allowed a score on that drive.
*UNM had a field goal blocked for the first time since November 21, 2016 when Colorado State’s DeAndre Elliott blocked one.
*UNM went 0-for-4 on field goals, the second team this season in the FBS to go 0-for-4. Stanford went 0-for-4 against Oregon on November 7. Overall, since 2000 UNM is the 10th team to go 0-for-4 on field goals.
*New Mexico recovered three fumbles for the first time since 2018 when UNM did it three straight weeks from October 27 to November 10 when UNM did it against Utah State, San Diego State and Air Force.
*New Mexico was shutout for the first time since October 14, 2017 when UNM lost to Fresno State on the road 38-0.
*Bobby Wooden’s catch on the opening drive was the first of his career.
*Brandon Shook’s 19 tackles were a career-high. His previous career-best was 14 on November 16, 2018 against Boise State. He had 15 tackles in the first half. He entered the game with 18 tackles on the season. It was the most tackles since Dakota Cox had 19 against Fresno State on September 26, 2014.
*Tyson Dyer hit two of four punts inside the 20, including one at the four-yard line. It gave him 12 of 20 on the season.
*Joey Noble’s third quarter fumble recovery was the second of his career. He also recovered a fumble last year against Air Force at University Stadium. Noble had a career-high tying 11 tackles for the Lobos.
*Nico Bolden forced two fumbles, the first Lobo to do that since Markel Byrd forced two against San Diego State on October 10, 2014. He added a career-high 10 tackles.
*George Steinkamp went 0-for-3 on field goals. The last Lobo to go 0-for-3 on field goals was James Aho against BYU on November 14, 2009.