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Preseason Poll Slots UNM Sixth ... Gonzales "We Will See..."

by Frank Mercogliano

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Last season in the Mountain West preseason poll, the Lobos were selected last. At the time, Danny Gonzales, who had yet to coach a game at UNM, summed up that preseason poll placement succinctly.

“I don’t care.”

He, and the Lobos obviously didn’t care, winning the final two games, giving UNM a 2-5 record despite a season in which the team wasn’t allowed to practice in Albuquerque, didn’t have a preseason camp and played the first game of the season despite only being able to practice in pods in order to comply with the state of New Mexico health order.  He certainly doesn’t care about being picked sixth in the Mountain West this year either.

“We will see what happens at the end of the season,” said Gonzales. “That said, we have to go out and prove people wrong, but that’s OK. We will either prove them wrong, or it’s on us.”

The Lobos won those final two games last season while playing no home games, with the two wins coming in Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium.  UNM last year became the first team in FBS history to play an entire season without a home game or a game inside its home state.

This year, UNM and Lobo fans will get a chance to witness Lobo Football in person for the first time since November 30, 2019, and if the Spring Game crowd or the crowd at The Night of Champions is any indication, than Lobo Football fans are ready.

UNM returns several key pieces from last year’s team, including First Team All-MW safety Jerrick Reed II and Kyle Stapley, who should be a three-time Rimington Watch List member at center.  UNM also returns several super seniors who played last year as seniors but returned due to an NCAA waiver granted due to the COVID season.  Among those returners is top receiver Mannie Logan-Greene, who also was UNM’s punt and kick returner.  UNM also returns starting running back Bobby Cole.

Several key newcomers are in the fold, including Cole’s running tandem partner Aaron Dumas, who was in spring camp and showed he is ready for season.

However, the position that all eyes will be on in spring camp is quarterback.  After going through all five quarterbacks on the roster, including getting a win from a true freshman walk-on in Isaiah Chavez (only the third QB to do that in the last eight seasons), UNM has at least seven quarterbacks in camp.  Returning veterans include Chavez (one career start), Trae Hall (four career starts), Brandt Hughes (one career start) and Connor Genal (one career start).

A pair of true freshmen join in Bear Milacek and CJ Montes. Also in the fold is the most experienced QB of the group in Terry Wilson, who went 17-8 as a starter over the past three seasons at Kentucky, including a pair of bowl wins.  Teveka Tuioti, who has started off and on since 2017, hasn’t been cleared for practice.

Season tickets can be purchased for as low as $86 at The season opens on Thursday, September 2 at 6 pm against Houston Baptist.

Mountain Division
Rk. Team (1st Place) Votes
1. Boise State (23) 148
2. Wyoming (2) 115
3. Air Force 104
4. Colorado State 72
5. Utah State 47
6. New Mexico 39
West Division
Rk. Team (1st Place) Votes
1. Nevada (19) 141
2, San Jose State (5) 121
3. San Diego State 96
4. Fresno State (1) 85
5. Hawai’i 56
6. UNLV 26