Open Announce Photo/Marshall Saiz

Unbeaten Aztecs Hold Down Lobos 31-7

by Frank Mercogliano

CARSON, Calif. — New Mexico’s defense played solid, but the offense struggled for a fourth straight game, and in the end that was the story as the Lobos lost to No. 25 San Diego State 31-7 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.  The Aztecs remained undefeated and moved to 5-0 and 1-0 in the West Division, while UNM dropped to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the Mountain Division.

And adding injury to the insult, UNM might be without quarterback Terry Wilson, who injured his elbow in the fourth quarter.  C.J. Montes, playing not too far from home, made his collegiate debut in relief, bring the Lobos to the Aztec 33 bfore turning the ball over on downs.

The Aztecs scored on their opening drive, going 63 yards on six plays, with all the yardage coming from running back Greg Bell, who made his return after missing the last two games.  He opened with a 40-yard run and was able to eventually get in the end zone from a yard out.

From there, UNM’s defense was solid, allowing just 10 more points in the half.  UNM’s defense also stiffened after a fumble inside Lobo territory, getting a fourth down stop.

It was 10-0 San Diego State when UNM faced another fourth down opportunity, but UNM couldn’t get off the field as Jordan Brookshire completed a 23-yard pass to Tyrell Shavers to convert.  Brookshire eventually scampered in from a yard out.

UNM finally put a drive together at the end of the half, keyed by back-to-back first down runs by Aaron Dumas of 16 and 14 yards, and then a 28-yard catch from Terry Wilson to Keyonta Lanier.  After a penalty, UNM dug into their bag of tricks, and a throw back pass was open for most likely a touchdown, but Trae Hall’s pass was a little behind Wilson.  On the next play from the Aztec 21, Wilson threw an interception at the 1-yard line, ending the drive and making it 17-0 at the break.

UNM got on the board with 4:41 left in the third quarter when Ray Luetele stripped Greg Bell at the 15-yard line.  The ball went straight up in the air and he scooped-and-scored to make it 17-7.  The Aztecs were able to answer, covering 60 yards in five plays with Brookshire running one in from 11 yards out.  On that drive 25 of SDSU’s 60 yards came on penalties, including a taunting penalty that turned a second-and-10 into a first down in UNM territory.

SDSU iced the game in the fourth quarter when Chance Bell scored from nine yards out to make it 31-7.


UNM returns home to face Colorado State, a 32-14 winner over San Jose State on Saturday.  Kick is at 5 pm, and the game will feature plenty of Lobo legends, as DonTrell Moore will be inducted into the Ring of Honor, Teton Saltes will be back on campus to receive his 2020 Wuerffel Trophy from Danny Wuerffel, and the UNM Hall of Honor Class will also be honored during the game.


Postgame Notes


This was the 43rd meeting between the two teams.

San Diego State now leads 28-15-0 all-time

San Diego State now leads 1-0 in Carson

San Diego State leads 14-8 in San Diego

San Diego State leads 13-7 in Albuquerque

San Diego State has now won eight straight in the series


Starting lineup changes for UNM from published two-deep

Offense: Shancco Matautia started at RG for Isaak Gutierrez; Trae Hall started at WR for Mannie Logan-Greene.

Defense: Ronald Wilson started at WOLF for Patrick Peek.


*New Mexico’s captains were Terry Wilson, Jerrick Reed II, Kyle Stapley and Joey Noble.

*New Mexico’s Bryce Santana carried the state flag of New Mexico onto the field.

*San Diego State won the toss and elected to defer.  UNM has received the opening kickoff in 12 of Danny Gonzales’ 13 games (Houston Baptist is the only exception).



*New Mexico did not score in the first half, marking the ninth and tenth times in the last 14 quarters that UNM was held scoreless, and the fifth half in the last seven.

*UNM held San Diego State without a point after a second quarter fumble in Lobo territory, getting a fourth down stop.  It was the first fourth down stop of the season as opponents had been 6-for-6.  UNM didn’t allow a point on either turnover in the game.

*In it’s last eight games, UNM is 4-0 when getting more takeaways than its opponents, and 0-4 when the takeaways are equal (0-1) or fewer (0-3).  UNM was -2 on the night.

*UNM’s defensive touchdown was the first points allowed by the Aztecs in the third quarter this season.



*Shancco Matautia made his first career start, and Trae Hall made his second at receiver.

*Bobby Cole sat out the first half due to a targeting penalty in the second half against Air Force.

*Radson Jang saw his first extensive action of his career at center.

*Ray Leutele’s 15-yard touchdown on a fumble return was UNM’s first fumble return for a touchdown since November 10, 2018 when Jalin Burrell picked up a loose football in the end zone for a score against Air Force.

*Kicker George Steinkamp recorded a tackle on a kickoff, decleating returner Jordan Byrd.

*Leutele’s touchdown gave UNM 10 touchdowns, and they have been scored by 10 different players.


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