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Lobos Drop Finale 35-10

by Frank Mercogliano

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s senior day game against Utah State did not go the way anyone associated with the Lobos would have wanted it to. But the ending was pretty cool. Graduate manager Bryson Carroll started at quarterback and threw a 12-yard touchdown to fellow senior Kyle Jarvis for a season-ending touchdown as Utah State won 35-10, clinching a berth in the Mountain West Championship against San Diego State. The Aztecs will host the Aggies, who got in with their win and Boise State’s 27-16 loss at SDSU.

UNM played the game without its top four players in terms of all-purpose yardage in Luke Wysong, Aaron Dumas, Mannie Logan-Greene and Bobby Cole.  They accounted for over 2,300 all-purpose yards and UNM had less than 30% of its total all-purpose yardage active in the game.

UNM turned to Carroll at quarterback as UNM was basically out of quarterbacks. Connor Genal, who is a quarterback but is a drop-back passer stuck in a revamped option offense, also played on passing downs. Both acquitted themselves well, with Carroll going 8-for-10 for 57 yards a touchdown and Genal going 4-or-9 for 28 yards.

However, Logan Bonner, the Arkansas State transfer quarterback who came to Logan with head coach Blake Anderson, was Friday’s star, throwing for 312 yards and a Utah State record-tying five touchdowns, the last of which was his record-tying 32nd of the year. He completed touchdown passes of 27, 39, 36, 76 and 10 yards, the first four coming in an opening half that saw Utah State lead 28-0 at the break.

UNM’s two best opening half drives stalled on fourth down. Down 7-0 in the first quarter, Peyton Dixon couldn’t quite wriggle out of a tackle at the 18-yard line as UNM failed on 4th-and-1. Late in the second half, Nick Heninger forced a Bryson Carroll fumble on 4th-and-1 at the Utah State 26, and the Aggie recovered the fumble in what amounted to a 23-yard loss.

Down 35-0, UNM got on the board when Andrew Shelley scored on a 41-yard field goal, making him 9-for-13 for the season.  UNM then got a 12-yard punt return from Andrew Erickson. Carroll moved UNM 48 yards in seven plays.  He hit Blake Wells to start it for his first career catch, and then Peyton Dixon had the big play, a 23-yard run to the 12-yard line. Two plays later Carroll hit a wide-open Jarvis for a score.

Head Coach Danny Gonzales

Graduate Manager/Quarterback Bryson Carroll

Linebacker Dion Hunter

Postgame Notes

This was the 28th meeting between the two teams.

Utah State now leads the series 15-13

New Mexico now leads the series 9-7 in Albuquerque

Utah State leads the series 8-4 in Logan

Utah State has won four straight in the series

 

Starting lineup changes for UNM from published two-deep

Offense: Bryson Carroll started at quarterback for Isaiah Chavez, Bobby Wooden started at receiver for Luke Wysong, Kyle Stapley started at left guard for Isaak Gutierrez, with Leke Asenuga starting at right guard in Stapley’s spot, Andrew Erickson started as a fourth WR for Peyton Dixon.

Defense: Jaden Phillips started at NT for Bryce Santana, Dion Hunter started at MLB for Ray Leutele.

 

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

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

*Utah State won the toss and elected to . UNM elected to receiver and defend the south goal. UNM has received the opening kickoff in 18 of Danny Gonzales’ 19 games (Houston Baptist is the only exception).

 

TEAM NOTES:

*New Mexico suffered a season-high six fumbles but lost just two.

*The Lobos scored their first fourth quarter touchdown since September 11 when Bryson Carroll hit Kyle Jarvis for a 12-yard touchdown.

*New Mexico’s 85 yards passing was the second-most over the last half of the season behind the 112 UNM threw against Wyoming. UNM threw for 299 yards over the last six games.

*New Mexico’s win total of three was a one-game improvement from 2020.

*New Mexico ended the season with 464 rushing attempts. Its opponent also ended the season with 464 rushing attempts.

 

INDIVIDUAL NOTES:

*Bryson Carroll earned his first career start at quarterback. He started three games in 2019 as a running back.

*Peyton Dixon, who became eligible three weeks ago, started at running back. He rushed for 95 yards on 23 carries, both career-highs. Dixon’s 95 yards rushing was UNM’s third-highest rushing total this season.

*Bobby Wooden earned his fourth career start, and third at wide receiver. Wooden served as a running back this season but moved to slot due to injuries.

*Joey Noble had four tackles, 3.0 for loss and 2.0 sacks, giving him 18.5 TFLs for the season and 6.5 sacks. The 6.5 sacks tied for the most since 2009, when Johnathan Rainey had 9.5 sacks. The 18.5 TFLs is the 10th-most in a single-season at UNM, and it’s the most since the rule was changed in 2003 when credited a half-tackle for loss on an assisted TFL. Prior to 2003 there were no half TFLs.

*Kyle Jarvis scored the first touchdown of the season, and the last touchdown of the season.

*Jerrick Reed II tied for the team lead with seven tackles, and that gave him the team lead for the season with 89.

*Michael Buckley, a true freshman walk-on, played his first career game, returning a kickoff 32 yards.

*Aaron Rodriguez punted seven times for a 42.6-yard average. He finished the year with 81 punts, the sixth-most in a season at UNM, and a 42.8-yard average.

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