2017 New Mexico Lobos Football Schedule Breakdown
How will the Lobos preform against a tough 2017 schedule?
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Can The Lobos Be A Contender In The Mountain West?
Abilene Christian 9/2
The Lobos will open the season at home against the Abilene Christian Wildcats. The Wildcats have struggled greatly in recent years and will look to improve this season. The Lobos cannot overlook their FCS opponent, due to the fire power passing game the Wildcats possess.
New Mexico lost several key defensive pieces this offseason, so stopping Abilene Christian quarterback Dallas Sealey could be easier said than done. The defense is also the weak point for the Wildcats; look for the Lobos to have a solid showing running the ball this game.
Applying pressure on the quarterback along with not giving up any big plays on special teams will be the keys to victory for the Lobos.
New Mexico State 9/9
The Lobos will play their in-state rival, the New Mexico State Aggies, at home in week two of the 2017 season. New Mexico Vs. New Mexico State was one of the best in-state rivalry games of last season. Despite the tough seasons the Aggies have suffered in recent years, this game always seems to bring out the best of them.
The Lobos shot themselves in the foot in last year’s meeting; giving up a late fourth quarter lead. The Lobos will need to keep Aggie running back, Larry Rose III, production to a minimum.
UNM will need to avoid turning the ball over late in the game if they want to avoid a repeat of last year. Having home field advantage in this year’s matchup could play a huge role in the outcome.
@Boise State 9/14
New Mexico opens their Mountain West schedule with the Boise State Broncos. Playing on the road against the team with one of the best quarterbacks of 2017, could make for a long day for UNM.
Brett Rypien can torch defenses in the blink of an eye. Getting to Rypien will be a huge focus in preparation for this game; Lobos defensive end Garrett Hughes could have an impact in this game.
The Lobos will be playing BSU just five days after their game against New Mexico State. New Mexico must create plays defensively and on special teams if they want to pull off the upset. This will be a statement game If the Lobos want to make a name for themselves as true contenders in the Mountain West.
This game could be one of the most important of the season for the Lobos. In week four, the Lobos travel to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricanes. Head coach Bob Davie has stressed continuing to ride the wave of momentum UNM created last year with a great season.
Playing their second game on the road, New Mexico could create huge mid-season momentum with a win, especially with playing Air Force the following week. Tulsa has a strong run game lead by senior running back D’Angelo Brewer; stopping him will be crucial for the Lobos.
In 2016, Brewer averaged 120 yards rushing and a 5.4 yards per carry average. Tulsa has proven they can light up the scoreboard, scoring at least 40 points in ten of their games last season.
New Mexico’s defense must hold Tulsa to under 40 if they want to compete, a shootout will favor the much more dynamic Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. This game is coming off nine days’ rest after their game against Boise State. This extra time off for a travel game could be crucial for a Lobo team that struggled on the road last year.
Air Force 9/30
Week five of the 2017 season could have one of the most impactful Mountain West games when the Lobos are host to Air Force. Last year’s meeting consisted of a back and forth game that resulted in New Mexico winning 40-45. Both teams have similar styles of play with running the triple option. The team with the last possession may be the winner of this game.
The Lobos need to protect their home field and keep their composure defensively. Senior running back Timothy McVey will be a key player for the Falcons and will be a focal point defensively for UNM. McVey only carried six times in last year’s meeting, but expect to see more out of him this year due to the departure of former star running back JaCobi Owens. Defensive stops may be a rarity for both teams in this matchup.
@Fresno State 10/14
Week six, the Lobos travel to Fresno to take on the Bulldogs. This game is coming off an open date and with two weeks’ rest, the Lobos must not overlook the Bulldogs. Fresno will be playing with an underdog mentality this entire season, and UNM must make sure the Bulldogs do not make a statement against them.
These teams last met back in 2014 when Fresno State beat the Lobos on the road 35-24. New Mexico will need to stick to the script and play disciplined in order to walk out with a win. Head coach Bob Davie will stress proper preparation coming off a bye week.
Colorado State 10/20
The Lobos will play host to the Colorado State Rams in week seven. Colorado State’s defense will be troublesome for the Lobos in this game. CSU can make plays defensively and create great opportunities for their offense. If the Lobos stay one-dimensional, they will struggle against a much more dynamic defense. Having this game played in Albuquerque will be a nice bonus for New Mexico.
CSU can also light up a scoreboard quickly, so keeping chunk plays to a minimum will be crucial for UNM. The Lobos need to control the tempo in this game and keep their defense off the field for as long as possible. The time of possession leader may be the team that comes out on top.
Week eight will have a rematch to one of the highest scoring games UNM had last season when they travel to Wyoming to take on the Cowboys. Last season, the Lobos beat the Cowboys 56-35 at home in a game that featured UNM up by 21 in the first quarter. The Lobos were also able to keep Cowboy star quarter back Josh Allen to zero passing touchdowns.
Allen has made a case in being one of the best quarterback’s college football has to offer. Keeping Allen to no passing touchdowns in this meeting will be a tough task for the Lobos defense. Starting out strong will be crucial for UNM, If the Lobos defense slips up early, Allen could have a career day throwing against a much weaker Lobo defense. This late into the season, it is a key game for both teams.
Utah State 11/4
Week nine will have the Lobos at home against the Utah State Aggies. The Aggies are coming off a 3-9 record, but four of those losses coming by a touchdown or less. Last season, the Lobos managed to escape an upset in Logan, winning 24-21. The Lobos found themselves down early, but were able to climb back and steal the game late with a fourth quarter field goal.
Like Fresno State, the Lobos cannot overlook this Aggies team. The Lobos and Aggies have displayed several close games in the past few years with the last three meetings coming by seven points or less. The Lobos clearly struggle against the Aggies defense, so completing a few extra passes in this game could be very important for UNM.
@Texas A&M 11/11
In week ten, the Lobos will play their third Aggies football team of the 2017 football season. Sadly for the Lobos, this Aggies team is a power house of the SEC, and will most likely have a different outcome versus the previous two Aggie games. The Lobos travel to College Station and will hope to pull off one of the biggest upsets the program has ever seen.
Key point for the Lobos in this game will be to stay within striking distance. If the Lobos can control Texas A&M to an extent and not let them score in bulk, the Lobos could have a fighting chance in this game.
Week 11 will be the final home game of the 2017 season, when the Lobos host the UNLV Rebels. Standout seniors Lamar Jordan and Garret Hughes will be looking to make a huge statement in their last game at Dreamstyle Stadium. UNLV has a baffled defense the Lobos can take an advantage of.
The Rebels will rely heavy on quarterback Armani Rogers. Last season featured a tough passing game that only resulted in 16 touchdowns and ten interceptions. With an offense that put a ton of pressure on their running game, UNLV must develop an air attack to beat UNM. The Lobos should have a good day on the ground against a weak Rebel run defense.
@San Diego State 11/24
In the final week of this year’s football season, the Lobos travel to San Diego to take on the Aztecs. The Aztecs are coming off their second consecutive conference championship victory and 11-win season. The Lobos have not faced the Aztecs since 2014, when SDSU beat UNM 24-14 in Albuquerque. With such a key game happening in the last week of the season, this could have conference championship implications.
The Aztecs displayed an amazing year running the ball last season lead by Donnel Pumphrey and will lean on senior running back Rashaad Penny to carry the load. The Lobos will be having a tough time attempting to stop one of the best offenses in the Mountain West.
The Lobos will have an equally tough time trying to move the ball down the field against an SDSU defense that played solid in conference games a season ago.
Final record prediction: 7-5