MWwire: New Mexico Vs. Tulsa Game Preview
A third string quarterback will take charge of New Mexico’s offense in week four.
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New Mexico Is In A Must Win Situation Early Into This Season
New Mexico will go into Tulsa behind third string quarterback, Coltin Gerhart. The Arizona State transfer came to New Mexico in hopes to play running back, but soon made the transition to quarterback this spring. Gerhart saw his first action this season last week in the loss to Boise State when starting quarterback Lamar Jordan was knocked out of the game due to a targeting call.
The normal second string quarterback, redshirt freshman Tevaka Tuioti, did not make the trip to Boise due to a concussion. Tuioti and Jordan are both expected to not see any action in this week’s game. Derek Martinez is expected to be the second quarterback on the depth chart heading into Tulsa. Martinez has yet to see a snap this season for New Mexico.
The Lobos must find some offensive production if they plan on keeping up against an explosive Golden Hurricane offense. A week ago, Gerhart passed for 67 yards on seven for 13 passing and rushed for a team leading 49 yards. For a team that lead the nation in rushing yards a season ago, seeing a third string quarterback lead the team in rush yards hurts the eyes of Lobo fans. A passing game has been a point of emphasis for New Mexico this offseason, but they have yet to find a solid rushing attack through the first three games of this season.
Tulsa is coming off a 51-54 loss to Toledo, in a game that featured three Tulsa running backs run for over 100 yards. New Mexico has been stingy against the run this season; eight overall in rushing defense. The Lobos have yet to face a team that runs the ball as much as Tulsa this season; the Golden Hurricane ran the ball 68 times against Toledo for a grand total of 423 yards.
Keys to victory:
1) Do not get into a shootout with Tulsa. The Lobos will have a tough time keeping up with the high powered Golden Hurricane offense. If New Mexico stands a chance on the road, their defense must keep Tulsa under 40 points.
2) New Mexico cannot fall behind early. With a third string quarterback to lead the way, the Lobos do not have an offense built to come back from a deficit. Creating plays on defense and on special teams should keep them alive in this game.
3) The Lobos must establish the run. If the Lobos are unable to develop a rushing attack, they will struggle to win another game this season. New Mexico does have talent at the wide out spot, but they must stay true to the Bob Davie system and pound the rock to exhaust opposing defenses.
This is a must win game for both teams, with each school looking at a (1-2) record. This game could build up momentum for New Mexico if they come out with a victory. It will be a tough task for a struggling Lobos offense, but limiting the rushing attack on defense and giving Gerhart a short field to work with could keep them in this game.
New Mexico has had a tough time coming out of the gate strong this season, fumbling on their first drive in each of their last two games. The Lobos must play more discipline and protect the football against a Tulsa team that will turn takeaways into points.
Expect to see the Lobos have a bit more success on the ground in this game. The Tulsa defense has given up 840 yards on the ground this season in just three games. Getting senior running back Daryl Chestnut into a groove should give New Mexico the offensive spark they have lacked all season. With a long week of practice, New Mexico could develop a solid offensive plan to keep this game interesting.
Predicted score: New Mexico 27 Tulsa 34