New Mexico Keys To Victory Against Fresno State
New Mexico will look to win on the road after a week of distractions.
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New Mexico Keys To Victory In Week Six
New Mexico travels to Fresno to take on the Bulldogs in week six. The Lobos are coming off a bye week and last played September 30th when they beat Air Force 38-56. Fresno State is coming off a 27-10 road victory against San Jose State. Both teams are looking at a (3-2) record and will need this win to have a shot at the Mountain West title. Here are some keys to victory for New Mexico to continue their small winning streak:
1). Continue to pound the rock. For the first time this season, the Lobos ran the ball exceptionally well against Air Force, totaling 363 yards on the ground. Senior running back Richard McQuarley lead the way with 179 yards on 11 carries and five touchdowns.
Junior running back Tyrone Owens also contributed with 84 yards on the ground and senior quarterback Lamar Jordan ran for 68 yards. When New Mexico has passed more than they have rushed the ball this season, they have come up short.
Fresno State is 19th in the nation in rushing defense, giving up just 107 yards on the ground per game. This will be one of the toughest rushing defenses New Mexico has seen this season.
2). Hang onto the ball and force turnovers. New Mexico is (-3) in the turnover margin, having given up eleven turnovers in their five games. Last week against Air Force, New Mexico managed to not give the ball up for the first time this season. The Bulldogs are (+6) in the turnover margin, leading them to their best start to a season since 2013.
3). Improve on third down. New Mexico is 18/59 on third down conversions this year. The Bulldogs have played solid defense on third down this season, giving up just 20 conversations on 63 attempts. New Mexico must put together lengthy drives to keep their defense fresh going up against Marcus McMaryion and that Bulldog offense.
4). Avoid distraction. Over the bye week, the Lobos football program made national news, becoming the first college football team to participate in kneeling during the National Anthem.
This has created some off the field attention from fans and the media. In addition, New Mexico head coach Bob Davie had some off the field allegations made against him, resulting in an investigation by the University. The Lobos must play distraction free football to improve to (4-2) on the year.