The Notre Dame Irish handed the New Mexico Lobos a 66-14 road loss on Saturday afternoon. While the home team went into a 2-0 record, the Lobos dropped to 1-1. The Irish scored the most points they have in a home opener since 1932.
“Our team kind of found itself a little bit today. We had been looking to go into a second week here and put the pieces together. I think they started to fall together for us today,” said Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelley. “You saw a number of players on the offensive side of the ball have significant roles on what we did offensively. That’s what we were expecting to happen today and it came to fruition.”
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) September 14, 2019
New Mexico’s offense picked up a total of 212 rushing yards and 151 passing yards throughout the day. Sheriron Jones started the game but left after only getting 19 yards, completing 4-15 passes and getting three interceptions. Tuioti went in next and picked up 132 yards, 6-13 completed passes.
Whether it was just a slow start for they Irish, or a more efficient defense from New Mexico, the first quarter only saw one touchdown from Notre Dame. This one came after Jones had a pass deflected and freshman Kyle Hamilton returned it 34 yards.
The second period was different as the home team had already warmed up and got 31 points. But this was the same quarter in which the Lobo offense first got on the board. Bryson Carroll rushed 47 yards for a touchdown, the first one in the redshirt sophomore’s career. Andrew Shelley was successful with the kick.
The Irish weren’t perfect and had three pass-interference penalties that helped the Lobos, but still dominated the first half and ended with a 38-7 lead.
— New Mexico Football (@UNMLoboFB) September 14, 2019
The third quarter saw the Lobos being shut out and two Notre Dame touchdowns. Defensive Line Erin Austin came down in the middle of this period and was helped off the field. The Lobos can’t afford another injury as DL Aaron Blackwell tore his ACL recently and is expected to have surgery later this month.
It was clear the Lobos still have a lot of cleaning up to do. UNM wasted an opportunity to put up points from a field goal attempt, as the ball went straight through Tyson Dyer’s hands after the snap.
Although they entered the last quarter trailing 52-7, the Lobos didn’t just give up. Redshirt sophomore Bobby Cole scored his first career touchdown by rushing 37 yards with 6:26 left on the clock. Cole stared his career at UNM as a walk-on and eventually got on scholarship.
“I thought new Mexico played hard. They are well coached,” Kelly said. “Our thoughts are with coach Davie. I know he was disappointed that he couldn’t make the trip here but he certainly has a football team that is going to compete and play hard in the Mountain West.”
Up next: No. 7 Notre Dame is taking on a No. 3 Georgia team that started the season 3-0 and just picked up a 55-0 victory over Arkansa State. New Mexico will play the first game of the Rio Grande Rivalry as they host the New Mexico State Aggies next Saturday.