By Isabel Gonzalez
The Lobos didn’t need luck for a big win in Las Vegas, as they opened conference play with a 50-14 victory over the UNLV Rebels on Saturday. The overall series is now tied at 12-12. New Mexico improves its overall record to 3-2, while UNLV falls to 2-3.
UNM junior Sheriron Jones proved once again that he deserved the starting quarterback title, throwing four touchdowns and completing 250 yards in the air. The touchdown passes were caught by Elijah Lilly (74 yards), Anselem Umeh (26 yards), Emman Harris (33 yards) and Delane Hart-Johnson (11 yards). Freshman quarterback Trae Hall, went on the field for the first time as a Lobo during the final drive of the game.
The Rebels had it rough without sophomore Armani Rogers as their quarterback. Rogers suffered a foot injury last week and is out indefinitely. Max Gilliam, his replacement, completed 15 out of 23 passes, with a total of 123 yards.
The first quarter didn’t see any points for either team. The Lobos woke up during the second, getting 29 points and forcing UNLV to go into the half scoreless. Zahneer Shuler registered a 1-yard run to score the first touchdown of the game when the clock read 14:57. This was his first career touchdown. Andrew Shelley’s first kick was blocked and he missed the second. However, he was successful the rest of the night.
Defensively it was also a good night for New Mexico. The Rebels were coming in as the No. 3 team in the nation in rushing with 336 yards. On Saturday, the Lobos only allowed them 43 yards. In total, the home team only got 166 yards. During the first half of the game, the Rebels only managed to record 23.
UNLV had just returned from a bye week, and the Rebels’ performance did not sit well with their head coach.
“I’m so disappointed in us right now. We had two weeks off and it looks like we were still on vacation,” he Tony Sanchez in a statement. “Walking off the field, we’re embarrassed, I’m embarrassed, our players are embarrassed and we just have to play better than that.”
The Lobos were coming in from a 52-43 loss to Liberty, so the mood in their locker room was a lot different this week. Up next, New Mexico hits the road to take on Colorado State on Oct. 13.
— New Mexico Football (@UNMLoboFB) October 6, 2018