New Mexico gets ready for Wyoming Cowboys, Connor Genal to start at QB

Wyoming at New Mexico Sam Boyd Stadium - Las Vegas, Nevada Saturday at 8:30 p.m. MT CBS Sports Network Isabel Gonzalez @cisabelg The Uni

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New Mexico quarterback Trae Hall throws the ball against the Utah State Aggies on Nov. 26, 2020. Wade Dennison/USU Athletics

Wyoming at New Mexico
Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, Nevada
Saturday at 8:30 p.m. MT
CBS Sports Network

Isabel Gonzalez
@cisabelg

The University of New Mexico football team is still looking for a win this season, but the Lobos will have to face their next opponent with a less experienced quarterback.

The Lobos (0-5) are facing the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev., which has become New Mexico’s home away from home. The Cowboys (2-2) are coming off a 45-14 road win over the UNLV Rebels.

New Mexico currently doesn’t stand out in either the offense or defense, as the cherry and silver ranks 10th in both categories in the Mountain West Conference. The Cowboys are a 17.5-point favorite against the Lobos, according to the latest college football odds, but this doesn’t mean Saturday’s game can’t be an interesting matchup.

Rushing:

  • The Cowboys are No. 13 in the nation in rushing offense, registering an average of 238 rushing yards per game.
  • Wyoming RB Xazavian Valladay leads the conference in rushing, but he could be missing the game due to injury (day to day).
  • Lobos are No. 63 in the nation in rushing defense.
  • Cowboys are No. 14 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 104.5 rushing yards per game.

Passing:

  • New Mexico has the worst passing defense in the Mountain West.
  • Luckily for the Lobos, this is not the Cowboys’ strength. Wyoming is 8th in the conference in passing offense.

New Mexico QB situation:

  • Starting quarterback Tevaka Tuioti is still out (concussion)
  • Trae Hall is still out due to bruised ribs, which the redshirt sophomore suffered on Thanksgiving when the Lobos faced Utah State
  • Walk-on redshirt freshman Connor Genal is expected to start.
  • Freshman Isaiah Chavez is expected to be the backup if Genal gets hurt.
  • Genal is technically the fourth string quarterback, as he was practicing behind Brandt Hughes in the spring. Hughes is out this season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.
  •  Running back Bryson Carroll could also be a quarterback if needed.

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