The Rio Grande Rivalry will be on full mode on Saturday afternoon when the New Mexico Lobos host the New Mexico State Aggies.
The Albuquerque team is winning the all-time series with a 71-33-5 record. Home advantage has treated the Lobos nicely with a 40-14-3 record. NMSU has come out with the upper hand in two out of the last three meetings. However, last season belonged to the Lobos as UNM took a 42-25 victory at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
The Aggies are going to try to snap their three-game losing streak and finally pick up their first win of the season. However, their 0-3 record can be deceiving since they played two ranked opponents on the road, the then-no.23 Washington State and the then no.2 Alabama.
Their last result was a 31-10 home loss to the San Diego State Aztecs, a team in the Mountain West Conference. The Aggies only managed to score during the third quarter while their opponents got points in all four.
“Got a lot of things we need to work on to be able to win a game. Number one is we gotta quit beating ourselves, that’s the most frustrating thing we are doing right now,” said NMSU head coach Doug Martin. “We do a lot of things that are really good but we don’t do anything consistently enough to win, particularly in the turnover game.”
Darren Hall forces his second fumble of the game and Tariq Thompson picks it up. The Aztecs have forced four turnovers in the game. pic.twitter.com/boYaFGG7ig
— SDSU Football (@SDSUFootball) September 15, 2019
The Aggies are counting on redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Adkins, who has thrown five interceptions in the last three games. The offense was shared against the Aztecs, as Adkins threw receptions to nine different receivers. Graduate transfer wideout Tony Nicholson caught seven passes, a team-high stat, for 78 yards.
UNM comes in with a 1-1 record made by a win against Sam Houston State and a loss against the then-no. 7 Notre Dame. The Lobos fell to the Irish 66-14, a score that UNM head coach Bob Davie wasn’t particularly pleased with.
“I’m disappointed the score ended up where it did in the Notre Dame game,” he said. “I think just from a physical standpoint, playing physically at the point of attack at the line of scrimmage, we actually played pretty good. Really, in comparison to the Wisconsin game the year before.”
Click here for Notre Dame recap.
Sheriron Jones started the last game as quarterback, but this weekend it will be Tevaka Tuioti. His mother’s father passed away in August. Right before the team left for to South Bend, Tuioti found out his father’s father had passed away. He will head to Los Angeles with his family after this weekend’s game.
While there is no question that the redshirt sophomore has gone through a lot, his coach thinks he is still the right person to get the job done on Saturday.
— New Mexico Football (@UNMLoboFB) September 14, 2019
“Tevaka won the job in the spring. Tevaka was the starting quarterback in the fall before all of this stuff that obviously he had no control of,” Davie said. “He has practice enough. We feel like he gives us our best chance. He was the starter and he won the job.”
Davie will rest again this weekend, saying there are a couple more things that he has to do that will hopefully completely clear him for next week. Saga Tuitele will once again be the acting head coach.
Neither team has been meeting their coaches’ full expectations, but Davie said this weekend is going to be good for both groups when it comes to a real evaluation of where they are at.
“It all probably starts this Saturday for both teams,” he said. “That’s why it’s such a big game, such a big indicator. It’s such a crystal ball of probably what is yet to come.”