ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This one’s over. Nevada defeats New Mexico, 31-24. The Lobos fall to 4-8 overall, 1-6 in Mountain West Conference play with one game left (Colorado State, there, next Saturday). Nevada improves to 7-4, 4-3.
Check out Sunday’s Journal and abqjournal.com for more coverage.
… New Mexico fails to capitalize on an interception and a 35-yard return by linebacker Dallas Bollema. QB Cole Gautsche and RB Crusoe Gongbay miss connections on a handoff and Nevada recovers at the Wolf Pack 13. Nevada still leads 31-14 with 2 minutes and change remaining.
… Lobo RB Kasey Carrier stopped short of the marker on a 3rd-and-4; Lobos punt from their own 11. Nevada takes over at its own 42 with 6:12 left in the game. Lobos 2-of-10 on third down.
… Lobos force a Nevada punt from the Lobo 45, take over at their own 2-yard line with 8:23 left in the game. Seeing eye punt by Nevada’s Chase Tenpenny.
New Mexico goes for it on 4th and 1 from the Nevada 30, but Cole Gautsche is stopped for no gain. Nevada takes over on its own 30 with 101/2 minutes left in the game.
… After three quarters, Nevada leads New Mexico 31-24. The Wolf Pack will start the fourth quarter by punting from their own 25-yard line after the UNM defense forces a three-and-out. Key play: a sack good for 7 yards by cornerback Destry Berry.
… Nevada comes right back — no surprise there — to take a 31-24 lead with 4:02 left in the third quarter. The Wolf Pack drives 75 yards in 12 plays, the key a 24-yard Cody Fajardo scramble on third-and-7. Fajardo hits Brandon Wimberly fot the TD from 2 yards out for the score.
… Lobos tie it up. a career-long 76-yard Kasey Carrier run sets up a 2-yard Jhurell Pressley run, and it’s 24-24 with 8:48 left in the third quarter.
… Nevada takes the opening kickoff and drives 68 yards, settling for a 24-yard Colin Ditsworth field goal. Wolf Pack lead, 24-17 with 10:41 left in the third quarter.
… Halftime stats: New Mexico — 11 first downs, 216 yards rushing on 30 carries, 0-of-2 passing, 216 yards total offense. Lamaar Thomas, 65 yards rushing on three carries; Crusoe Gongbay, 60 yards on six carries. Cole Gautsche, 42 yards on eight carries. Kasey Carrier: 33 yards on 10 carries. Nevada: 212 yards rushing, 61 yards passing, 273 yards total offense: Cody Fajardo: 115 yards on nine carries. Stefphon Jefferson, 93 yards on 12 carries. Fajardo, 9-of-14 passing for 61 yards.
… Halftime: Nevada 21, New Mexico 17. Tiny crowd. Lots of people missing an entertaining game.
… Nevada scores on a five-play, 75-yard drive, taking the lead for the first time this afternoon at 21-17. The Wolf Pack gets the TD on a 1-yard, fourth-down pass from Cody Fajardo to Brandon Wimberly. Key play: a 62-yard run by Stefphon Jefferson. There’s 5 minutes left in the second quarter.
… New Mexico drives 50 yards in 10 plays, gets a career-long, 42-yard field goal from Justus Adams to take a 17-14 lead over Nevada with 6:45 left in the first half. Key play: 15-yard pass-interference penalty on the Wolf Pack.
… Nevada drives 60 yards in seven plays, scores on a 1-yard, fourth-down pass from Cody Fajardo-to-Stephen Jeffers. Key play: a 42-run yard by Fajardo on a read-option keeper. Boy, is that guy fast. Score: 14-14 with 12:34 left in the second quarter.
… End of an eventful first quarter: New Mexico 14, Nevada 7. Nevada has the ball, second-and-2 at its own 48 as the second quarter begins.
…Lobos run an option play on 3rd and 10, get just 4 yards on a Cole Gautsche keeper, forced to punt. Pass-challenged Lobos need to avoid 3rd-and-long situations.
… Lobos hold the Wolf Pack on downs at the UNM 14-yard line. Two big defensive plays by New Mexico Man Matt Raymer, back to back. Lobos have the ball 1st and 10 at their own 14 with 2:26 left in the first quarter, leading 14-7.
… New Mexico quarterback Cole Gautsche scores on a fourth-down, 3-yard option keeper, capping a 10-play, 69-yard New Mexico scoring drive. Key play: a 34-yard run by sophomore running back Crusoe Gongbay. It’s 14-7 New Mexico with 4:07 left in the first quarter.
… Nevada drives 67 yards in 12 plays, tying the score at 7 with 9:39 left in the first quarter. Wolf Pack overcome a 15-yard personal foul penalty; RB Stefphon Jefferson gets the TD from a yard out.
… Wow. New Mexico drives 75 yards in only three plays, leads 7-0 with 13:44 left in the first quarter. Lamaar Thomas runs 53 yards in the wildcat; QB Cole Gautsche runs 20 yards through the entire Nevada defense for the TD.
…Chase Clayton deep for the Lobos to receive the kickoff. And here we go.
Lobos win the toss and will receive. No particular advantage in deferring since there’s virtually no wind.
… Senior strong safety Matt Raymer, this week’s New Mexico Man, leads the team onto the field bearing the New Mexico flag.
…. The Lobos’ 23 seniors are being honored on the field before their final home game. Each player has a placard with his name and number, most players joined by family members. For all they’ve been through, these guys deserve all the respect they can get.
… Here’s something I’ve never seen before in pre-game. The Lobos are in a circle, doing a version of the Oklahoma Drill, 25 minutes before kickoff. We’re talking about an offensive player and a defensive player trying to drive each other back, with their teammates egging them on — a very physical drill. But it lasted only a couple of minutes before the Lobos moved to special teams.
… Good afternoon from University Stadium, where the New Mexico Lobos (4-7 overall, 1-5 in Mountain West Conference play) and the Nevada Wolf Pack (6-4, 3-3) will tee it up in about half an hour. I’ll be blogging with score changes, updates at the quarter and halftime breaks, trends and whatever else catches my eye.
We’ve got a warm, hazy November day — temps in the 50’s, perhaps rising to the low 60s. A crowd of some 17-18,000 is expected.