Flashback: The New Mexico Lobos have plenty of good moments on offense and a few on defense, but those moments aren’t nearly good enough or many enough to prevent a 45-17 loss at Boise State in UNM’s 2013 season finale.
What went right: The Lobos’ recipe for success during coach Bob Davie’s first two seasons: rush for 300 yards or more and control the clock. The Lobos did both — 300 even on the ground, 36:06 of possession time. Players who return next season accounted for all but 13 of UNM’s 362 yards of total offense, and true freshman inside linebacker Dakota Cox led the Lobos in tackles (13). The Lobos forced the Broncos to punt six times, the most a UNM opponent has attempted since UTSA punted seven times in the season opener. Junior quarterback Clayton Mitchem showed he can run the triple option. Punter Ben Skaer averaged 46.7 yards on seven attempts.
What went wrong: The UNM defense had no answer for Boise State running back Jay Ajayi, who rushed for 147 yards and caught four passes for 105 more. The Lobos tackled poorly at times but more often were out of position or couldn’t get off blocks. With a chance to tie the game at 14 in the second quarter, the Lobos couldn’t score on four rushing plays from the Boise State 2-yard line. They then allowed the Broncos to drive 99 yards for a 21-7 lead, and it was never close thereafter. UNM’s special teams played a negative role in 17 of Boise State’s points.
Injury report: Mitchem left the game after taking a blow to the head in the fourth quarter.
Quoting Davie: “From all this, I think something can be built. … To come in here and just play as hard as we played, I think you leave here feeling pretty good.”
Next up: The Lobos (3-9) open the 2014 season on Aug. 30 against UTEP at University Stadium. UNM beat the Miners 42-35 in overtime on Sept. 7. UTEP finished the 2013 season with a 2-10 record.