A day after being shut out by CBS for football game coverage, the University of New Mexico was selected for four national television broadcasts on FOX networks, it was announced on Thursday.
The Lobos also have a prime TV game. UNM’s contest at Texas A&M on Sept. 18 will be aired by the SEC Network, which is owned by ESPN. The game is scheduled for an 11 a.m. MDT kickoff.
Leave it to UNM coach Danny Gonzales to find motivation about TV programming and provide a spark for his team, which went 2-5 last season.
The Journal’s Geoff Grammer tweeted at Gonzales’ and the UNM football team’s Twitter feeds, noting that the Mountain West television contract with CBS will televise two more New Mexico State games this season than the Lobos (0).
Gonzales responded on Twitter: “We will give them a reason to put us on their Network. That’s on us not them. Don’t worry it will soon be on them. #WIN5”
Gonzales’ hashtag of WIN5 alludes to the goal he set upon being hired in December 2019, when he said the Lobos will win the program’s fifth conference title.
Gonzales, a former Lobo player and assistant coach, has assembled a roster via transfers, including quarterback Terry Wilson (Kentucky), and super seniors, featuring defensive end Joey Noble, that makes him believe the Lobos are capable of winning most games on their schedule. He won’t say they can contend now for a Mountain West title.
All of UNM’s four games on FOX are Mountain West contests, starting with the Lobos’ conference opener against Air Force on Oct. 2 in Albuquerque. The Lobos lost in Colorado Springs last year, 28-0.
UNM’s road game against San Diego State on Oct. 9 will also be televised by one of the FOX networks in Carson, California. UNM defensive coordinator Rocky Long is the former Aztecs head coach, and Gonzales was an assistant at SDSU.
UNM’s game at Boise State on Nov. 20 is also on one of the FOX networks.
The Lobos’ season finale against Utah State has been switched from the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend to Friday morning, Nov. 26, at University Stadium. The game will kick off at 11 a.m., and it will be broadcast on FS1. UNM’s other three FOX games do not have times scheduled yet and will be on either FOX, FS1 or FS2.
The Lobos’ other games available for TV programming will be announced in the coming months.
UNM opens the season at home against Houston Baptist on Sept. 2.
NM BOWL GAME ON: This year’s New Mexico Bowl will actually be played in New Mexico.
The 16th edition of the bowl game is scheduled to be played on Dec. 18 at 12:15 p.m. at University Stadium and will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN radio.
“We are really excited to be back home to host the New Mexico Bowl in University Stadium again,” Jeff Siembieda, New Mexico Bowl executive director, said in a release. “With the game returning to its traditional spot on the first Saturday of bowl season, we’re looking forward to celebrating New Mexico, Albuquerque, college football and the people who have been so essential in getting us to this point.”
Last year, the New Mexico Bowl was played in Frisco, Texas due to the coronavirus restrictions in New Mexico. Hawaii beat Houston, 28-14, on Christmas Eve.
TRANSFER PORTAL NEWS: Redshirt sophomore Harshan Sachdeva, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end from Bakersfield, California, has entered the transfer portal, he announced on Twitter on Thursday.
He redshirted in 2019 coming out of Stockdale High, where he was a four-year varsity player. He did not play in any games for UNM in 2020.
He is the second Lobo to announce entrance into the transfer portal. Running back Nate Jones said last Friday he has entered.