There is a bit of a sibling rivalry intertwined with the Rio Grande Rivalry, which has New Mexico State football playing at 18½-point favorite New Mexico on Saturday. Roughly 22,500 tickets had been sold by late Friday for the game.
UNM senior safety Jerrick Reed’s brother Torrey Gill is on the Aggies’ coaching staff as a graduate assistant who works with the wide receivers.
Gill came to visit his younger brother at UNM two weeks ago when NMSU had a break, Gonzales said.
Gonzales was jokingly asked if Reed gave Gill any inside information. “(Reed) wouldn’t have anything good (to give him),” Gonzales responded in jest.
The Lobos’ defense was plenty good in its season-opening 27-17 win over Football Championship Subdivision Houston Baptist last week. UNM held the Huskies to 187 yards of total offense. HBU’s longest pass went for 18 yards. The Lobos were known to struggle against deep passes during their 2-5 2020 season but they didn’t allow any big plays behind them against the Huskies.
UNM offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier also has a connection to the Aggies. Lenzmeier, who played for UNM, used to coach the offensive line at NMSU, 2009-11. Aggies head coach Doug Martin was the offensive coordinator at the time.
Former NMSU running back Josh Foley, a Rio Rancho High product, transferred to UNM last year, but he is no longer on the team. Foley decided he did not want to play football anymore, Gonzales said.
Chavez, who began last year as the fifth-string quarterback, was known for his finger guns celebration after a big play or touchdown.
“He practiced Tuesday but did not practice (Wednesday and Thursday),” Gonzales said. “He was feeling a little bit off so just to make sure we get it all right we didn’t have him practice (Wednesday and Thursday).”
ANOTHER STUDENT COACH: Behind starter Terry Wilson, UNM also has redshirt junior Trae Hall, redshirt sophomore Connor Genal and freshmen CJ Montes and Bear Milacek as quarterbacks.
Senior Brandt Hughes, the quarterback who won the starting job to begin the 2019 season, has become a student assistant coach. He suffered a shoulder injury in the 2019 season opener and hasn’t seen action since.
Hughes is helping with the quarterbacks, in the same role as Tevaka Tuioti, who became a student assistant coach before the season after he had not gained clearance from a concussion sustained last November.
“He couldn’t get his shoulder healthy enough to compete, and he’s going to be a good coach,” Gonzales said of Hughes. “He’s student coaching on the offense and doing a really good job. Him and Tevaka are doing a great job.”
9/11: UNM has several game-day events planned on Saturday with regard to the 20th anniversary of 9/11, including an elaborate halftime performance with more than 400 performers involved, said Joe Thuente, UNM’s associate athletic director for marketing and communications.
The halftime show will feature the UNM and NMSU bands, the UNM concert choir, a trumpeter from the New Mexico Philharmonic, a vocal soloist and the Albuquerque Police Department honor guard, Thuente said.
Before the game, there will be a moment of silence along with a presentation of colors by a joint UNM Army ROTC and Marine ROTC color guard, Thuente said.
SATURDAY: New Mexico State at UNM, 5 p.m., 770 AM/96.3 FM, streaming on Stadium — How to Watch Stadium