Return trip not so happy for Lobo QB Terry Wilson - Albuquerque Journal

Return trip not so happy for Lobo QB Terry Wilson

New Mexico quarterback Terry Wilson looks to pass during the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Texas A&M in College Station. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
Late Friday night, Texas A&M’s fans, known as the 12th Man, gathered at Kyle Field for the Midnight Yell when they go through game traditions and yells.

Just after midnight, an A&M yell leader reminded fans about University of New Mexico quarterback Terry Wilson.

The name is familiar to the Aggies. Three years ago, Wilson nearly led Kentucky to a win at Kyle Field, but the Wildcats fell to the Aggies in overtime 20-14.

The yell leader shouted into the microphone saying this game would be worse and a lot tougher for Wilson.

Turns out, he was right.

Wilson threw for just 33 yards on 10-of-23 passing as the seventh-ranked Aggies won 34-0 to end the Lobos’ four-game winning streak on Saturday. Texas A&M sacked Wilson four times and picked off a pass, his first interception of the season.

The Lobos struggled to move the ball and failed to gain any type of momentum on offense.

“This doesn’t define our whole season,” Wilson said. “We were playing (a Southeastern Conference) team. That’s a high-caliber game of football. That’s a good, solid football team. For us, we’re just going to put this behind us and get ready to play UTEP.”

The Lobos (2-1) will look to respond at UTEP on Saturday.

The teams have a common opponent: New Mexico State. The Miners (2-1) defeated NMSU 30-3 in Las Cruces to open the season on Aug. 28.

The Lobos beat their rivals 34-25 in Albuquerque on Sept. 11.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Last year, UNM defensive end Joey Noble was disappointed that he received All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention recognition rather than All-MWC first-team honors. He decided to use it as motivation this season. If he plays as he did against A&M on Saturday during the MWC season, Noble will be a shoo-in for All-MWC accolades. Noble showed he can compete on the same level as the Aggies and finished with four tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss.

Noble and the Lobo defense recovered strongly after giving up two touchdowns within the first six minutes of the game. UNM allowed just one touchdown and held the Aggies to two field goals before they scored a TD late in the third quarter when a handful of Lobo players made their first appearances of the season.

UNM improved when it came to penalties. The Lobos had four penalties for 18 yards. Against NMSU the previous week, UNM committed 12 penalties for 112 yards.

WHAT WENT WRONG: The UNM offensive line struggled against A&M’s vaunted defensive line, which features DeMarvin Leal. He recorded three tackles, 1½ sacks and 1½ tackles for loss. Wilson did not have much time to throw. Running backs Bobby Cole and Aaron Dumas were held to 76 yards with Dumas leading the way with 49 yards on 10 carries.

UNM made mistakes on special teams, mainly on punt coverage. Aaron Rodriguez had 11 punts for 441 yards (40.1 average yards). One of his punts sailed low and Ainias Smith took it back for 78 yards for a would-be touchdown but it was negated by a holding penalty.

Smith had 78 punt-return yards on four attempts. He nearly broke another punt return for 50 yards but it was brought back for a 1-yard return after video review showed that he was down after a tackle by Andrell Barney Jr.

NOTABLE: UNM had 122 yards of total offense. The last time the Lobos didn’t record 200 yards of total offense was on Nov. 24, 2018, when UNM had 83 yards against Wyoming.

HE SAID IT: “If you’re true to yourself, you look at (the shutout loss) and say: If we would’ve approached this with the belief that we can play with these guys, we would have been a heck of whole lot more competitive than we were. That’s one of the things we’re changing around here. You have to believe and expect to win. I can talk about it, but until they believe, it’s not going to happen.” — UNM coach Danny Gonzales

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