COVID tracing, Miners rock Lobos - Albuquerque Journal

COVID tracing, Miners rock Lobos

*This story has been updated to show that the six UNM players who are in quarantine due to contact tracing of the coronavirus must remain quarantined for 10 days, according to NCAA rules, and are expected to be out for next week’s game against Air Force.

EL PASO – The University of New Mexico Lobos tried to take that whole “next man up” thing to the extreme against UTEP, but the Miners took advantage of a dismantled UNM offense for a 20-13 win on Saturday in front of 15,609 at the Sun Bowl.

The Miners (3-1) scored 17 unanswered points in the second half, including two touchdowns in the third quarter to pick up the win.

Six UNM players were ruled out Friday, but announced on Saturday, due to COVID-19 contact tracing rules.

Wide receivers Mannie Logan-Greene, Keyonta Lanier, Elijah Queen, Andrew Erickson and Zarak Scruggs Jr., as well as tight end Trace Bruckler were ruled out after a positive COVID-19 case on the team that caused the players to be unavailable due to contact tracing, UNM Athletics announced minutes before the game. The six players had been instrumental in helping the Lobos start the season 2-1 before Saturday.

Only non-vaccinated players have been getting tested, three times a week, for the coronavirus. The Lobos who are not vaccinated were last tested on Thursday and UNM received the positive COVID-19 result later in the day. They ruled out players due to contact tracing with the utmost caution.

UNM has required all students, faculty and staff accessing UNM facilities to get vaccinated by Sept. 30.

Some of the players who were ruled out could have been partially vaccinated.

UNM would not name the player who tested positive, citing health and privacy regulations. UNM coach Danny Gonzales told the Journal that his team was about 80% vaccinated three weeks ago. Gonzales said he was made aware of the players who were not available due to contact tracing on Friday morning. Gonzales would not say if the players were partially vaccinated, citing health and privacy regulations. The six players in quarantine did not make the trip to El Paso with the team.

At one point, UNM quarterback Terry Wilson threw 11 straight incompletions, eight to start the second half, showing the effects of the players who were out. The players must be quarantined for 10 days as a matter of caution, according to NCAA rules, so they will not be available for the Lobos’ Mountain West Conference opener against Air Force next Saturday at University Stadium.

Another example of the Lobos hurting without six key pass catchers: UNM went with a quarterback keeper on 3rd-and-10 with just under 6 minutes remaining in the game and failed to convert.

Luke Wysong, Jace Taylor and Austin Erickson each made their first start at receiver for the Lobos, who drove to the UTEP 33 with under a minute remaining in the game.

“‘What if,’ it doesn’t matter,” Gonzales said after being asked what if he had the missing players available. “We played with the guys that we played. We should have won. We made too many mistakes in the secondary, and we didn’t block worth a darn, especially in the second half on offense. That didn’t change the outcome.”

In the third quarter, the Miners attacked the Lobos (2-2) deep and found success. They scored two touchdowns on the strength of two deep passes, the latter giving UTEP its first lead of the game, 17-13.

Jacob Cowing, the Miners’ leading receiver, got wide open behind the defense for a 55-yard touchdown reception from Hobbs High product Gavin Hardison. Replays showed another UTEP receiver rubbed a defender (Ronald Wilson), picking him off coverage on Cowing about 10 yards into Cowing’s route.

Hardison connected with wide receiver Justin Garrett for 37 yards to set up Deion Hankins’ 4-yard touchdown that drew the Miners within 13-10 early in the third quarter.

UNM led 13-3 at the half.

Wilson led the Lobos on an 8-play, 67-yard drive ending with his deft, made-for-SportsCenter 12-yard run. He dived into the end zone from about the 4-yard line and bounced off a tackle in midair for the touchdown.

“Donte Martin had a chance at a pick six,” Gonzales said. “Jerrick Reed had a chance at a pick six. Those plays are the difference in the game. It’s a shame. It’s too bad because we lost a lot of momentum in the community. Now we’ve lost two. We’re 2-2. We could’ve been 3-1. Give credit to UTEP. They whooped our tail in the second half. I thought we were content at halftime. We gotta get over that so we can finish the ball game.”


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Fathers know best -- or do they? 3 new ...
College
If you haven't heard, new Lobo ... If you haven't heard, new Lobo men's basketball coach Richard Pitino has a dad who also dabbles in c ...
2
New Mexico State hopes that realignment leads to opportunity
College
LAS CRUCES – New ... LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State's leadership finds itself in another college sports realignmen ...
3
Lobo senior defender Noble lives up to expectations
College
SATURDAY: UNM at Wyoming, 1:30 p.m., ... SATURDAY: UNM at Wyoming, 1:30 p.m., 770 AM/96.3 FM, streaming at Stadium When University of New Mexico senior Joey Noble heard that coach Danny ...
4
Preseason poll has Lobos eighth; Pitino didn't know and ...
College
Richard Pitino apparently didn't get the ... Richard Pitino apparently didn't get the memo.It's OK. It wasn't one he exactly cared ...
5
Commissioner says Mountain West is happy to stay with ...
College
As college athletics is taking another ... As college athletics is taking another spin on the 'every couple of years conference realignment' ca ...
6
New Mexico to try to end 5-game skid with ...
College
Mired in an offensive slump, the ... Mired in an offensive slump, the University of New Mexico football team will look to i ...
7
In brief: Lobo volleyball, soccer have home games Thursday; ...
College
Lovelady keeps lead in qualifier Tom ... Lovelady keeps lead in qualifier Tom Lovelady has a two-stroke lead coming into Thursday's third round of the Korn Ferry Tour qualifying event taking ...
8
UNM has no answers for offense or who will ...
College
If the University of New Mexico ... If the University of New Mexico had to play against Wyoming on Tuesday, senior quarterback Te ...
9
In brief: Lobo cross country ascends to No. 1; ...
College
Lobo runners ranked No. 1 The ... Lobo runners ranked No. 1 The University of New Mexico women's cross country team is atop the national rankings. Led by Stefanie Parsons' 12th-place ...