Lobo QB Montes gets last start of 2022 - and he's learned his lesson - Albuquerque Journal

Lobo QB Montes gets last start of 2022 — and he’s learned his lesson

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

The first time CJ Montes started a game at quarterback for the New Mexico Lobos, it didn’t go well. At all.

The second time was much better, but not close to good enough.

Is the third time the proverbial charm? Montes and the Lobos (2-9, 0-7 Mountain West Conference) expect to find out on Friday, when they play the Colorado State Rams (2-9, 2-5) in Fort Collins.

The Lobos have lost eight straight games this season and have lost 11 straight to CSU in a series that began in 1935.

CJ Montes, UNM football quarterback

Montes, a redshirt freshman from Pasadena, Calif., started last Friday against San Diego State after sophomore Justin Holaday suffered a hyper-extended knee during practice that week. Montes was 15-of-23 passing for 112 yards and scored UNM’s only touchdown on a 6-yard run.

But after completing 6 of 8 passes during a two-minute drive that resulted in a Luke Drzewiecki field goal at the end of the first half, he and the UNM offense failed to produce any points in the second half. The Aztecs won, 34-10.

Even during that two-minute drive, Lobos coach Danny Gonzales said on Tuesday, Montes was by no means perfect.

“We had an opportunityy for a touchdown,” Gonzales said, “(but) CJ threw the ball to an out route instead of the corner route.”

After Holaday’s injury during practice on the Tuesday before the San Diego State game, Montes had essentially a day-and-a-half of work with the first-team offense.

“This week I’ve been getting all the reps,” he said, “so I should be ready to go.”

In any case, Montes’ performance against SDSU was a huge improvement over his first start against – who else? – Colorado State last season.

The previous week, starting quarterback Terry Wilson had suffered a dislocated elbow – which, it turned out, would end his season and his brief UNM career . Montes, tabbed to start against the Rams, expressed great confidence.

“Schematically, we should run through these guys,” he said on the previous Tuesday. “… I think we should blow these guys out.”

Instead, it was the Lobos who got blown out. Montes was 3-of-19 for 11 yards and was sacked four times in a 36-7 defeat.

After the game, the Rams made it clear they’d been aware of Montes’ remarks earlier in the week. “A great learning moment,” Gonzales called it.

Montes played in one more game as a backup, then was held out the rest of the season to preserve a year of eligibility.

This time, Montes isn’t providing CSU any bulletin-board material. Still he said, “I’m always confident in my ability. Confident in my team, confident in my O-line, so it’s just going out there and doing it.”

Home » From the newspaper » Lobo QB Montes gets last start of 2022 — and he’s learned his lesson


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