Quarterback Austin Apodaca likely won’t play when the New Mexico Lobos face Air Force Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, UNM coach Bob Davie said on Monday.
During his weekly radio interview on KNML-AM, Davie said he expects to regain the services of running back Teriyon Gipson (hamstring) and cornerback Jadon Boatright (turf toe). But, he said, starting cornerback Isaiah Brown likely will miss two to three weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain during the Lobos’ 49-21 loss to Boise State on Friday.
Apodaca, a senior, suffered a collarbone injury during UNM’s 38-29 loss at Rutgers on Sept. 17. He missed UNM’s 48-41 victory over San Jose State and the loss to Boise State.
During his Boise State postgame interview, Davie had expressed the hope that Apodaca would be ready for the Air Force game. But he said on Monday, “I don’t think Apodaca will play.”
Apodaca, who started UNM’s first three games, is considered a better passer than junior Lamar Jordan, who started against San Jose State and Boise State. Against the Broncos, Jordan rushed for 139 yards on 21 carries but was 4-of-14 passing with one touchdown and one interception.
Boatright, a junior, has missed the Rutgers, San Jose State and Boise State games with a turf-toe injury suffered during practice.
“(He’s) really a good player and a really good coverage guy,” Davie said.
Against Boise State, UNM’s secondary struggled as Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien threw for 391 yards and five touchdowns.
THEY’RE NO. 1: Despite Friday’s loss, UNM (2-3 overall, 1-1 in Mountain West Conference play) moved into the nation’s top spot in average yards rushing with 364 per game after rushing for 382 yards against Boise State. The Lobos, No. 2 last week, moved past Army, which was held to 165 yards on the ground in a 13-6 loss to Duke.
Gipson, last week’s national leader in average yards per carry at 12.9, fell out of the rankings after not playing against Boise State because of the hamstring injury.
Gipson also missed UNM’s game at Rutgers after taking a blow to the head at New Mexico State, meaning he has played in only three of the Lobos’ five games. NCAA statistics require a player to have played in at least 75 percent of his team’s games to be ranked in that category.
“Gip probably could have played Friday night,” Davie said on KNML. “He wanted to play, but he just hadn’t cut it loose on that hamstring, and you know how those things go. You don’t want to have him (re-injure) that thing and then he’s out the rest of the season.”
The Lobos dropped from 35th to 50th in total defense, after giving up 456 yards to Boise State, and from 99th to 107th in scoring defense (36 points allowed per game).
TO THE VICTORS THE SPOILS: On the strength of its strong showing against UNM, Boise State (5-0, 2-0) moved from 19th to 15th in the Associated Press poll.
It helped that Stanford, Arkansas and North Carolina, teams ranked ahead of the Broncos last week, all lost on Saturday. Boise State also moved past Florida, which was idle.
Rypien was named the Mountain West’s offensive player of the week for his performance against the Lobos.