Nevada vs. New Mexico prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Wolf Pack and Lobos.
When: Saturday, Nov. 5 – 10:15 p.m. ET
Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
TV Broadcast: ESPN U
There have been two occasions this season where Nevada (3-5) has lost back-to-back games. First, the Wolf Pack fell to Purdue and then Hawaii on the road. Then, after a win over Fresno State, Nevada lost against San Jose State and Wyoming. Nevada is coming off of a bye week now, and will have a tough time visiting New Mexico. Four of the Wolf Pack’s five losses have been away from home.
As for the Lobos (5-3), they’ve been riding a hot streak during the last three weeks. New Mexico has beaten Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe and Hawaii in consecutive games to form its first winning streak of the season. The 28-21 win over the Rainbow Warriors saw the Lobos get out to an early 14-0 lead and hold on for their fifth victory of the season.
There haven’t been many editions of this Mountain West matchup, but it’s the Wolf Pack in the lead of the all-time series, 3-2-1. Nevada has won three in a row, including last year’s meeting in Reno, 35-17.
What To Know About Nevada
Nevada is moving in a different direction at quarterback now that Tyler Stewart is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. It then asked Ty Gangi to drop back and throw 43 passes against Wyoming, and he ended up completing 27 of them for 300 yards, one touchdown and one interception. That one touchdown went to Jarred Gipson, who ended up catching three passes for 47 yards. Although, Wyatt Demps led the team with eight receptions for 97 yards.
In the running game, the Wolf Pack got a lot of production from James Butler. He only had 14 carries, but rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns with them. Gangi stepped up and ran for 35 yards and a touchdown on his 10 carries.
What to Know About New Mexico
The Lobos have not been able to pass the ball at all this season, and that continued to be the case against the Rainbow Warriors. Lamar Jackson threw six passes and completed four of them for 58 yards and an interception. Austin Apodaca got a taste of the action, too, and he went 7-of-9 for 26 yards. New Mexico’s leading receiver was Dameon Gamblin, who caught four balls for 41 yards.
Luckily for them, the Lobos turned to Tyrone Owens in the running game to provide some spark in the offense. Owens ran for 134 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Teriyon Gipson was given 17 carries, and he ran for 73 yards and a touchdown. New Mexico’s third rushing touchdown came from Richard McQuarley, who finished with 17 rushing yards on six carries.
Offense: Nevada – The Lobos can’t throw the ball. They can run it, but you have to be able to launch the rock every now and then.
Defense: New Mexico – Nevada is ranked No. 99 in total defense, allowing 444.1 yards per game, but the Lobos are ranked No. 35 (367.9 yards/game).
Special Teams: New Mexico – Jason Sanders hasn’t missed any of his 41 extra point attempts, and he’s 7-of-8 on field goals this season.
Coaching: New Mexico – Even without a passing game, Bob Davie has found a way to keep his team above .500 so far — amazing.
Matchup To Watch
New Mexico running game vs. Nevada defense
The Wolf Pack has to — repeat has to — find a way to slow down Owens and Gipson. If they don’t maintain gap control and get some penetration in the backfield, the Lobos’ two tailbacks will be streaking for the end zone for days. At the same time, New Mexico has to continue to keep a somewhat balanced distribution of carries for them. It will want to hit Nevada with a few big runs, turn around, swap out one halfback for the other, and then keep on busting big play for big play.
Spread: New Mexico -14.5
Nevada vs. New Mexico Prediction
As badly as the Lobos have been through the air, they sure can run the football. Owens and Gipson will tear apart the Nevada front seven and will gash it throughout the game. New Mexico will go up early and lead by a couple of possessions at halftime. Gangi will do what he can with his arm and with his legs, but he won’t be able to complete a comeback attempt for the Wolf Pack. The Lobos win this one by 10.
Nevada vs. New Mexico Score Prediction: New Mexico 31, Nevada 21