New Mexico vs. Utah State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Lobos and Aggies.
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 10:15 p.m. ET
Where: Maverik Stadium, Logan, Utah
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
New Mexico (6-3) comes into this matchup riding a four-game winning streak, but two of its three losses this season have come on the road (New Mexico State and Rutgers). The Lobos’ last four wins have come against Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe, Hawaii and Nevada. Last weekend’s 35-26 win over the Wolf Pack saw New Mexico improve its Mountain West record to 4-1 this season.
As for Utah State (3-6), it started out strong at 2-1 but has since tailed off. The Aggies have lost their last two games and five of their last six. Losses to Air Force, Boise State and Colorado State were capped with a win over Fresno State, but then Matt Wells’ team fell to San Diego State before losing on the road at Wyoming last weekend, 52-28.
The all-time series between the two programs is close. The Lobos lead it, 12-10, and they took last year’s meeting in Albuquerque, 14-13.
What To Know About New Mexico
In the win over Nevada, Austin Apodaca did all he needed to do through the air. He completed 7-of-9 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t a shining performance, but it was enough. Lamar Jordan hit on 1-of-3 passes for four yards and an interception. Apodaca’s lone touchdown toss went to Emmanuel Harris, which was his only catch for 44 yards.
The Lobos really let loose on the ground, though. Teriyon Gipson led the team with 121 yards on 20 carries, but he didn’t manage to sniff out the end zone. However, Jordan ran for 88 yards and a score on nine rushes. Tyrone Owens picked up 69 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Apodaca gained 43 rushing yards and a touchdown on five carries, and Richard McQuarley was given 14 touches and rushed for 43 yards and a touchdown.
What to Know About Utah State
The Aggies may have gotten blown out by Wyoming, but there isn’t much more Kent Myers could have done. He connected on 17-of-29 throws for 235 yards and a touchdown. Myers, however, left with an undisclosed injury and is day-to-day heading into this matchup. His only touchdown pass went to Rayshad Lewis, who caught seven balls for 56 yards. Ron’Quavion Tarver led the team with eight receptions for 104 yards. Damion Hobbs replaced Myers completed 7-of-16 passes for 68 yards and a pick.
Hobbs did do work with his legs, though. He rushed six times for 24 yards and three touchdowns. He was the only Aggie to find his way across the goal line on the ground, but it was Tonny Lindsey who led the team with 75 rushing yards on only five carries.
Offense: New Mexico – Myers is banged up, and Apodaca gives the Lobos some semblance of a passing attack again.
Defense: Utah State – The Aggies are ranked No. 76 in scoring defense, allowing 29.1 points per game. The Lobos are No. 91 (31.6 points/game).
Special Teams: New Mexico – Jason Sanders hasn’t missed an extra point this season, and he’s hit on 7-of-8 field goals. Three of those makes were from at least 40 yards out.
Coaching: New Mexico – Bob Davie has his team riding a win streak right now — plain and simple.
Matchup To Watch
New Mexico quarterbacks vs. Utah State quarterbacks
If Myers can’t go, that’s a huge problem for the Aggies. He’s a huge cog in their offensive attack, even though Hobbs found a way to be effective running the ball for Utah State. As for the Lobos, they need Apodaca to continue to protect the ball. They don’t need him to thread the needle. That’s not what they do with the ball, but he’ll need to be accurate, and Jordan will have to make plays in the running game as well.
Spread: No line as of publication
Over/Under: No line as of publication
New Mexico vs. Utah State Prediction
Whether it’s Myers or Hobbs under center for the Aggies, they’ll get some production on the ground from whichever quarterback gets the nod. Lindsey and Devante Mays will play secondary roles and help out as needed. But the Lobos are going to get another clean game from Apodaca, who will break past the 100-yard mark in the air and throw another touchdown. Jordan will find his way into the end zone again, and New Mexico will squeak out a win.
New Mexico vs. Utah State Score Prediction: New Mexico 35, Utah State 28