Lobos looking for first conference win.
New Mexico wants to start at least one.
WEEK 12: CSU (2-9. 2-5 MWC) vs. New Mexico Lobos (2-9, 0-7 MWC)
IF: Friday, November 18, 2022 6:46 AM MST 8:46 PM
WHERE: Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, CO
WEATHER: 42° time of day & 23° Evening wind from NE at 10 to 15 mph
TV: CBS sports network
game after game: John Sadek (play-by-play) and Randy Cross (Analysis)
Live broadcast: Football TV
RADIO: 77KOB Lobo Radio Network Rob Portnoy (Play-by-Play), Dontrell Moore (Analyst
SERIAL RECORDING: Colorado State leads 43-25
LAST WEEK: UNM lost to San Diego State 34-10. CSU lost to the Air Force 24-12
WEB PAGES: golobos.com | CSURams.com
GAME NOTES (PDF): UNM LOBOS | CSU RAMS
Over/Under is 35
Odds/point distribution: Aries (-6.5)
The Colorado State Rams (2-9, 2-5 MWC) will host the New Mexico Lobos (2-9, 2-5) this Friday at 1:30 MST at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collings, Colo.
The Lobos look to end their season with a win when they take on the Colorado State Rams Friday afternoon on CBS Sports Network.
The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network with John Sadak on play-by-play and Randy Cross on color.
The Lobos emerge as 14.5-point underdogs after a 10-34 loss to San Diego State. The Rams emerge as 21.5-point underdogs in a 24-12 loss to the Air Force.
It will be a second straight game for UNM with CJ Montes at the lead quarterback, UNM’s third starting quarterback of the year.
CJ Montes, just a freshman, was solid against San Diego State, going 15-23 for 112 yards in Friday night’s competition and scoring his first career touchdown in a 34-10 loss to the Aztecs with a read option in the red zone for UNM .
Montes connected on 15./23. with 112 passing yards, a 97.4 QB rating and one interception, while Nate Jones led the Lobo rushing offense with eight carries and 68 yards and 8.5 yards per carry.
The Lobos and Rams are very similar in that they are two win-two teams that are struggling on offense, and both UNM head coach Danny Gonzales and CSU head coach Jay Norvell are in rebuilding mode of their potential schools.
New Mexico ranks last in yards per game on the FBS and Colorado State ranks last in yards per game. UNM is last in first downs and Colorado State is last on offense in the red zone.
New Mexico ranks third from last down conversion percentage ahead of last state Colorado, which speaks volumes about what both teams need to work on in the offseason.
Both teams were pretty good defensively and can attribute one of their two wins mainly to defense.
A major strength Danny Gonzales has is right on his staff, with defensive coordinator Rocky Long and his 3-3-5 scheme, nobody in the country executes it like him.
The Rams scored two defensive touchdowns in a 17-14 win over Nevada, and UNM had seven takeaways, including one defensive touchdown, against UTEP in a 27-10 win.
Both teams have good special teams, kicking, jabbing and in the second leg there is no clear advantage for each other.
CSU has owned the series lately, winning the last 11 straight, but Rams Lobos’ games have always been highly entertaining and physical over the years.
This author had the pleasure and blessing of watching it from the sidelines going back to the 1999-2000 era of Sonny Lubbock and Rocky Long.
The Lobos’ last win was in 2009 when Mike Locksley won his first win (and penultimate, as it turns out) as Lobo head coach, winning 29-27 on a walk-off field goal.
The Lobos are looking to end an 11-game losing streak in conference play and a 9-game overall losing streak and bring a much-needed Mountain West Conference to victory of the year.
The end of the 11-game losing streak against the Rams would give the Lobos some much-needed momentum into an offseason that will begin the search for a new offensive coordinator, with Heath Ridenour holding the fort since being named interim coordinator.
One can imagine what a huge challenge Heath Ridenour would have thrown into the mix if he had called for an offense that wasn’t his. First off, it was former offensive coordinator Derek Warehime’s offense and his plan.
Ridenhour left a very productive job here in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as the head coach at Cleveland High School; His teams are averaging over 40 points per game and are playing in the 6A State Championships this Saturday.
Score when offense has the ball
New Mexico averages 14.3 points per game. They throw for 108.8 yards and rush for 127.9 yards per game.
This Lobo offense has totaled 2,604 yards this season and totaled 3 touchdowns on passing and only 12 touchdowns on rushing.
The Lobo offense averages 127.9 yards in the rush game which is ranked 99th in the Division 1
The Lobos have a solid group of running backs between Nate Jones, who leads the Lobos, followed by freshman Christian Washington, and both backs should be able to break away for big chunk yards.
The Ram’s defensive line gave up some big yards like they gave up big yards over 359 yards in last week’s Air Force game.
Yes, it’s a triple option Air Force, but she’s also given up big yards against Boise State, Wyoming and Utah State.
So look for Lobo’s offensive coordinator Heath Ridenhour to run right on that CSU defensive front.
CSU has given up 1,892 yards rushing for an average of 172 yards per game and 24 touchdowns over the rush game.
They have 15 through-air touchdowns and 203.2 yards per outing, ranking 36th nationally.
Colorado State has struggled defensively, dropping 29.4 points per game. They dropped 24 points in their last game, so look for the Lobos to move the ball towards them.
In this game, explosive wide receivers Luke Wysong and Geordan Porter (ASU transfer) should be factors, so look for the Lobo offense to get the ball to them in spaces.
A very important factor for this Danny Gonzales team this year was that the offense didn’t show up for the most part in the second half.
They have to adapt at halftime or expect the opposing team’s defensive coordinator to change things up and they in turn adapt to the adjustment.
Just because something worked in the first half doesn’t mean it will stay that way in the second half.
Play solid defense
Look for defensive coordinator Rocky Long, who is throwing everything but the kitchen sink to end the season for the Lobos.
Colorado State averages 12.8 points per game. They throw for 193.7 yards and rush for 90.3 yards per game.
Ram quarterback clay mill completed 79 percent of his passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to the Falcons. Avery Morrow had eight carries for 42 yards while Jaylen Thomas had six catches for 49 yards.
The Rams average 284 yards per contest, which ranks them 128th on the FBS, and they have compiled 684 yards in penalties for 78 violations.
The Rams have threw 2,131 yards through the air with an average of 193.7 yards per outing, which ranks them 109th in D-1.
Colorado State is averaging 12.8 points per game, putting it at 131St in D-1. They throw for 193.7 yards and rush for 90.3 yards per game.
This Lobo defense has struggled defensively, yielding 26.8 points per game. They gave up 34 points in their last game and need to do a better job if they want to win this game.
But the reality is that defense has to stay on the field for far too long to give them a chance to take part in games in the late third and fourth quarters.
The Rams are the worst in the country when it comes to third place, but New Mexico is second worst, so both teams are similar.
Both defenses are the bright spot at some points during the season if you’re the kind of person who sees the glass as half full and half empty.
The lack of points and the offensive production were a major anchor for the winning games of both programs.
3) Win the sales battle
Here games are either won or lost in the heat of action on the grate.
The Lobos found this out the hard way last week, giving up some very costly plays in the game that, looking back, really helped determine the outcome of the game.
So many games are won and lost through turnover and when you’re away it usually bodes well for the visiting team.
At some point during a game, players need to get up and make plays, and this usually becomes a huge factor in changing the momentum in a college football game.
Forecast UNM 24 CSU 17
More shell projections!
Week 12 Mountain West Bowl projections
Week 11 Mountain West Bowl projections
Week 10 Mountain West Bowl projections
Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire