New Mexico (3-3) at Hawaii (1-4)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 13, 11:59 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Aloha Stadium (50,000) -- Honolulu, Hawaii.
Television: ROOT (NW). Home Record: UNM 2-1, Hawaii 1-1. Away Record: UNM 1-2,
Hawaii 0-3. Neutral Record: UNM 0-0, Hawaii 0-0. Conference Record: UNM 0-1,
Hawaii 0-2. Series Record: Hawaii leads, 14-7.
GAME NOTES: They've matched their entire win total from the last three seasons
combined, and now the New Mexico Lobos are shooting for back-to-back victories
for the first time in more than four years as they compete against the Hawaii
Warriors in Mountain West Conference action at Aloha Stadium on Saturday
New Mexico, which had won just a single game in each of the previous three
campaigns, posted a third victory in six chances over the weekend with a 35-14
pounding of Texas State at home. The win was the second in the last three
outings for the program and new head coach Bob Davie.
Now the Lobos are trying to win consecutive games for the first time since
2008 when they followed up a 35-24 decision over New Mexico State on Sept. 27
with a 24-0 blanking of Wyoming a week later. A victory this weekend would
also mark the first for the Lobos outside of the state of New Mexico since
taking out San Diego State, 20-17, on Oct. 20, 2007.
As for the Warriors, they have just one win in five chances this season and
still have yet to take down another program from the Football Bowl
Subdivision. Aside from a 54-2 blowout of Lamar at home in the middle of
September, Hawaii has struggled in a big way. Last weekend the team was again
on the mainland and was dealt a 52-14 setback by San Diego State in conference
play. The Warriors have dropped three in a row overall.
Hawaii owns a 14-7 advantage in the all-time series, but the teams haven't met
since 1998 when the Lobos defeated the Warriors in a 30-20 decision.
On his way to being named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week, running back
Kasey Carrier ran for 191 yards and four touchdowns for the Lobos in their
lopsided win over Texas State at home. Carrier's four TDs in the outing
matched his entire career total and his yardage was also a career high.
As a group, the Lobos ran for 361 yards and five scores as quarterback B.R.
Holbrook directed traffic and put the ball in the air a mere three times,
converting one pass for nine yards.
The UNM defense was all over the Bobcats as five different players had a hand
in making five sacks, while Destry Berry posted a pair of interceptions. The
Lobos limited Texas State to just 32 rushing yards as well.
Overall this season, the Lobos have been fairly decent at stopping the run,
limiting foes to 144.5 ypg which is second-best in the conference and 57th
nationally. Unfortunately, the pass defense hasn't stood up as well,
permitting 281.2 ypg which is last in the conference and 105th in the country
Clearly coach Davie has brought a new offensive approach to the Lobos, one
that does not include passing the ball as long as they can help it. Holbrook
is completing an average of just six passes per game and has only one TD to
his credit, but on the positive side he has not thrown an interception either
and that has helped the team in turnover margin a great deal.
The top three UNM ball carriers; Carrier, Cole Gautsche and Jhurell Pressley
have combined for nearly 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns.
While the Lobos are obviously one of the top running teams in the nation, the
opposite is true for the Warriors who are generating just 104.2 ypg to rank
110th entering play this week. However, Will Gregory tried his best to change
that perception a bit last week against San Diego State when he gained 81
yards and scored once on 22 carries, but it still wasn't nearly enough to keep
Hawaii out of the loss column again.
Truth be told, the offense for the Warriors the last few weeks has been rather
dismal all-around. Quarterback Sean Schroeder accounted for just 112 yards and
a score through the air as he completed 14-of-28 passes, the team putting up
just 173 yards of total offense in the meeting with the Aztecs. A week earlier
the Warriors were held to only 149 yards of offense by BYU so clearly head
coach Norm Chow needs to kick his crew into gear at some point.
However, coach Chow has more to worry about than just a lackluster offense
these days because the defense is also suffering by giving up 43.8 ppg which
is 119th in the country at the moment. Put that together with just 20.4 ppg on
offense, most of which was recorded against Lamar, and Hawaii has one of the
worst point differentials in recent memory.
The Lobos are far from a dominating program, but given how much Hawaii is
struggling on both sides of the ball, this could be that one game where UNM
finally breaks through outside the Land of Enchantment.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico 27, Hawaii 17
10/10 10:33:23 ET