The Lobo offense that put up 55 points against the New Mexico State Aggies on Sept. 21 only managed 10 points against the Liberty Flames defense on Saturday in a 17-10 loss. New Mexico is looking to bounce back this week against San Jose State.
On Saturday, UNM allowed two touchdowns in the first half while the Lobo offense was just able to put up three points. New Mexico’s single touchdown didn’t come until the fourth quarter. Liberty quarterback Stephen Calvert put up 306 passings yards, UNM’s Tevaka Tuioti registered 139. The Flames had wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden finishing with 144 yards and one touchdown.
Davie said Tevaka was not looking sharp so the team purposely ran the ball more. The Lobos registered 223 rushing yards in 43 attempts. Liberty had 160 yards in 31 attempts.
.@MyBeaconCU game recap of Flames 17-10 over New Mexico! 🦅🔥🏈 pic.twitter.com/ANGs8JgMvl
— Liberty Football (@LibertyFootball) September 29, 2019
Saturday’s game was a season low in yards and points. New Mexico head coach Bob Davie admitted that the offense underperformed, but he also said he was pleased with the better performance he saw from the defense compared to the NMSU game. The 17 points the Lobos allowed the Flames is the second fewest in the last 22 games.
Davie said that this year’s Liberty team had more size than the one from last year. Size, he said, “is a bit of a concern” when it comes to the opponent UNM will face on Friday because of the Spartans’ “big body defense.”
San Jose State is not exactly a powerhouse. The Spartans were last place in the West division last year with a 1-7 Mountain West conference record, the same record as the Lobos who were last in the Mountain division.
The Spartans currently hold a 2-2 overall record, just like UNM. Their most noteworthy game this season was 31-24 upset on the road against Arkansas. The Razorbacks were a 20-point favorite. The SJSU offense picked up at total of 503 yards, 402 of those from passing thanks to senior quarterback Josh Love.
It was not shocking to see Love as the MW Offensive Player of the Week. Bobby Brown II was also a standout as the MW Defensive Player of the Week with seven tackles and two interceptions.
Relive The Spartans’ Historic Win@SanJoseStateFB’s defeated Arkansas to pick up the Mountain West’s 8th autonomous 5 victory this season!#SpartanUp | #AtThePeak pic.twitter.com/1ryksD6dTX
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) September 22, 2019
However, the Spartans’ last result was a 41-24 loss to Air Force. The passing game wasn’t too bad, getting 280 yards vs the Falcons’ 131. The rushing game was definitely not in the Spartans favor, who only collected 98 yards but allowed 382.
“We didn’t make enough plays on either side of the ball,” said San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan. “We had multiple fourth down opportunities that I chose to go for thinking that we were going to need to score touchdowns and not field goals. When we didn’t convert, it got out of hand.”
Brennan and the Spartans haven’t played at home since September 7. He said the team is excited to play in front of their own fans again and that this should be a good game because there are a lot of similarities between the two teams.
“We’ve both taken turns playing well this season and not playing our best football… I think their bodies look similar to ours in some positions,” Brennan said.
SJSU leads the all-time series against New Mexico with a 12-5-1 record. Their last meeting was in 2016 when UNM picked up a 48-41 win. But the last meeting in California was in 2015 and that 31-21 victory belonged to the Spartans.