Attack The Opponent: New Mexico Lobos
New Mexico isn’t very good at football. They haven’t won even a portion of a conference championship in 17 years, since they won the WAC Pacific League title in 1997. Know what else was going on then?
The Lobos have never defeated Boise State. The closest they have come was in 2012 when they scared the hell out of most of the city of Boise by coming within 4 points of a strong Bronco team. Not to say that they don’t have a long football history. The Lobos have been playing since 1892! Sure, they have 61 more wins all time than the Broncos, but they also have had 41 more seasons to try.
Ancient history though, all of it. The only thing that really matters is this week. Boise State has taken control of their MWC destiny, and will likely end up meeting Nevada for the championship game on The Blue if they can keep winning and not get tripped up in the homestretch. TBH, New Mexico likely isn’t going to be that team. Currently they are 3-5, with wins over Texas El Paso, Texas San Antonio, and UNLV. They played close with Air Force, but ended up losing by 4. (Air Force is an enigma. They beat Boise, win the Commander in Chief’s trophy, lose to Wyoming and Utah State. Just…what?)
The Lobos are an option team, and one that is capable of putting up bunches of yardage…on the ground. New Mexico is not a threat through the air. In their best performance of the year, they only put up 130 passing yards. This team is not balanced, and apparently isn’t even trying to be, judging from that five whole yards they somehow managed to gain against UNLV through the air last Saturday. However, on the ground is a different story. No, the Lobos aren’t consistent, but they have run for as much as 430 yards in a single outing. Granted, that wasn’t against a team with any sort of defense. Check out the trend graph below.
Basically, all that is telling us is that the Lobos aren’t consistent on offense and aren’t that good, either. They’re the same Lobos they’ve always been on the football field, unpredictable and underachieving.
One positive for the Lobos is that their defense is getting better each week. Sure, they still have a terrible defense that allows 400+ yards per game, 450+ if the opponent has any sort of offensive prowess, but they are improving ever so slightly. That trend should be blown out this weekend with the Broncos coming to town, but as we learned in the Great Scare of 2012, anything is possible.
Pretty sure this is where we’re at: New Mexico is not a good football team. They may not get bowl eligible, but it would make their season to derail Boise like AFA did. So, the Broncos must be prepared and ready to go. That includes continuing to play good defense on the ground, get picks if they are available (against a team that is okay with throwing hardly any passes, though, there may not be a ton of opportunities), and tackling well. Boise’s Offense is going to have 700 yards if they play like they did against BYU. The Broncos will be able to get just about all the plays they want through the air (as long as Turnover Grant stays home), and once the field opens up there will be Broncos popping off big runs like whoa. The key is in the prep work though. No team left on this schedule can be overlooked, including New Mexico. It’s time for Boise State to have a good November, and stomping on the Lobos is a decent start. Go Broncos!