Lobos are huge underdogs to another 3-6 squad
UNM-Air Force contest matches two MWC teams in similar situations
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — New Mexico and Air Force are similar this season, UNM coach Bob Davie said.
Both teams are 3-6, 1-4 in the Mountain West Conference.
Both teams have played three quarterbacks.
And both coaches have declined to give a definitive answer for who will start at that position when they face off today.
Air Force nonetheless was listed as a 13½-point favorite as late as Friday.
The Lobos want to start senior Coltin Gerhart, and they most likely will, but he is not 100 percent. He started last week in UNM’s 31-23 loss to visiting San Diego State. It was first game back since the season opener, when he suffered a sprained foot.
Gerhart experienced a setback in the game against the Aztecs, but he has practiced this week.
Sheriron Jones, who has started six games this season, will most likely see some playing time against the Falcons.
Air Force lists the depth chart at quarterback as Isaiah Sanders or Donald Hammond III, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported on Tuesday.
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun wouldn’t say when he would decide
on the starter.
Hammond nearly led the Falcons’ rally in a 17-14 loss to Army, which led 14-0 at halftime.
There are some differences between the teams.
“They have been in their offensive scheme longer than we have,” Davie said, pointing out that the Falcons remain in the triple option and the Lobos are in their first year in the spread. “Probably the difference between us is, quite honestly, every game they’ve lost has been a close game. We’ve had a couple of blowouts. We got blown out by Wisconsin and Utah State.”
UNM has won three straight and four of the last five in what nonetheless has been a competitive series.
“I have the ultimate respect for them,” Davie said. “It’s an honor to play them in Colorado Springs.”
It’s been a challenging season for the Lobos, who have lost four straight. Their offense has struggled to find a comfort zone and their defense has played below expectations. Injuries have played a part on both sides of the ball. And, Evahelotu Tohi’s recent suspension only made matters worse.
Tohi, the team’s leading tackler, remains on suspension and will miss his second game after he was involved in an altercation with teammate David Brown on the night of Oct. 27. Brown was left in the hospital after taking at least two punches thrown by Tohi, according to a police report.
The Lobos’ defense stepped up last week, causing three turnovers that were converted into 16 points. That was also without redshirt freshman safety Marcus Hayes, who missed the game because of concussion symptoms.
Hayes, who also returns punts, is back today.