In the 2012 edition of the Rio Grande Rivalry, the New Mexico Lobos snapped a three-game losing streak to NMSU and won by a score of 27-14 in Las Cruces.
It was a tough game to watch, to be honest. The Lobos scored 17 straight points and racked up 302 yards rushing, so I was very disappointed in the Aggies’ defense. I know the Lobos’ offense has improved, but they’re not nearly as good as we made them look.
The NMSU offense was frustratingly inconsistent and couldn’t get anything going. Quarterback Andrew Manley was a decent 22-for-34 for 256 yards and a score, and receiver Austin Franklin caught six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, but the end results were still very disappointing.
I felt that offensive coordinator Jerry McManus called a very bad game – the play-calling was very timid and we didn’t take advantage of a weak Lobo secondary. The UNM defense also forced two fumbles against us and recovered both. Everything the Aggies did on both sides of the ball was very sluggish and lacked heart. The defense looked miserable against a very weak Lobo attack that could have easily been shut down early in the game.
Unlike a few years ago, in which we could beat the Lobos no matter how bad we were in other games, this year there was a serious lack of motivation. Don’t get me wrong, I still have faith that Coach Walker is keeping us on the right track, but trust me, our schedule gets significantly tougher in the latter half of the season. Right now, a bowl game looks very far off indeed.
The Lobos return to Albuquerque next week to host nationally-ranked Boise State, so I can at least take some comfort knowing that UNM will be throttled on their home turf. Meanwhile, the Aggies host UTSA in the first WAC game of the season for both squads.