Posted: 1:38 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, 2013
By Jeremy Mauss
These two teams are coming into this game in opposite directions, so to speak. New Mexico played last Saturday and crushed rival New Mexico State, while Wyoming had a week off to think about how they lost by three touchdowns to Texas State.
First order of business is that Wyoming is a 14-point favorite over New Mexico, and that seems a bit high. The Lobos have lost two games by double-digits this year, but the way the Cowboys choked against Texas State gives the inkling that Wyoming has some flaws.
Everyone single person who knows any little thing about New Mexico football knows that they will run the ball about 80 percent of the time, or even more. With the Lobos pistol rushing attack they are tops in the country and are rushing for 367 yards per game, and are led by Kasey Carrier who is averaging 137 yards per game. What is even more amazing about Carrier's season is that he has two games where he rushed for 54 yards and 22 yards.
Wyoming's rush defense was the biggest question mark coming into their season, but they have show the ability to stop the run, yet they have also reverted back to a bad rush defense. What the Cowboys' 3-4 defense needs to do is go back and watch what Pitt and Texas-San Antonio did to shutdown the Lobos option attack. What those two schools did was to stop anything up the middle and force the Lobos offense on the outside and make them one-dimensional. If Wyoming can force New Mexico outside only and then to pass on third-and-long situations, and if that can be done then the Cowboys should easily win.
As for the Wyoming offense, it is led by quarterback Brett Smith and his trio of wide receivers. New Mexico's defense is average within the Mountain West, however this Wyoming passing attack and they have not faced a passing attack as potent as the Cowboys. UNLV's passing attack of Caleb Herring to Devante Davis is very good, but it is not as good as what the Cowboys bring the table.
There are a few ways that this game could turn out, and it really depends on the Wyoming rush defense. If the Cowboys defense can slow down or limit a big pile of yards to the New Mexico rushing attack then this game could easily be a shootout. While the New Mexico pass defense is considered average within the Mountain West, and it is highly unlikely that they can slow down the Wyoming passing attack. If both offenses are clicking then this will be a high scoring game where New Mexico can cover the 14 points, but if Wyoming can force New Mexico to throw and slow down the Lobos running attack then this game will be a blowout.