Know Wyoming’s foe: New Mexico Lobos
LARAMIE -- Will the Lobos utilize a two-quarterback system like they did against UNLV?
Wouldn't you like to know.
Danny Gonzales knows another interested party, too.
"I'm sure coach (Craig) Bohl would like to know that," the Lobos' third-year head coach said with a smile. "I thought it gave us a change of pace on Friday night. It was something that gave us a little bit of energy. It gave us opportunities."
Miles Kendrick, a transfer from Kansas, has carried most of the workload through the Lobos' first five games. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound senior has completed 55.8% of his throws. He's added three touchdowns and five interceptions.
CJ Montes has attempted just one pass this season. It didn't connect. The freshman has carried the ball seven times for 26 yards.
So, why is this even a question?
In a 38-0 loss at LSU two weeks ago, New Mexico's offense finished with just 88 yards. The visitors were 1-of-10 in third down and rushed for just 37 yards on 27 carries. Ouch.
Things got better last Friday. They had too, right?
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Kendrick completed 13-of-25 passes for 163 yards as the Lobos jumped out to an early 17-0 lead over frontrunning UNLV in Sin City. The Rebels scored 24 unanswered points and eventually pulled away for a 31-20 victory. Kendrick tossed a pair of interceptions. Converting just two of 11 third downs didn't help matters.
"Almost sounds like basketball, I mean, they're on a 17-nothing run and we missed the opportunity," Gonzales said. "And then they were able to take the ball down there and put it in the end zone to make it 24-17."
Gonzales isn't tipping his hand when the Cowboys pay a visit to University Stadium Saturday night. In fact, he threw out a third player who could serve as the Lobos signal caller if the opportunity strikes.
"I got confidence that Justin Holaday can play, too." Gonzales added. "And there are certain things that we can do with him that give people something to prepare for, especially something that they haven't seen. They haven't seen Justin play, they've seen CJ play. So I'm not ruling out all three of those kids playing."
Holaday, a sophomore, completed 58.1% of his passes while going 133-for-229 in 11 games last season at Fresno City College. He threw for 1,821 yards and 18 touchdowns. He added 391 yards on the ground to go along with 10 touchdowns.
Don't call it a QB controversy. It isn't.
"Miles is our starting quarterback and Miles is the manager of our team," Gonzales said. "I mean, he's the voice, he's the leader ... It's not trying to find something, it's giving other people an opportunity when they earn something in practice."
Kickoff in Albuquerque is scheduled for 5 p.m. Mountain Time and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
Here are some other things you need to know about Wyoming's Week-6 meeting with New Mexico:
* Head coach: Danny Gonzales (3rd year at UNM) 7-17 overall record
* Offensive coordinator: Derek Warehime (3rd year); Defensive coordinator: Rocky Long (3rd year)
* Record in 2021: 3-9 overall, 1-7 in Mountain West play
* Offense in 2022: Average 20.4 ppg, 247.8 ypg (132.2 rush, 115.6 pass)
* Defense in 2022: Allow 22 ppg, 355.6 ypg (113.2 rush, 242.4 pass)
* Key Returners - Offense: Miles Kendrick (QB - 53-95, 593 yds, 3 TD, 5 INT; 44 rush, 65 yds, 2 TD), Nathaniel Jones (RB - 48 rush, 189 yds, TD), Sherod White (RB - 31 rush, 131 yds, 3 TD), Geordon Porter (WR - 16 catches, 263 yds, 2 TD), Luke Wysong (WR - 15 catches, 120 yds, TD)
* Key Returners - Defense: Jerrick Reed (S - 39 tackles, 7 PBU, FR), Cody Moon (LB - 38 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBU), Reco Hannah (LB - 28 tackles, 3 sacks, INT, TD, FF, FR), AJ Haulcy (S - 24 tackles, INT, FF), Justin Harris (DE - 16 tackles, 2.5 sacks, PBU)
* Overview: Wyoming defensive end DeVonne Harris said New Mexico served as a "trap game" in the last two meetings. Well, the Pokes definitely got snared -- and embarrassed -- falling as heavy favorites in both games. Craig Bohl said his defense wasn't up to the task in those outings, despite giving up just 31 total points. The UW offense, on the other hand, managed to score just 19, including a single field goal in the 2021 game inside War Memorial Stadium. Yes, we know defensive coordinator Rocky Long is a wizard. Whether a head coach or a defensive play caller, it's not far fetched to say he has the Cowboys' number. As the head man in Albuquerque from 1998-2008, Long topped the Pokes eight times in 10 meetings. During his nine-year tenure at San Diego State, Long won four of six meetings against Wyoming, including a 27-24 victory in the 2016 Mountain West Championship game. The Lobos defense, led by arguably the best safety in the conference, Jerrick Reed, is allowing just 22 points per game. They are shutting down the running game, too, giving up just 113.2 yards on the ground per game. Long's defense will be prepared for the Pokes. Can Jay Sawvel's D shutdown a run-heavy New Mexico offense is the better question.
* Thoughts on SJSU: "We've had a hard time with New Mexico the last couple of years, specifically defensively. You know, coach Gonzales, his background as a defensive coach, along with Rocky long, those two are kind of a double-headed monster there as far as what they do. Their front is very disruptive. They play a penetrating style of defense. It's unconventional. Those two guys know that defense inside and out. Now, we're going to need to take advantage of some of the things that we hope that we can have in our advantage. Our offensive coaches have been grinding away like crazy, looking at tape. So, from that standpoint, it's a challenge. I think they're much improved on offense from last year. They benefited from a transfer quarterback, Miles Kendrick, who transferred in from Kansas. He has done a really good job operating their offense ... They've got a big offensive line. They can establish the running game and they do a very good job protecting the passer, as well." - Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl
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