New Mexico vs. Fresno State: Keys For Lobos Win, Prediction, Odds, How To Watch

New Mexico Guard Jaquan Lyle Seen in Boot, Status Unknown

Lyle was seen in a boot during the New Mexico Football Game on Saturday

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Lyle’s status is currently unknown at this time

Game: New Mexico Vs Fresno State

Where: Valley Children’s Stadium Fresno, CA

When: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 10:30 p.m. ET

TV: Fox Sports one

Follow: CBS Sports App

StreamingFubo TV with a free trial Holiday offer just kicked off

Series Record: 14-4 Fresno State leads |

Game NotesFresno State

Odds: -23.5

New Mexico (3-7, 1-5) looks to snap a three-game losing streak against Fresno State (8-2, 4-2) on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. MT.

The Lobos and Bulldogs are set to clash in a critical Mountain West Conference showdown at Valley Children’s Stadium this Saturday.

Both teams are eager for a rebound after recent losses, making this game pivotal in their respective seasons.

New Mexico’s woes continued with their third consecutive defeat, suffering a 42-14 setback against Boise State.

The loss extended their losing streak against Boise State to seven games. Despite the defeat, Jacory Croskey-Merritt “Bill” stood out, rushing for 73 yards and scoring two touchdowns. 

With the two touchdowns against Boise State, he now has 14 rushing TD’s and 15 overall that ranks 4th on UNM Single Season rushing list. 

Don’t be surprised when you see him playing on Sunday, he is that good. Offensive line coach Cam Blankenship said during spring ball, “he was a man among boys” 

If there has been a shining bright spot for the Lobos this year, it would be hiring Bryan Vincent, the UAB offensive coordinator, with his staff. 

Moreover, consider the inclusion of Jaccory Croskey, who made the move from Alabama State and possesses an extra year of eligibility who will undoubtably return as the best returning running back in the Mountain West Conference. 

Given the current circumstances, granting Danny Gonzales the opportunity to fulfill his five-year contract as the Lobos’ head coach is crucial. 

Amidst calls from local critics for his removal, a coaching change would be detrimental to the team as there is a core coming back with huge upside. 

Gonzales faces unique challenges this year, particularly on defense, with injuries affecting the secondary.

Case in point, remember all MWC Tavian Combs, has has not played in 5 games and the Lobos have a freshman Derrick Moore playing that position. 

Now he has done a fantastic job for the most part, but you can bet opposing teams offensive coordinator can spot a freshman on the field and you can bet his will be challenged. 

Hence all the big plays the Lobos have given up this year with so many freshmen playing key positions in the defensive secondary. 

The secondary despite being young he has really improved but its been a baptism by fire for this Lobo defense against some great offensive Mountain West Conference offensive coordinator. 

You can bet it keeps Defensive Coordinator Troy Reffett up at night, its hard to win with freshman playing at the D1 FBS level.

The expected starters for Reffett’s secondary include Zach Morris (So.) at left cornerback (LCB), Christian Ellis (So.) at left wolf (LWOLF), Tavian Combs (R-Jr.) or Dereck Moore (Fr.) at the LOBO position, Jermarius Lewis (So.) at right wolf (RWOLF), and Donte Martin (R-Sr.) at right cornerback (RCB).

Let’s be honest, the freshman you see in the bigger programs that makes high impact are 4- and 5-star players out of high school, not exactly to many on the Lobo roster. 

In navigating the distinctive landscape of this FBS program, it’s imperative to make gradual adjustments, focusing on improving areas of weakness and fortifying the offense, which is currently a significant asset for the team.

Lobo Quarterback Devon Dampier looked awesome in his first FBS start throwing for 200 yards on 17 of 26 attempts, he was flat out impressive

Meanwhile, Fresno State’s three-game winning streak ended with a painful 42-18 loss to San Jose State

Both teams have faced adversity lately, with New Mexico holding a 3-7 record while Fresno State stands at 8-2.

The odds favor Fresno State, with a 23-point lead in the betting lines. New Mexico has struggled to cover the spread in their recent games, making it a risky bet.

Notably, New Mexico faced a crushing 41-9 defeat against Fresno State in their previous matchup in October 2022. 

Whether New Mexico can turn the tide and avenge their previous loss remains.

The Lobos enter this game with a 3-7 record this season. In their last outing against Boise State, they fell 42-14. Croskey-Merritt led the ground game with 73 yards on 15 carries, while Dampier completed 17 of 26 passes for 200 yards with no interceptions. 

The Lobos struggled defensively, allowing 219 rushing yards and 265 passing yards.

New Mexico’s offense has gained 3,860 yards this season, scoring 15 touchdowns through the air and 20 on the ground. 

They’ve committed 13 turnovers and 92 penalties for 821 yards. On the ground, they average 163.0 yards per game and score 26.1 points per game.

Defensively, the Lobos have struggled against the pass, allowing 2,439 passing yards this season, ranking 99th in the nation. They give up an average of 416.9 yards per game and concede 36.0 points per game.

On the other hand, Fresno State enters the matchup with an 8-2 record.

In their recent loss to San Jose State, they were defeated 42-18. Malik Sherrod led the ground attack with 68 yards on 15 carries, while Logan Fife threw for 115 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Fresno State’s offense averages 397.1 yards per game and has committed 48 penalties for 439 yards. 

They average 106.7 rushing yards per game and have thrown for 2,904 yards this season, with a scoring average of 32.4 points per game.

Defensively, Fresno State concedes 23.7 points per game, allowing 144.7 rushing yards and 223.1 passing yards per game. They’ve given up 17 passing touchdowns and 11 rushing touchdowns.

In summary, the upcoming matchup between New Mexico and Fresno State is crucial for both teams seeking a turnaround in their seasons. 

Fresno State holds a strong position as the favorite, but New Mexico is determined to reverse its fortunes. 

The outcome remains uncertain, making it an intriguing game for football enthusiasts to watch.

So the bottom line is this a late game on Fox Sports 1 in the weather, as its looks like it will be raining for the game.

The Bulldogs are looking to rebound after last week’s lost and the Lobos are just looking for an identity and get a win on the road. 

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire