ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – “That’s a crushed locker room,” said UNM Head Football Coach Danny Gonzales. His University of New Mexico Lobos football team suffered a 31-20 setback at UNLV Friday night. What started well for the Lobos had ended badly.

The Lobos raced out to a 17-to-nothing advantage after a pair of running touchdowns from quarterback Miles Kendrick and a field goal from George Steinkamp. After that the offense was shut out and the Lobos defense was left to handle the bulk of the snaps, the Rebels scored 31 unanswered points. The Lobos took a 17-9 lead into halftime. UNLV tied the game up quickly in the third quarter as they would outscore the Lobos 22-3 in the second half.

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UNLV quarterback Doug Brumfield had 233 passing yards and a rushing touchdown. Running back Aidan Robbins had 79 yards in a touchdown for the Rebels. Both defenses had takeaways in the game as the Lobos came away with an interception and a fumble recovery. UNLV had a pair of interceptions, one for a touchdown.

The game was the Mountain West opener for the Rebels and the second league game for the Lobos who are now 0-2 in the Mountain West and 2-3 overall. The Rebels are 4-1. After watching his team let a big advantage slip away, Coach Gonzales acknowledged that the Lobos are still a work in progress. “There’s going to be a bunch of ups and downs in a game,” said Gonzales. “It happens in every game. We just can’t overreact. I thought in the second half we overreacted on quite a few of them. I mean it’s all a part of the process of learning. We got a lot of losing around here and it’s hard to convince them. They believe, and they expect to win. When things go bad, it takes us a while to overcome them, and that’s mental.”

The Lobos have big plans for the 2022 season. Safety Jerrick Reed III believes those plans took a hit with the loss. “This is one of those games that we needed, if we want to achieve the goals that we have for the season,” said Reed. “Yeah, it does hurt, but we have seven more. We can’t let this one hurt us too bad that it affects the whole season, you know. So, you know, we got to take what we did wrong from this game, correct the mistakes and just come back next week, ready to win a game.”

The Lobos will host the Wyoming Cowboys next Saturday. The game at University Stadium has a 5 p.m. start time.