ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a tough way to end their non-conference schedule, as the University of New Mexico football team lost to UTEP in El Paso, 20-13. UNM was hit with some tough news before the game on Saturday, as six of their best receivers were not able to play in this game due to COVID-19 Protocols.
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“We had a positive test within the program. That contact traced some young men. It is what it is, they are not here, we are dealing with COVID and so we put the guys out there to compete and still should have won the game”, said UNM Head Coach Danny Gonzales.
Not having the best threats on the outside really hurt UNM in this game, but the Lobos looked solid in the first half. They led 13-6 at the break and they really trumped the Miners in every category in the first half, but the second half would be a different story.
“We didn’t make enough plays on defense, we gave up 3 big plays in the secondary, and then I mean they kicked our tail on offense in the 2nd half. It’s a shame and it’s too bad because we lost a lot of momentum in the community. I mean, now we have lost 2 and we could have been 3 and 1. Give credit to UTEP, they whooped our tail in the 2nd half. I thought we were content at halftime, we have to get over that so we can finish a ball game”, said Gonzales.
UTEP scored 17 unanswered points in the 2nd half, getting 14 in the third quarter. UNM really struggled on offense down the stretch and their offensive line was a big reason for the inefficiency of the offense. QB Terry Wilson didn’t have much time in the pocket the entire second half, and left leg pain also hindered Wilson down the stretch.
“We all think that it’s going to come easy and it’s not. You know, we got to make plays for 60 minutes, 4 quarters. I just feel like we are not there yet, but we are going to be. We just got to keep practicing and keep getting better”, said UNM Safety Jerrick Reed III.
UNM is now 2-2 on the season as they head into their Mountain West Conference opener next Saturday, when they host Air Force in Albuquerque, at 4:30 p.m.