ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – University of New Mexico first year football coach Danny Gonzales isn’t into moral victories. He likes a solid start and favorable finish.
The Lobos got half of that equation correct in Hawaii Saturday night in a 39-33 loss to the Rainbow Warriors. “I thought their fight was better,” said Gonzales. “I thought we were a little bit more physical upfront on offense and able to run the ball successfully. This is going to sound like a broken record, but you can’t give up big plays in the passing game like we have.” The Lobos had a fast start after quarterback Tevaka Tuioti connected with Jordan Kress for a pair of touchdown passes in the first quarter. One of the plays went for 52 yards, the other for 29.
The Lobos got a pair of field goals from George Steinkamp to lead 20-7 at one point. The Rainbow Warriors scored before the half to make it a 20-14 game at the break. The Lobos were not able to sustain their advantage as the defense could not slow the hot hand of Chevan Codero once he got rolling. Codero passed for 410 yards and 4 touchdowns. His night did have a couple of blemishes.
Lobos safety Jerrick Reed II intercepted two of Codero’s passes to become the first Lobo since Marcus Hayes back in 2018 to pick off two in a game. “We made some plays, made some turnovers, but we didn’t play to the expectation we know that we should,” said Reed. The Lobos remain winless at 0-2. Hawaii improved to 2-1. They also lost more than the game. Quarterback Tevaka Tuioti suffered what appears to be a concussion and will more than likely miss the next game. Trae Hall came into the game, after Tuioti took a shot to the head. Hall will, more than likely,be under center when the Lobos play Nevada. The Lobos will practice in Las Vegas, once again, this week due to the state health order for COVID-19 in New Mexico. The Nov. 14 game against the Wolfpack was scheduled for home, but was relocated to Sam Boyd Stadium.