The University of New Mexico Lobos return home this weekend to continue Mountain West Conference play against the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at DreamStyle Stadium.
UNM enters the week 1-1 in conference play after blowing a late one-point fourth quarter lead last week to the Colorado State Rams. The Lobos looked primed to move to 2-0 in the conference before allowing an 11-play drive in the final two minutes of play and a game-winning 26-yard field goal as time expired.
Fresno State is a perfect 2-0 in conference and 5-1 on the season with lopsided wins over Nevada and Wyoming. Jeff Tedford’s team also boasts an impressive non-conference record with a 38-14 road victory over UCLA and a 79-13 win at home over Idaho to open the season.
The Bulldogs are led by the tandem of quarterback Marcus McMaryion and wide receiver KeeSean Johnson, a potent passing duo that has connected for 38 receptions for 510 yards and four touchdowns, including a 6/109/2 performance against Toledo two weeks ago.
McMaryion, a 6-2, 203 lbs. senior for Dinuba, CA, is on pace to set career marks in completion percentage (71.4%,) QB Rating (162.0), passing touchdowns (11), and interceptions (only two this season.) In addition to playing smart and efficient quarterback, McMaryion leads the team in rushing touchdowns with seven. He is a true dual-threat quarterback that will present numerous mismatches and challenges for UNM defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove.
Junior Sherrion Jones leads the New Mexico offense after taking over as the starting quarterback at halftime of the Liberty game three weeks ago. In two full games as a starter, Jones has been efficient and poised, with 418 yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions against UNLV and Colorado State.
Jones will need to play exceptional football for the Lobos to pull off the upset this week against a Fresno State defense that ranks 10th in the nation in total defense while allowing just nine offensive touchdowns in six games in 2018.
The Lobos are 17-point underdogs against the Bulldogs with a projected over/under of 55 total points. On a positive note for UNM fans, the last time the Lobos were double-digit home dogs against an in-conference foe they dropped 50 points on UNLV. But this time their opponent will not be playing a second-string quarterback, and the Lobos will likely not be able to move the ball at will against a stout Bulldog defense.