The Lobos overcame an extended lightning delay and a sluggish first half to defeat the visiting Air Force Falcons 56-38 at Dreamstyle Stadium on Saturday Night.
Tailback Richard McQuarley tied a UNM school record with five rushing touchdowns, including long runs of over 60 yards on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Lobos. After managing just 83 yards on the ground, the Lobos offensive line and stable of running backs took over the game with 280 second-half rushing yards.
UNM head coach Bob Davie talked about the importance of the UNM offensive line forcing its will upon the Falcons in the second half.
“I think running between the tackles; it started to wear them down just a little bit even though we didn’t have the ball that much,” Davie told reporters after the game. “We were just able to get some movement up in there. They played us in an odd front, not the four down and we’ve had a little more success against odd, with those bubbles over the guard.”
UNM quarterback Lamar Jordan posted his best passing game of the year with 146 yards and two touchdowns, completing just four of nine attempts, highlighted by a 71-yard passing TD to Jay Griffin IV with 10:48 left in the second quarter. The senior from Frisco, TX also added 68 yards on the ground on ten rushing attempts.
Junior quarterback Arion Worthman led the Falcons in both passing and rushing, with 90 yards and a score on the ground and 158 yards through the air. Wothman threw three touchdown passes, including a 21-yard TD to Ronald Cleveland with just over 11:00 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons could not keep pace with the potent ground game of the Lobos.
After a slow start to the game, including a lightning delay of just under one hour, the two teams would combine for 905 of total offense and 94 points in what turned out to be an exciting game.
With the win, the Lobos move to 3-2 on the season, and 1-1 in Mountain West Conference play. UNM will have a bye week to rest and prepare for around game against the Fresno State Bulldogs on 10/14.
Air Force fell to 1-3 on the season and 0-2 in conference play. The Falcons face another tough rushing attack next Saturday in a difficult road matchup against the Navy Midshipmen, the leading rushing attack in the nation through the first four games of the year.