UNM Football: Lobos face tough challenge vs Badgers

The Lobos continue the 2018 regular season with a difficult road matchup against the No.5 ranked Wisconsin Badgers in Madison on Saturday. The Badgers enter the contest 1-0 after a lopsided win over Western Kentucky, as star running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 145 yards, and two touchdowns on 18 carries and quarterback Alex Hornibrook completed 17 of 29 passes for 257 yards and two scores. 

The 34-3 victory over Western Kentucky was the 40th consecutive home win against a non-conference foe, a streak that Wisconsin will likely continue this week as heavy favorites against Bob Davie’s Lobos.

UNM enters the game on a high note after a 62-30 blowout win over Incarnate Word at DreamStyle Stadium last Saturday. Tevaka Tuioti threw for a career-high 327 yard and four touchdowns in his first game as a starter in new offensive coordinator Calvin Magee’s spread offense. 

Senior wide receiver Patrick Reed led the Lobos in receiving yards with a 69-yard touchdown score, while tight end Marcus Williams added two scores of his own on two catches for 43 yards.

The Lobos will find in much more difficult to move the ball this week against a Badger defense that finished third in the country in total defense in 2017. Wisconsin averaged over two turnovers a game last season, and the Badger defensive front seven will keep Tuioti under constant pressure.

As 35-point underdogs, Vegas oddsmakers have little faith in UNM’s ability to contain Hornibrook and the Wisconsin offense. Heisman trophy favorite Jonathan Taylor will have a field day against the undermanned and undersized Lobo defensive line. The sophomore tailback will be used early and often in what could be a stat-padding day.

Kickoff is set for 10:00 AM MT, with television coverage provided by the Big Ten Network.