The streak is over.
The University of New Mexico Lobos finally got off the schneid and defeated the Wyoming Cowboys 17-16 to earn their first win of the season and end a 14-game losing streak while securing the first win for head coach Danny Gonzales.
It was an impressive win for the Lobos when you consider Gonzales and his coaching staff were down three scholarship quarterbacks entering the game and were left to rely on a pair of walk-on QBs to lead the team to victory.
Connor Genal, a 6-5, 213-pound redshirt freshman from Santa Fe Springs, California, started the game and went six for eight passing for 37 yards and an interception before leaving the game in the second quarter with a wrist injury.
Isaiah Chavez, a walk-on true-freshman from Rio Rancho High school, was literally the last option at QB for coach Gonzales, who, like Chavez, is a native of Albuquerque and was a star high school player back in the day.
Chavez did an excellent job of leading the offense and limiting mistakes, with 55 yards on 5-10 passing and a touchdown.
The Lobos were unable to score a point in the third quarter and trailed the Cowboys 16-10 with only 7:16 left on the clock in the final period.
Running back Bobby Cole started the drive with a three-yard run to the Wyoming 44-yard line to give UNM a manageable second and seven. Instead of running the ball again to make it a third and short, Chavez hit Cole on a seam route for a 44-yard strike that would be the eventual game-winning play for UNM.
It was a defining moment in the coaching career at UNM for Gonzales, and Chavez will forever be remembered in Lobo lore as the local kid who made the play that ended UNM’s 14-game losing streak.
The Cowboys would have two more possessions to try and regain the lead but were unable to move the ball against a motivated UNM defense that had momentum on its side.
The Lobos doused their rookie head coach with a Gatorade shower and finally got the monkey off their backs.
UNM will look to keep the momentum going in their final game of the COVID-19 shortened season against the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday, December 12th, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
The 2-3 Cowboys end the year with a home game against 4-1 Boise State.