College Station, Texas – In a less than steller season opener for the Lobos, Texas A&M’s explosive offense lit up the scoreboard, scoring touchdowns on each of their first five drives, as they cruised to a commanding 52-10 victory over the New Mexico Lobos. The roaring crowd of 97,560 fans witnessed a dominant performance by the No. 23 ranked Aggies.
The Lobos will head back to Albuquerque with lessons learned, looking to bounce back in their two-game homestand, starting with a clash against Tennessee Tech next Saturday in their home opener.
The opening quarter saw the Lobos trailing by just 7-0, with UNM employing a “keep-away” strategy that chewed up 6 minutes and 46 seconds of clock time. UNM displayed significant improvement in converting on third down, going 2-for-3 on the opening drive, a remarkable improvement from their previous year’s ranking as the worst in the country in that category.
Before the second quarter proved to be UNM’s undoing as Texas A&M unleashed a 28-point onslaught, Jacory Croskey-Merritt managed to light up the Lobos’ scoreboard with a brilliant 27-yard touchdown run, fueled by an exceptional downfield block from Andrew Erickson to cut the lead to 14-7.
The rest of the first half belonged to Texas A&M. Conner Weigman connected with Noah Davis for his third touchdown pass of the half, extending the lead to 21-7. Weigman added one more touchdown pass, sandwiched around a Le’Von Moss 2-yard run, making it 35-7. The Aggies attempted to add more points before halftime, but Tavian Combs broke through the line, blocking a 48-yard field goal attempt by Randy Bond to preserve the score.
UNM came out strong in the second half, forcing a punt and burning over seven minutes of clock time, culminating in a 27-yard Luke Drzewiecki field goal. However, the Aggies answered back with a fifth Weigman touchdown pass, bringing the score to 42-10 after three quarters.
The Lobo defense regrouped after halftime, securing a pair of sacks, including a 15-yarder courtesy of Kyler Drake.
Despite the Aggies’ offensive fireworks, they only amassed 411 total yards, while UNM managed 222 yards. This marked a significant improvement for UNM compared to their past two SEC games, where they had a combined total of just 210 yards against A&M in 2021 (122) and LSU in 2022 (88). Penalties were a concern for both teams, with UNM accumulating 10 penalties for 114 yards and Texas A&M receiving nine penalties for 88 yards.
In his first start for UNM, Dylan Hopkins showcased his talent, completing 16 of 25 passes for 115 yards. Jeremiah Hixon made a notable impact with six catches for 42 yards, while DJ Washington contributed solidly with four catches for 42 yards. Jacory Croskey-Merritt led the rushing attack, accumulating 50 yards on 11 carries.
UNM’s offensive line, which had struggled in the previous year, performed admirably, allowing just two sacks during the game and effectively protecting Dylan Hopkins throughout the contest.