Lobos Suffer Missed Opportunities in 27-17 Loss to NMSU

Lobos Suffer Missed Opportunities in 27-17 Loss to NMSU

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In a game riddled with missed opportunities, the New Mexico Lobos fell short, dropping a 27-17 decision to rivals New Mexico State. As the Lobos now prepare for a two-game road trip, including a cross-country journey to face UMass next Saturday at 1:30 pm Mountain Time (3:30 pm Eastern Time), they reflect on a game that could have swung in their favor.

Despite feeling like they should have been ahead, the Lobos trailed 17-10 at halftime. On their opening drive, they advanced all the way to the Aggie three-yard line. However, a first-down sack pushed them back to the 12-yard line, and they settled for a 25-yard Luke Drzewiecki field goal. On the following drive, the Lobos once again moved effortlessly down the field. Jacory Croskey-Merritt’s 31-yard reception took them to the Aggie 19-yard line, but a fumble by Sherod White dashed their hopes of a 10-0 lead early on.

NMSU capitalized on the turnover, embarking on an 88-yard, 10-play drive culminating in a Star Thomas 2-yard run. UNM responded swiftly as Croskey-Merritt scored, marking his fifth touchdown of the season, shortly after Justin Holaday’s push toward the end zone, which was controversially ruled short. NMSU later tied the game with an Ethan Albertson field goal and grabbed the lead with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Diego Pavia to Jonathan Brady in the final minute of the first half, following the only three-and-out series by UNM.

In the second half, Albertson added a 47-yard field goal for NMSU. UNM fought back with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Hopkins to Andrew Erickson early in the fourth quarter, reducing the deficit to 20-17. However, NMSU responded immediately as Pavia connected with Brady on a 75-yard touchdown pass, extending their lead to 27-17.

Despite the Lobos’ valiant efforts to claw back into the game, their hopes were dashed when a field goal attempt by Drzewiecki hit the left upright, leaving them in need of two scores. The Lobos outgained New Mexico State 401-397 and secured 26 first downs to NMSU’s 15. Nevertheless, the game’s defining moments were the two long touchdowns, accounting for 106 yards on two plays that ultimately sealed the Lobos’ fate.