Lobos undone by big plays in loss to Wyoming

LARAMIE, Wyo. — New Mexico faced a tough challenge in Laramie, as they struggled to contain Wyoming’s explosive plays in the third quarter, resulting in a 35-26 victory for the Cowboys. The Lobos will now enjoy a one-week break to regroup before returning to their home turf for a pair of games, with the first matchup scheduled for October 14 at 4 pm against San Jose State at University Stadium.

The pivotal moment of the game occurred during UNM’s first drive of the second half. Although the Lobos had moved the ball effectively near midfield, a critical mistake on third down at the UNM 43 proved costly. A pass from quarterback Hopkins to Jeremiah Hixon was off the mark and intercepted by Wrook Brown, who returned it to the Lobo 46-yard line. On the very next play, Harrison Waylee, seemingly trapped behind the line of scrimmage, executed a remarkable escape, turned the corner, and eluded two sideline tackles by UNM defenders, resulting in a touchdown and a 22-9 lead for the Cowboys.

The Lobos fought back with a 26-yard field goal by Luke Drzewiecki, following a 48-yard scramble by Dylan Hopkins. However, UNM’s momentum was short-lived, as Wyoming’s Andrew Peasley orchestrated a sensational play on the last play of the third quarter. Under pressure, Peasley’s dump-off pass to Ayir Asante turned into a series of elusive cutbacks and missed tackles, culminating in a backbreaking 66-yard touchdown and a commanding 29-12 lead for the Cowboys.

The Lobos made a valiant effort in the fourth quarter, especially after Hopkins sustained an injury. UNM utilized both DC Tabscott and Devon Dampier in their next drive, resulting in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Dampier to Hixon, narrowing the lead to 29-19. Despite another explosive run, this time by Waylee for 66 yards, positioning Wyoming inside the Lobo 10-yard line, UNM’s defense held firm and forced a field goal, extending the Cowboys’ lead to 32-19.

UNM’s resilience showed in their final drive, led by Dampier, as they drove the entire length of the field. DJ Washington scored a crucial fourth-and-5 touchdown after a Dampier pass found him at the 2-yard line. Washington’s determination and a helping hand from DJ Wingfield pushed him into the end zone, making it 32-26. UNM had an opportunity with an onside kick, but Wyoming recovered the loose ball, and a late field goal by Wyoming in the closing seconds sealed the final score.

The game began on a positive note for New Mexico, as they received the opening kickoff and swiftly advanced down the field, primarily through the air. Hopkins was impeccable, going 6-for-6 on the drive, which was capped by a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Hixon. However, UNM faced issues with the extra point, as DeVonne Harris blocked the kick and Jakorey Hawkins returned it for a defensive two-point score, resulting in a 6-2 lead.

Wyoming responded with a touchdown drive after trading punts with UNM. Andrew Peasley rushed for a two-yard score after a 22-yard pass to Treyton Welch positioned Wyoming at first and goal. UNM managed to tie the game with a 39-yard field goal by Drzewiecki, but John Hoyland countered with a 34-yard field goal for Wyoming. A critical punt by Aaron Rodriguez pinned Wyoming at the 2-yard line, giving UNM a chance to tie before halftime. UNM forced a short punt following a failed third-and-short by Wyoming, but Hopkins was sacked, fumbled, and only a touchdown-saving tackle by JC Davis prevented Wyoming from extending their lead before the half.