San Diego State (2-3) at New Mexico (2-3) (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: University Stadium (39,224) — Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Television: ESPNU. Home Record: SDSU 2-0, UNM 0-3. Away Record: SDSU 0-3, UNM
2-0. Neutral Record: SDSU 0-0, UNM 0-0. Conference Record: SDSU 1-1, UNM 0-1.
Series Record: San Diego State leads, 24-15.

GAME NOTES: The San Diego State Aztecs try yet again to break through on the
road as they clash with the New Mexico Lobos in Mountain West Conference
action at University Stadium on Friday night.

The Aztecs are coming off a 2013 campaign in which they made it to the
postseason and crushed Buffalo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, but
the prospects of earning another invitation to a bowl are growing slimmer by
the week. Outside of victories against UNLV and Northern Arizona, there has
been very little to celebrate at SDSU thus far, especially with the program
losing for the third time in four tries with a 24-13 setback versus Fresno
State at Bulldog Stadium last week.

Ironically, while the Aztecs have yet to register a single win away from
Qualcomm Stadium, the Lobos are winless in their own stadium thus far, but
have two victories in as many chances elsewhere. Last weekend, UNM was in the
Lone Star State taking on Texas-San Antonio at the Alamodome and managed to
come away with a 21-9 victory.

Winners of two of their last three games, the Lobos need just one more triumph
to equal their entire total from all of last season when they were 3-9 and
just 1-6 in conference play.

The Aztecs own a 24-15 lead in the all-time series with UNM, although SDSU
barely slipped by the Lobos last year at home, 35-30.

Against Fresno State, the Aztecs were kept out of the end zone for nearly 50
minutes before Adam Roberts caught a five-yard TD from Nick Bawden to cap a
14-play, 79-yard drive that consumed more than seven minutes of the clock.
Bawden, who stood in for an injured Quinn Kaehler, completed a mere nine
passes on 24 attempts, leading to a paltry 84 yards and a couple of

Donnel Pumphrey tried to aid Bawden by carrying the ball a game-high 24 times,
finishing with a game-best 94 yards, but that wasn’t nearly enough to keep the
Aztecs competitive against a resurgent FSU group. The Aztecs managed to come
away with just 270 yards of total offense in the meeting.

There’s a good chance that the Aztecs will again be without Kaehler as he
continues to nurse a shoulder injury, pressing Bawden into action.
Unfortunately, no matter who is standing under center for the Aztecs, there is
little help for them down the field as no one has more than 11 catches. Now
comes word that Eric Judge, tied for second on the team with 10 catches for
160 yards and a score, could be watching from the sidelines also after
suffering a knee injury.

Pumphrey, with his 561 yards and nine touchdowns on 99 rushing attempts, might
be the only reliable source of offense, but if that is the case then you can
be sure the Lobos will adjust accordingly against a foe that ranks 92nd in the
country with a scoring average of only 23.8 ppg.

More than anything else, it was the New Mexico defense that put the Lobos in a
position to defeat UTSA on the road, as the unit registered five sacks, picked
off two passes and forced three fumbles, although the visitors were unable to
recover any of the balls that hit the turf. It also helped that the
Roadrunners missed a field goal early on in the contest, setting the tone for
a gloomy outcome.

Tevin Newman was one of the defensive stars for the Lobos as he registered
seven tackles, 1.5 for loss, a sack and an interception. Donnie White also
made a name for himself with two TFL, one sack and a forced fumble.

On the offensive side of the ball, UNM was led by Lamar Jordan and Jhurell
Pressley who both ran for one touchdown and more than 100 yards as the team
generated 283 yards and three scores on 48 total carries. Jordan, who took the
majority of snaps from center, also converted 7-of-11 passes for 72 yards.

Clearly, the Lobos are not a team that relies much on the passing game, as
they average a meager 89.6 ypg to rank 124th in the nation. Instead, the team
tries to grind it out on the ground and keep control of the ball for as long
as possible, although the latter is not a given as the program generates 322.4
ypg to rank fourth in the country this week.

Ironically, as well as UNM performs offensively when it runs the ball, the
defense can’t seem to figure out how to slow down opposing runners, so much so
that the unit is giving up a hefty 264.8 ypg on the ground. With another 239.4
ypg coming through the air versus the Lobos, it should not be surprising that
with a massive 504.2 ypg allowed in total, the team ranks 116th nationally in
that department.

Both of these teams are having their issues, which makes it difficult to
assess how they will perform down the stretch. As for the moment, with their
regular starting quarterback watching from the sidelines this week, the Aztecs
will again be at a disadvantage on the road.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico 24, San Diego State 17