TEXAS A&M AGGIES VS. NEW MEXICO LOBOS
RANKINGS: Texas A&M (S&P+ #72) | New Mexico (S&P+ #85)
RECORDS: Texas A&M (5-4, 3-3 SEC) | New Mexico (3-6, 1-5 MWC)
TIME: 6 p.m. CT
WATCH ONLINE: WatchESPN
SPREAD: A&M opened as 18.5 point favorites but have dropped to 17.
O/U: Opened at 54, dropped to 51.
RECORDS ATS: Texas A&M (4-4-1) | New Mexico (4-5)
The Aggies and Lobos have only met twice in their respective program’s histories. Both meetings occurred in the 21st century.
As part of a home-and-home while A&M was part of the Big 12, they squared off in Albuquerque and College Station in 2008 and 2009. Texas A&M won both meetings. First, they took down New Mexico 28-22 on September 6, 2008. On that day, Jeff Fuller caught two touchdown passes and Jerrod Johnson threw three.
The following year on September 5, 2009, A&M destroyed the Lobos 41-6 at Kyle Field. The Aggies ran for 245 yards against their opponents from the Mountain West and only allowed 21.
They also threw for 361. Johnson tossed 349 of those 361 yards and ran for 57. Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael ran for 52 and 93 yards respectively while Bradley Stephens had 49 of his own.
Texas A&M’s up-and-down 2017 continues on Saturday when they welcome the New Mexico Lobos to Kyle Field. This should, in all honesty, be a very winnable game for Kevin Sumlin and the Ags.
To this point, New Mexico is mired in a four-game losing streak as they enter play on Saturday. They are 3-6 overall and have just one win against Mountain West competition - a 56-38 victory over the Air Force Falcons all the way back in September. They have three losses of two possessions or more in this four-game stretch of futility, the only close game being a 27-24 loss against the Colorado State Rams. Fresno State, Wyoming and Utah State have drilled them by 38, 39 and 14 respectively.
The only threat that New Mexico presents is on the ground. The duo of Tyrone Owens and Richard McQuarley have been the brightest spot on this year’s Lobos. Owens and McQuarely have rushed for a combined 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns. The latter has picked up 474 yards of his own and six scores this season. Owens leads the team in rushing yards with 532 and has three touchdowns.
But that threat is pretty neutralized when you consider that they haven’t taken care of the football. Their three top rushers - Owens, McQuarely and quarterback Lamar Jordan have a combined 11 fumbles this year. McQuarely has lost all five that he’s coughed up. In general, New Mexico has fumbled the ball on the ground 20 times this year.
For an Aggies defense that has forced 11 fumbles, this could be something of a breakout for them if they emphasize this.
Apart from that, though, New Mexico poses little threat. Their passing game has been weak, their defense subpar. They’ve been good on the whole against the run, but are susceptible to big plays. For Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford, that could mean a huge day for them if they’re able to bust one or two open.
Prediction: Texas A&M 31, New Mexico 16