The University of New Mexico football team opened the season with a win for the fourth year straight. Isabel Gonzalez/The Lobo Lair
Isabel Gonzalez
@cisabelg

Head coach Bob Davie said he wanted this season to be about injecting momentum back into the University of New Mexico athletic department. Saturday night was a good start.

The UNM football team downed the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals 62-30 in front of 18,213 fans during the season opener. This is the fourth year in a row the Lobos manage to start 1-0.

The beginning of the game was rough for the Lobos as the Cardinals scored the first touchdown of the night and Q’ Drennan had to leave on a stretcher. The wide receiver was going for a catch and as soon as he hit the ground he signaled for the trainers and screamed in pain. Some of his teammates kneeled until he got carried off.

This is not how New Mexico wanted to start the season, but  it didn’t take long for things to turn around for the Lobos.

During the same drive where Drennan came down, the Lobos put up a touchdown of their own and got the extra point to tie the score at 7-7. This first touchdown came when Tevaka Tuioti made a 10-yard pass to Marcus Williams (1Q 8:54).

“Tevaka did a good job, he stepped up,” Williams said. “Came out balling tonight.”

It has been less than a week since Tuioti officially received the starting quarterback position. On Saturday, the redshirt sophomore had an impressive night throwing 327 yards, as well as recording a total of four touchdown passes. The last time a Lobo recorded four during a single game was Nov. 30, 2002, Casey Kelly against the Wyoming Cowboys.

Three more touchdowns were scored by New Mexico during this first period, which lasted an hour. Tuioti had a 12-yard run, Tyron Owens had a 6-yard run, and Patrick Reed caught a 69-yard pass.

The Cardinals got their second touchdown of the night during the second quarter, as well as a field goal to make the score 16-28. But New Mexico wasn’t about to let UWI get close, so Elijah Lilly caught a 51-yard pass with five seconds remaining in the half.

The third quarter saw the second touchdown for Owens as he completed a 2-yard run. This was followed by the first and only missed kick for Andrew Shelley. With 2:32 remaining, the Tuioti and Williams duo scored their second touchdown of the night with a 33-yard pass.

Tuioti sat down during the last period and Coltin Gerhart took over. He scored the first touchdown of the quarter with a 1-yard run. Sheriron Jones also got a chance to step on the field as quarterback. Jones helped record the last touchdown for New Mexico with a 22-yard pass to Anu Somoye.

Although Davie was happy with his team’s win, he knew there is improvement to be done. He said watching the game tape would help him find specific things to work on, but one thing was very clear already: defense.

“We are not going to be able to do this defensively with other teams,” Davie said. “We all know it’s not going to be like this and to be honest, we really can’t win the way we played tonight moving forward…. I know we can play better, and we are going to have to play better.”

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