The University of New Mexico is hosting the Liberty Flames on Saturday afternoon for homecoming week. While the Flames are looking to snap a two-game losing streak, the Lobos are looking for their fourth straight win in a homecoming game.
New Mexico is currently 2-1, with the only loss happening at Wisconsin, who was the No. 5 team in the nation. The Lobos opened the week as a seven-point favorite over Liberty (1-2). If they can pull off a victory, this will be only the 11th time since 1955 that UNM starts with a 3-1 record or better.
The Lobos are coming in from a bye week, which gave the team a chance to rest. This was specially important for the quarterback situation.
Sheriron Jones helped the Lobos pick up their last victory against the New Mexico State Aggies. This was a good boost to his resume as he started the season as the third-string quarterback. During Tuesday’s press conference, head coach Bob Davie said he was still deciding on who would get the starting position this weekend. A day later, he officially announced that Tevaka Tuioti, who had been out with a concussion, would once again take the job. Jones will be the back up, while the third-string position is going to freshman Trae Hall.
Davie said this week of practice has been “invaluable” at this point in the season.
“After three games… you try to figure out how to play to what you think your strengths are and how to improve on what your liabilities are,” the coach said. “I think on offense, our liability would be that we are not as experienced as Liberty would be in the passing game, in the reads, playing as fast as we are capable. We are doing some things that are relatively new for us as we transition into being a truly balanced offense.”
The Lobos recorded five interceptions against the Aggies during their last match.This kind of defensive performance could make all the difference, as the Flames’ quarterback, Stephen Calvert, is averaging 294 passing yards per game.
This is the first year Liberty plays as a Football Bowl Subdivision team. New Mexico will be the first Mountain West opponent the Flames have ever faced. The team is coming in from a 47-7 lost to North Texas. However, the Flames just got a little more confidence added into their systems. They opened the season with a 52-10 victory over Old Dominion, the same team that pulled an upset over the then-No. 13 Virginia Tech last week.
The game is scheduled for 4pm MT at Dreamstyle Stadium.