Three takeaways from UNM’s 27-17 loss to NMSU

Sep. 17—Coaches and players say it all the time: there’s usually only four or five plays that determine the outcome of any game.

Never was that more true than Saturday night at University Stadium.

An announced crowd of 27,414 was in the stands as New Mexico fell to New Mexico State, 27-17, for the Lobos’ (1-2) second-straight loss to the Aggies (2-2) in as many years, the product of a few big plays and missed opportunities.

Three takeaways from the 113th edition of the Rio Grande Rivalry:

NMSU’s offense — and Diego Pavia — finally found themselves

It wasn’t all that long ago when Jerry Kill sat down for a postgame press conference and said, in a voice hoarse from yelling, they’d figure this out one way or another.

There would be no 1-5 or 2-7 start like last year, he said. They’d fit the right pieces where they needed to be and move on without much fanfare. And if there wasn’t an easy answer immediately available, well, they’d find one.

“We gotta figure it out again: you gotta identify who you are, and you need to play,” Kill said after an oft-disjointed season-opening 41-30 loss to UMass.

A few weeks later, Kill didn’t speak with the media following Saturday’s game, one it initially wasn’t clear he would coach in. He did, however, speak with his team before returning to the sideline.

“Coach Kill said pregame, ‘whatever we do tonight, that’s gonna be our identity,'” NMSU quarterback Diego Pavia said after the game. “And I think we found our identity. We’ll be ready to roll.”

So much of that is keyed on Pavia and what he does well. After spending a few weeks looking like a player trying almost too hard to fit into a system, Tim Beck, NMSU’s offensive coordinator and interim head coach in Kill’s absence, told him to stop carrying that load. Take the pressure off and let the game come to him.

“We went into film and I was…

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Author : Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

Publish date : 2023-09-18 03:02:00

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