New Mexico Lobos +23.5 (3-4) 3-3 ATS at #9 BYU Cougars -23.5 (5-0) 2-2 ATS, Saturday October 11 Lavell Edwards Stadium (64,045) Provo, Utah 9:00 p.m. EST
By Wilson of Predictem.com
The New Mexico Lobos will travel to Provo this weekend and try to do something no other team has done since last year. They will try to hand the BYU Cougars their first loss in 15 games. The Cougars currently hold the nation’s longest winning streak at fifteen games in a row.
The Lobos are a sure underdog at +23.5 but they are coming off an ugly win over Wyoming 24-0, and they really haven’t been blown out by anyone outside of the Tulsa loss 56-14, a few weeks back. However, the Lobos did struggle in the game against Wyoming, even though they shut them out it was not a pretty showing.
Lobos QB Brad Gruner was 8-of-19 for just 33 yards and no touchdowns. Gruner did have a 1-yard TD run to go along with RB James Wright, who also ran for a touchdown. The other points came off of a felid goal and an interception returned for a TD by Frankie Solomon. New Mexico simply must put up better numbers offensively as BYU has only given up an average of 11.5 points per game.
BYU has been rolling over teams this season, and I don’t see that changing this weekend against the Lobos. The Lobos are averaging 20.6 points per game, but they are giving up 32.9 to their opponents. BYU is averaging 41.2 points per game and will likely score more than that on Saturday. The Lobos are over-matched and will have trouble shutting down the Cougar’s pass attack.
Cougar QB Max Hall was 23-of-37 for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns in last week’s win over Utah State 34-14. Running back Harvey Unga carried the ball 22 times for 89 yards while WR Austin Collie had a huge game with 8 receptions for 132 yards and 2 TD’s. The Cougars are well balanced and can hurt teams both with the pass and the run.
Perhaps the only thorn in BYU’s game has been the number of penalties as they racked up 12 for 123 yards versus Utah State. The Cougars will dominate more if they clean up the mistakes.
The Cougars defense finally allowed a team to score on them for the first time in almost three games as Utah State managed to put 14 points on the board. BYU previously shutout UCLA (59-0) and Wyoming (44-0). The Cougars went 166 minutes and 15 seconds without allowing points.
BYU is ranked No. 9 for a good reason, and unfortunately for New Mexico they will become just another step in BYU’s quest for perfection. I don’t anticipate a very close game as the Lobos will not stop BYU’s ability to score through the air, which will open the running game too. The Cougars keep the winning streak alive in Provo by making the Lobos the sixteenth victim!
The line is currently 23.5 in favor of BYU. The Lobos give up almost 33 points a game. Can the Lobos clean up the ten point difference and cover?
Wilson’s Pick: BYU wins their 16th in a row and covers the spread.