Nov. 27—Logan Bonner passed for 312 yards and five touchdowns as Utah State claimed a spot in the Mountain West Conference championship game with a 35-10 win over New Mexico on Friday afternoon in Albuquerque.
The Aggies (9-3, 6-2) will travel to Carson, Calif., on Dec. 4 to face Pacific Division champion San Diego State (11-1, 7-1), while the Lobos wrapped up their second season under coach Danny Gonzales with a 3-9 mark overall and last-place 1-7 record in conference play.
It's the fourth time in the last nine years New Mexico has finished with a 3-9 record and the ninth time since 2009 that the Lobos have lost at least nine games in a single season.
"Even though I know it doesn't look like it on the results that we're getting, we are making progress as a football team," Gonzales said, thanking the 11,046 fans who came out on Black Friday for an 11 a.m. kickoff. "I think we have a really strong core of Lobo football fans, and obviously when you win, that core group grows. It'll get bigger; it'll get better."
Utah State led 28-0 at halftime, scoring three touchdowns in the decisive second quarter. Bonner connected with receiver Derek Wright four times for
150 yards and two touchdowns. All four of his first-half scoring passes were from at least 27 yards.
The Lobos were shorthanded due of injury.
Senior Bryson Carroll got the start at quarterback and completed 8 of 10 passes for a touchdown and 57 yards. Connor Genal was his relief, often coming in during obvious passing situations. He was 4-for-9 for 28 yards.
UNM was also without its top two running backs, deferring the bulk of the running game to Peyton Dixon.
The seldom-used sophomore was the lone bright spot on offense, rushing for 95 yards on 23 carries.
He accounted for nearly half of the team's total offense; the Lobos were held to 186 yards.
It was the third straight game and sixth time this season UNM was held to fewer than 200 total yards, bringing to a close a season where injuries forced a number of younger, inexperienced players into the rotation.
The Lobos had seven true freshmen on Friday's punt-return squad and had 18 true freshmen in the regular rotation for offense, defense and special teams. That said, Gonzales suggested he will take a long, hard look at what changes need to be made with the program in the weeks and months ahead.
"Obviously our struggle offensively, without question, has to be addressed," Gonzales said. "Today it made it even harder because we were without a bunch of our really good players for injury or otherwise."
Lobos hoops team falls 73-58 to Towson
The Lobos were beaten by Towson, 73-58, in Friday's consolation game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
Towson scored the first 12 points and led by as many as 20 in the first half. UNM (4-3) didn't score its first points until five minutes had passed.
The Lobos cut it to 12 three times and had five possessions to shrink their deficit even more but failed to score each time.
Jamal Mashburn Jr. had his second straight 26-point game, matching a career high he established in Thursday's opening round of the tournament. He hit half of his 18 shot attempts; the rest of the team was just 11-for-44.
The only other Lobo in double figures was Taryn Todd with 14.
UNM plays at New Mexico State on Tuesday.