The University of New Mexico was the lowest scoring team among 130 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision last season when it averaged just 12.2 points per game in posting a 3-9 record — including nine losses in its last 10 games.
But you wouldn’t have known it based on Saturday night’s 41-0 thrashing of the University of Maine, which ruined the head coaching debut of former UMaine All-Colonial Athletic Association defensive end Jordan Stevens from Farmington’s Mt. Blue High School.
Quarterback Miles Kendrick, one of 22 transfers on the Lobos roster after coming to Albuquerque from the University of Kansas, threw a pair of touchdown passes, Mt. San Jacinto Junior College (California) transfer running back Sherod White ran for a pair of touchdowns and sophomore wide receiver Luke Wysong caught a TD pass and ran for another.
Jah’Mar Sanders had a 10-yard TD run and Geordon Porter caught a 7-yarder from Kendrick.
The Lobos broke open a scoreless game with three touchdowns in the second quarter, while the Lobos defense held the Black Bears without a first down in the first half and to just 49 total yards.
The Black Bears, who are in the Football Championship Subdivision — whose teams don’t have as many resources and have 22 fewer athletic scholarships than FBS teams — had the ball for just 9:13 in the first half compared with New Mexico’s 20:47.
The Black Bear offense also shot itself in the foot in the first 30 minutes with two 10-yard holding penalties, a 10-yard block-in-the-back infraction and 5-yard penalties for a false start and a delay of the game.
“This was unfortunate. I didn’t want this for the players or the coaches,” said Stevens. “I wish the outcome was different. We made too many mistakes and had too many penalties to put ourselves in position to have success.”
New Mexico finished with 437 total yards for the game compared with UMaine’s 118. The Lobos had 267 rushing yards on 56 carries and 170 passing yards, while UMaine ran for just 22 yards on 20 carries and UMaine senior quarterback Joe Fagnano threw for 96 yards. He completed 12 of 27 passes.
“At this point, I’m just glad to have something to go off of,” Stevens said. “We have a lot of new people in new places, players and coaches. We found out where we need to improve and what we need to get fixed and we will bring a great attitude and do that this week.”
Kendrick completed 14 of 17 passes for 170 yards. He was intercepted twice.
Porter caught five passes for 54 yards and Wysong had three for 51. White was the game’s leading rusher with 58 yards on 13 carries but Wysong had 43 on six carries and Kendrick racked up another 40 on 11.
White opened the scoring with a 4-yard TD run that finished off an 11-play, 60-yard drive on the first play of the second period.
Kendrick’s 11-yard pass to Porter on a third-and-five on the UMaine 45-yard-line extended the drive but it was the only time the Lobos were forced into a third down situation.
The speedy Wysong dashed 13 yards for the next score and then hauled in a 10-yard TD pass from Kendrick.
White’s 3-yard TD and Sanders’ 10-yarder made it 34-0 in the third quarter. Porter’s reception capped the scoring in the fourth period.
Shawn Bowman and Zavier Scott each had three catches for UMaine for 40 and 17 yards, respectively.
Tavion Banks ran for 22 yards on five carries.
Jerrick Reed II’s seven tackles and Reco Hannah’s 1 ½ sacks paced the Lobos defense.
Brian Lee Jr.’s game-high eight tackles led UMaine. He also had one of their two sacks. Khairi Manns had seven tackles and Justin Sambu had a sack among his five tackles. Xavier Nurse and Kahzir Brown had interceptions.
The Lobos’ six touchdowns came on seven trips to the red zone (inside UMaine’s 20-yard line). UMaine never reached the New Mexico red zone.
Pivotal play: Wysong’s 10-yard TD reception from Kendrick came with 4:02 left in the first half and built the lead to 21-0. That gave the Lobos a comfortable cushion and they were never threatened by the Black Bears.
Takeaways: The Black Bears have a lot of work to do on both sides of the football. The defense couldn’t stop the pass or the run and the offense forced them to play 38:43 because they couldn’t move the ball. New Mexico was superior in all facets of the game.
Next week: UMaine hosts FCS team Colgate on Saturday at 1 p.m., while New Mexico hosts Boise State on Friday night. Colgate lost to FBS team Stanford 41-10.