LARAMIE – If the numbers hold up for the rest of the season, New Mexico could end up with the worst pass defense in recent college football history.
The Lobos (2-4 overall, 0-2 Mountain West) are allowing 391.7 yards per game this season, which is the worst in college football by more than 50 yards. Last year’s owner of the worst pass defense in college football, Houston, allowed 291.4 yards a game.
Since 2000, no pass defense has surrendered as many yards per game as New Mexico this season.
“We’re under siege … and it’s not going to stop because of some matchup situations, because of some youth in the secondary, because of some size in the secondary. It’s really confidence in technique,” New Mexico head coach Bob Davie said this week. “When you’re under siege, a lot of the time, your technique breaks down and you start to panic.”
The Lobos have allowed a 100-yard receiver in five of their six games this season, including last week against Colorado State, when both Warren Jackson (214 yards) and Dante Wright (105 yards) each surpassed the century mark.
“It is a challenge. But again, all of us, man, when we’re under siege, sometimes we abandon techniques in a lot of different ways,” Davie said. “And that’s really what’s happening.”
A season ago, New Mexico allowed a modest 256 yards per game through the air. The difference this season? Attrition in the secondary has led to inexperienced players atop the depth chart.
The Lobos are slated to start three junior-college transfers and a redshirt freshman in the secondary against the Wyoming (4-2, 1-1) at 1 p.m. today.
Sixth-year UW coach Craig Bohl is not looking at Saturday’s matchup as an excuse to throw the ball outside of the game plan, though. Don’t expect to see the Pokes air it out just for the sake of airing it out.
But if the opportunity arises, today could be a chance for quarterback Sean Chambers to shine.
“We have to do what we do. The passing game is part of it. We’re capable of big plays, but it’s not like we’re just going to chuck it and go with fade routes on first-and-10 the whole game,” Bohl said. “We always look at our opponents and see what things we may leverage and have an advantage on. I’m sure they’re working hard on not giving up as many big plays.”