The Cougar ground game has been extremely consistent since the San Diego State game, with Joshua Quezada seeing his reps increase steadily. The three-headed monster approach has worked very well, with the blocking up front being very efficient.
The Lobos haven't stopped much of anything on the ground this season, with teams averaging 245 yards per game against them. They'll operate out of a 4-3 base defense with no defensive stars really worth mentioning.
BYU should have no trouble at all running for the average amount of yards yielded by the Lobos. New Mexico is simply overmatched along its defensive front, which should lead to very big gains by the Cougar running backs.
BYU passing attack vs. New Mexico
The Cougar passing attack exploded out of the bye week, with Robert Anae finally opening the playbook for freshman Jake Heaps. The Cougars have yet to face a tough defense since that bye week, however, and the Lobos could pose the easiest challenge for them yet.
The Lobos only give up 218 yards per game through the air, but that is probably a result of teams not having to throw much rather than them being good in defending the pass.
Fans can expect a similar performance through the air as they did last week against Colorado State. There likely won't be a lot of passes thrown, but those passes will likely be deep and will account for a lot of yards.
BYU rush defense vs. New Mexico
We've talked a lot about the Cougar run defense since Bronco took over as defensive coordinator, and deservedly so. They've basically gone from a somewhat soft defense in defending the run to one of the nation's best since Jaime Hill got canned.
The struggle will be replacing Jordan Richardson, but Eathyn Manumaleuna looks to be able to fill that bill. He's been there and done that when it comes to manning the middle, and now that he's recovered somewhat from his shoulder injury, he should do well.
The Lobos average 110 rushing yards per game and a meager 3 yards per run. They're a team that has rotated in a lot of backs during the season in hopes of finding a dominant runner, but no players have established themselves.
Outlook The Lobos should be in catch-up mode most of the game, which will limit the carry attempts by their running backs. The Cougars should get a good dose from their quarterback on the ground, however, as he'll look to run it almost as much as throwing it when dropping back.
BYU pass defense vs. New Mexico
I challenge fans to think of the last BYU pass defense that was as effective at limiting teams through the air as this one has proven to be. One might have to go all the way back to the 1996 team, and I'll be anxious to discuss this more on the board.
The Lobos average 169 yards through the air and 5.4 yards per completion, which won't scare anyone. They'll present a freshman quarterback in Stump Godfrey (6-0, 210), and as mentioned, he will be looking to run almost as much as he'll be looking to throw.
As is usually the case with New Mexico, they'll present two big wideouts in Ty Kirk (6-2, 180 So.) and Chris Hernandez (6-3, 195 Sr.) on the outside. Both players have proven to be New Mexico's primary playmakers and will be a decent challenge for Brian Logan and company.
Overall, there isn't much that should make Cougar fans anxious about this matchup. The Lobos are a struggling program right now, and although they've shown some improvement over the last two games, the Cougar should romp over them.
Final Score Prediction: BYU 45, New Mexico 10