Lobos on the Prowl

Lobos on the Prowl

The University of Hawaii football team plays its first home game of 2020 this Saturday, hosting the New Mexico Lobos. The Lobos were 2-10 last season, and 0-6 on the road. In fact, the last time New Mexico won a road game was Oct. 6, 2018, when they blasted UNLV, 50-14. ESPN Honolulu (92.7 FM/1420 AM) will provide full coverage of the game, starting with the “Countdown to Kickoff” pregame show live from Big City Diner (Windward Mall) at 4:00 p.m. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., with Bobby Curran and John Veneri falling the action.

Here are some interesting facts about the UH-New Mexico rivalry and the Lobos team:

♦ Hawaii’s most recent meeting with New Mexico was on Oct. 26, 2019. In Albuquerque, UH prevailed, 45-31. Hawaii QB Cole McDonald passed for 237 yds. and 1 TD. He also rushed for 140 yds. and 2 more scores, including a 76-yd. TD on Hawaii’s opening drive.

♦ Overall, Hawaii leads the series, 15-10. This has been a rivalry of streaks. Before the 2019 game, the Lobos beat Hawaii seven consecutive times. Prior to that, the Rainbow Warriors beat the Lobos nine straight games. During a four-year stretch during that streak (1988-91), Hawaii outscored New Mexico, 183 to 46.

♦ Dick Tomey’s UH head coaching debut was a home game against New Mexico. On Sept. 10, 1977, the favored Lobos defeated Hawaii, 35-26.

♦ UH is currently 1-1 on the season, defeating Fresno State and falling to Wyoming. New Mexico is 0-1 after losing at San Jose State, 38-21. Their season-opening contest against Colorado State was canceled after an outbreak of COVID-19 positives in New Mexico.

♦ Due to New Mexico’s COVID-19 quarantine mandates, the Lobos traveled to Las Vegas to prepare for Saturday’s game against Hawaii. The team used Sam Boyd Stadium as their practice site.

♦ The Lobos are led by redshirt junior QB Tevaka Tuioti. Against SJSU, Tuioti passed for 294 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. He also ran the ball 14 times for 93 yds. and another TD. The 6-2, 190-lb. Tuioti is an all-around athlete who played QB, WR, P, KR and PR in high school.

♦ Danny Gonzales is in his first season as the head coach of the Lobos. He spent the two previous seasons as the defensive coordinator for Arizona State. Gonzales has a long history with the New Mexico program. He was a punter and safety for the Lobos from 1994 to 1998. He then served on New Mexico’s coaching staff from 1999 to 2008.

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