Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Montes will make his second start of the season when New Mexico (2-9) faces Colorado State (2-9) at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Co. Friday afternoon in the season finale for both teams.
Danny Gonzales made the announcement Tuesday during his weekly press conference at University Stadium.
Justin Holaday, who had started the previous three games before sitting out last Friday’s loss to San Diego State with an hyperextended knee injury, returned to practice Tuesday.
“C.J. will start and Justin took some reps today,” Gonzales said. “But we plan on C.J. playing and making it through the whole game. If Justin makes dramatic improvement over the next couple of days, we could revisit that. But he’s still struggling trying to run around with his knee being the way it is.”
Montes was 15-of-23 passing for 112 yards in UNM’s 34-10 loss to San Diego State.
“I thought C.J. played pretty well in the first half,” Gonzalez said. “He and Justin are similar athletes. Getting the majority of the reps (in practice) and knowing he’ll be the starter for sure should help him prepare.”
Gonzales acknowledged there is one positive to Montes assuming the QB reins in the final two games of the season.
“It gives us an opportunity to evaluate him,” Gonzales said. “What C.J. stepped into last year against UNLV and Colorado State, he made some mistakes and he has grown up from that, which is good. Now he gets another opportunity against Colorado State with an additional year of maturity.”