Nov. 16, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The final regular season home game is Saturday when New Mexico (0-10, 0-6 MWC) entertains Colorado State (3-7, 0-6 MWC). Kickoff is 4:06 p.m., from University Stadium in Albuquerque. The game will be televised live in high definition on The mtn., channel 276 on Comcast cable in Albuquerque and channel 616 on DirecTV.
After a hard-luck 24-19 loss to No. 22 BYU last Saturday, New Mexico is 0-10 for the first time since 1987 when it finished 0-11. UNM has lost 14 straight games for the first time since a 21-game slide in 1967-69. The Lobos' last win was Oct. 18, 2008, against San Diego State in Albuquerque.
UNM has also dropped 10 consecutive conference games, 8 straight road games and 9 MWC road games in a row.
Colorado State, idle last Saturday, looks to halt a losing streak this weekend as well. After starting the season 3-0, the Rams have lost seven in a row. CSU's last action was Nov. 7 when quarterback Omar Clayton threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help UNLV defeat the Rams 35-16. Clayton was 10-of-17 for 147 yards and no interceptions. He rushed for 44 yards on seven carries. UNLV backup quarterback Mike Clausen ran for a pair of 5-yard touchdowns in the second half. Colorado State's TDs came on Jon Mosure's 1- and 2-yard runs.
Last year, the Lobos finished 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the MWC, tying UNLV for 6th place. Colorado State was 7-6 in all games, including a 40-35 victory over Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium. The Rams tied for 5th in the MWC at 4-4.
57th meeting since the first game in 1935...CSU has a 32-24 overall lead
Breakdown: CSU leads 16-13 in Albuquerque, 14-11 in Fort Collins and 1-0 in Denver and Las Vegas
MWC Games: CSU leads 6-4
Lately: UNM has won 4 of the past 6
LAST YEAR AT FORT COLLINS - Gartrell Johnson rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown as Colorado State defeated New Mexico 20-6. Johnson became Colorado State's first 1,000-yard rusher since Kyle Bell did it in 2005. He is the first runner to have a 100-yard day against New Mexico since he ran for 172 yards against them on Nov. 10 last year.
Billy Farris was 16-for-27 throwing 237 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for Colorado State. The Rams ended a two-game losing streak and kept their bowl aspirations alive with a game to go.
Rodney Ferguson ran for 85 yards and Brad Gruner passed for 204 yards on 23-of-39 completions for New Mexico, which lost its fourth straight. The Lobos hadn't lost four in a row since 1998 and will miss postseason play for the second time in seven years.
Colorado State led 10-3 at halftime, but could easily have led by more. The Rams drove deep into UNM territory twice in the first quarter, but settled for a 25-yard FG by Jason Smith on the game's opening drive. Farris overthrew Kory Sperry in the end zone on a 4th-and-goal from the Lobo 2 late in the quarter.
Aho tied the game at 3-3 with a 36-yard field goal with 5:05 left in the second quarter.
Colorado State finally got into the end zone with 1:37 left in the half on Johnson's 12-yard touchdown run. New Mexico drove to the Rams 12 with 18 seconds left in the half. Gruner threw three incomplete passes, the final one as time expired.
Dion Morton just got his right foot in bounds at the back of the end zone on a 6-yard pass from Farris with 7:52 left in the third quarter. Johnson had a 13-yard run in the drive and the Rams increased their lead to 17-3.
The teams exchanged field goals early in the fourth quarter. Smith kicked a 42-yarder for Colorado State and Aho booted a 25-yarder for the Lobos and the Rams lead was 20-6.
TWO YEARS AGO IN ALBUQUERQUE - OJ Swift handled the setup, then John Sullivan was true on the game-winner. Sullivan kicked four field goals, including a 43-yarder as time expired to lift New Mexico to a thrilling 26-23 victory over Colorado State. The kick came after Swift returned a punt 18 yards to the Rams' 26, lunging for the final distance and leaving three seconds on the clock.
It was the second straight year New Mexico beat Colorado State on the final play. Last year in Fort Collins, Colo., Kenny Byrd's 33-yard field goal was the margin in a 20-19 win.
Sullivan also made a career-long 46-yard field goal to put the Lobos up 23-17 midway through the third. Sullivan's second field goal, a 39-yarder, put New Mexico up 20-3 at halftime. He also made a 34-yard try on the opening possession.
Gartrell Johnson rushed for career highs with 172 yards on 31 attempts. His previous rushing best was 162 yards in a 48-23 win at UNLV on Oct. 20, which snapped Colorado State's 13-game losing streak.
Johnny Walker also had a big day, logging a career-high 177 yards receiving and two scores. He hauled in a perfectly thrown pass from Caleb Hanie for a 64-yard TD play and later had a 31-yard TD reception.
The Rams trailed by 10 points in the first half but pulled within 23-20 on Jason Smith's 23-yard field goal with 12:05 remaining, then tied it when Smith connected on a 32-yarder with 8:24 to go.
The tying score was set up when New Mexico's Rodney Ferguson fumbled and Blake Smith recovered for the Rams at the Lobos' 25-yard line. It was the only turnover by either team. Ferguson had 110 yards rushing on 20 carries while Donovan Porterie was 21-of-29 for 211 yards passing with two TDs.
Porterie threw for two TDs, including a 28-yard scoring play to Marcus Smith for a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and a 6-yard TD pass to tight end Chris Mark for a 17-7 lead late in the opening period.
NOTES TO KNOW BEFORE THE GAME
Expect a Close Game: Before last year's 20-6 CSU win in Fort Collins, the previous 14 games between New Mexico and Colorado State were decided by 10 points or less with the average winning margin being 5.3 points
Second-year Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild was New Mexico's offensive coordinator under Mike Sheppard from 1987-89
Despite just 7 tackles last week against BYU, Lobo sophomore MLB Carmen Messina is still the nation's top tackler, averaging 13.4 stops a game...Messina is on pace to register 161 tackles this season, which would be the 4th-highest total in UNM history...the school record is 178 by Brian Urlacher in 1998, also in 12 games...LB Dave Thompson had 176 in 11 games in 1976 while LB Mike Forrest had 161 in 1978...last year's Lobo leader was Clint McPeek, who had 103...before BYU, Messina posted double-digit tackles in 8 straight games, the longest streak with 10+ tackles by a Lobo since Urlacher had 11 in a row in 1998 (last 8 games) and 1999 (first 3 games)
Senior P Adam Miller continues to lead the Mountain West Conference and is 8th nationally with a season average of 44.4 yards...the UNM record is 45.6 by A.L. Terpening in 1954, a figure that led the NCAA...Mike Nesbitt is 2nd with a 45-yard average in 1993...the last Lobo to lead a league in punting was Steve Bauer in 1973...he led the Western Athletic Conference and finished 3rd in the NCAA with an average of 44.2 yards
Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey and senior DT Kendall Briscoe share the MWC lead with 13.5 tackles for loss...Briscoe moved into a tie after registering a career-high 3 TFLs in Saturday's game against BYU...Rainey is also 2nd in the league in sacks with 7.5 (0.75 per game)...in his 1st career start against New Mexico State, Rainey set career-highs for tackles (9), tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (2.5)...unofficially, the cat-quick Rainey has been credited with a team-high 35 QB hurries this season...Rainey had 15 tackles in 11 games last year
FINAL HOME GAME FOR LOBO SENIORS - A total of 17 seniors will make their final appearance at University Stadium on Saturday. One senior (Victor James) has already graduated while eight others are expected to don the cap and gown at the end of the current semester.
Name Hometown Graduation Date
S Frankie Baca Albuquerque May 2010
DT Kendall Briscoe Dallas, Texas August 2010
WR Roland Bruno# Beaumont, Texas December 2009
S Ian Clark# Albuquerque August 2010
C Ben Contreras Pleasanton, Calif. December 2009
C Erik Cook Albuquerque May 2009
DE DeAndre Davis Meadville, Miss. August 2010
LB Tray Hardaway Olive Branch, Miss. August 2010
OT Ivan Hernandez Salem, Ore. May 2010
WR Victor James Denver, Colo. already graduated
WR Daryl Jones Tampa, Fla. December 2009
S Danny Martin Albuquerque December 2009
LB Clint McPeek Albuquerque December 2009
P Adam Miller Santa Fe, N.M. December 2009
QB Donovan Porterie Port Arthur, Texas December 2009
S Frankie Solomon Dallas, Texas December 2009
OG Joshua Taufalele San Jose, Calif. May 2010
# injured; out for the season
YOUTH BEING SERVED LIKE NEVER BEFORE - The 2009 Lobos could very well be one of the youngest New Mexico teams ever. Consider the numbers:
New Mexico traveled just 59 players to Utah on Nov. 7, five less than the maximum allowed by the Mountain West...34 of the 59, or 58%, are freshmen and sophomores
Of the 48 different players listed on this week's offensive/defensive depth chart, 25 are either freshmen or sophomores...18 of the 48 are seeing gameday action for the first time in their college career...UNM's top-4 rushers are three freshmen and a sophomore, its top 2 receivers both freshmen
Only 12 seniors are seeing significant playing time on offense and defense
46% of the receiving yards have been recorded by UNM freshmen or sophomores (1,017 of 2,222)
100% of the gross rushing yards have been recorded by UNM freshmen or sophomores (923 of 923)
8 of the Lobos' 17 offensive TDs have been scored by freshmen or sophomores
51.8% of the Lobos' tackles have been recorded by freshmen or sophomores (429 of 828)
39 of the Lobos' 65 tackles for loss (60%), 17 of the 21 sacks, 5 of the 6 interceptions and 8 of the 12 forced fumbles have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores
UNM's top tackler, TFL leader and top 3 sack leaders are sophomores
BYU RECAP - Max Hall passed for two touchdowns and the No. 22 Cougars survived a sloppy fourth quarter to beat UNM 24-19. Hall completed 22 passes to 11 different receivers, finishing with 315 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
The Cougars held off a focused effort by the Lobos, who were desperate to give fans something good to cheer after a tough season.
New Mexico made a game of it with 4:07 remaining when Donovan Porterie's 20-yard TD pass to Victor James finished a drive that started in BYU territory after an ugly 30-yard punt by Cougars punter Riley Stephenson.
Bryan Kariya fumbled on BYU's next possession with 3:13 to go, but Porterie was sacked twice by Cougars lineman Jan Jorgensen. After earlier converting three times on fourth down, the Lobos turned it over at midfield when Porterie scrambled 20 yards on fourth-and-27.
The Lobos will remember this one for 10 points that never reached the scoreboard.
Kicker James Aho whacked the uprights three times -- on field goal attempts of 35 and 42 yards and on a PAT try, all in the second half. Aho also had a 46-yard field goal attempt blocked by BYU's Andrew Rich just before halftime.
Hall found Andrew George on a 27-yard TD pass late in the first half and Luke Ashworth for a 13-yard scoring strike on the final play of the third quarter -- just enough cushion, as it turned out.
New Mexico led 7-0 after the game's opening drive, with Porterie's 3-yard run capping an 80-yard march. BYU's Manase Tonga scored on a 1-yard dive, Mitch Payne kicked a 42-yard field goal and Hall threw the TD to George as the Cougars went up 17-7 at halftime.
But the Lobos battled back, getting to 17-13 on their first possession of the second half when Porterie beat BYU's blitz for a 26-yard TD play to Darryl Jones. And New Mexico's defense played tough against a BYU offense that came in averaging 36.5 points per game.
BYU POSTGAME NOTES
The Lobos scored a TD on their opening drive of the game for the first time this season, a 15-play, 80-yard effort capped by QB Donovan Porterie's 3-yard scoring run...the drive lasted 6:17, the longest by UNM this season
UNM had its best 3rd-down success of the season, converting a season-high 10 and a season-best 50% (10 of 20)...the Lobos came into the game ranked 119th in the nation (out of 120 teams) with a conversion rate of 28%
The Lobos ran 24 more plays (80 to 56) than BYU and had a 35:49 - 24:11 advantage in time of possession
UNM did not commit a turnover for the second time in the past 3 games
The Lobos held BYU to 355 yards of total offense, the Cougars' 2nd lowest total of the season (298 vs. TCU) and 103 yards under their season average of 458.6 yards
Senior QB Donovan Porterie
28-44 passing for 272 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions...also scored the 2nd rushing TD of his career
3rd down passing: 9-14, 113 yards, 2 TDs and 8 first downs
4th down passing: 3-3, 37 yards and 3 first downs
passed Casey Kelly for 3rd place all-time at UNM with 6,334 yards of total offense
5th place all-time at UNM with 31 career TD passes
season completion percentage is 58.8%, 5th best for a season at UNM
Senior WR Daryl Jones
set a career-high with 94 yards receiving and tied a career-high with 8 catches...he had 8 for 86 at San Diego State earlier this year
took over the team receiving lead with 35 catches, 364 yards and 3 TD receptions
Sophomore LB Carmen Messina
the nation's leading tackler was limited to 7 stops, ending his streak of double-digit tackle games at 8
has 134 tackles on the season, lowering his average to 13.4; last year's tackles leader was Clint McPeek with 103
True freshman RB Kasey Carrier
set career highs with 8 catches and 47 receiving yards
also 25 yards rushing and 68 yards on 3 KO returns for 140 all-purpose yards
Senior DT Kendall Briscoe
tied a career-high with 3 tackles for loss, 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack
now has 3 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss this season
tied with Johnathan Rainey for the MWC lead with 13.5 TFLs
Senior LB Tray Hardaway
a team-high 8 tackles, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss
Sophomore DE Jaymar Latchison
2 tackles, 1 sack and his 1st career interception
Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey
had 1 tackle for loss, giving him 13.5 for the season
Senior P Adam Miller
a 39.2-yard average on 4 punts
came into the game 1st in the MWC and 8th nationally with an average of 44.8