Aug. 30, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico enter its second season under head coach Michael Locksley and the 112th season of Lobo football begin Saturday, Sept. 4, when the Lobos travel to Oregon. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time from Autzen Stadium in Eugene.
Saturday's game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet, channel 77 on Comcast cable in Albuquerque. Joe Giansante will call the action along with Anthony Newman and former Duck QB Joey Harrington.
The Oregon contest will mark the first time the two programs have played. UNM has played in the state of Oregon one other time, when it traveled to Corvallis to play Oregon State in 2004.
The Sept. 4 date at Oregon marks the second consecutive season UNM has opened the season on the road. It's only the third time since 2002 that the Lobos have kicked off the season on the road. Last year, UNM opened the season at Texas A&M and lost 41-6. UNM has lost the last four season openers. The last victory in an opener was against UNLV on Sept. 5, 2005, 24-22.
New Mexico's home opener is Sept. 11 against Texas Tech, which will be the first of a two-game September home stand. The Lobos open MWC play Sept. 18 against Utah in University Stadium.
NEW MEXICO VS. NATIONALLY-RANKED OPPONENTS
The Lobos have a 7-43 record against nationally-ranked teams...the breakdown is 5-21 at home, 4-20 in University Stadium, 2-21 on the road and 0-1 at a neutral site...UNM's last win against a nationally-ranked team was 47-35 at No. 23 Utah on Oct. 25, 2003, in Salt Lake City...the last victory in Albuquerque was 23-21 against No. 8 and undefeated Utah on Nov. 5, 1994...UNM faces three teams ranked nationally during the preseason in TCU, Oregon and Utah.
UNM has 31 underclassmen on the 55-man depth chart. Sophomore QB B.R. Holbrook, who was named the starter a week ago, will manage the offense in his first full-time role. The Lobos have two talented sophomores in the backfield in RBs Demond Dennis and Kasey Carrier. Sophomore WR Ty Kirk is back after leading all MWC freshmen in receiving last year. Sophomore TE Lucas Reed was a Freshman All-American last year and is much improved. Defensively, sophomore DBs DeShawn Mills and Emmanuel McPhearson have had strong camps and will compete on Saturdays. Sophomore Freddy Young has earned a starting spot at safety. Illinois transfers Ugo Uzodinma and Reggie Ellis are sophomores on the D-Line along with freshman Calvin Smith.
LOBOS OPEN WITH NO. 11 OREGON
New Mexico opens the 2010 season at No. 11 Oregon on Sept. 4. The Ducks, who are the defending Pac-10 champions, went 10-3 last year and 8-1 during conference play. Oregon earned the school's fifth Rose Bowl trip in 114 seasons. The Ducks are coached by second-year head coach Chip Kelly. The offense returns nine starters, while the defense has eight players back.
MESSINA AND RAINEY NAMED PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE
Junior LB Carmen Messina and junior DE Johnathan Rainey were named preseason All-Mountain West Conference. Both were All-MWC honorees last season and expected to be major contributors this season. Messina led the nation in tackles last year with 162 stops, while Rainey was second in the MWC last year in tackles for loss and sacks.
LOBOS PICKED NINTH IN PRESEASON POLL
New Mexico was picked ninth in the 2010 Preseason Mountain West Conference Poll last week during MWC Media days in Las Vegas. The Lobos received 45 points in the poll, 11 points behind UNLV.
THE MICHAEL LOCKSLEY ERA
Head coach Mike Locksley enters his second season after going 1-11 in 2009. Locksley implemented a no-huddle, spread offense at New Mexico and brought a traditional 4-3 look on defense. The 2009 was a year of transition for the Lobos and step one of a multi-year process.
Locksley earned his first coaching victory on Nov. 21, 2009 against Colorado State in University Stadium, 29-27. It was the only win for UNM in 2009 and snapped a 14-game skid.
Locksley has been able to make noise on the recruiting trail. He signed the most impressive recruiting class in New Mexico football history in February. Locksley inked a four-star recruit in Calvin Smith and seven three-star players. Smith chose New Mexico on ESPNU over a slew of college football powers, including defending national champion Alabama.
Carmen Messina ON BRONCO NAGURSKI LIST
New Mexico junior linebacker Carmen Messina was named to the 2010 Bronco Nagurski Trophy watch list. Messina is one of four players from the Mountain West Conference on the list. The Nagurski Trophy is presented annually to the nation's best defensive player. Messina is among the 74 preseason candidates for the award. Messina led the nation in tackles last year with 162 stops. He earned All-America honors and was named first-team all-MWC last year.
UNM IN OPENERS
The Lobos have a 63-45-3 (.581) mark in 111 previous season openers, but they are just 3-7 in their last 10. New Mexico has not scored a TD in its last four season openers. The last time it did was 2005 in a 24-22 home win against UNLV.
The last time New Mexico won its road opener was 2006 at New Mexico State (34-28).
UNM is 72-35-4 (.667) in home openers, including 9-6 in its past 15. New Mexico is 28-22 in lid-lifters at University Stadium. The first game on Sept. 17, 1960, resulted in a 77-6 pasting of the University of Mexico, the Lobos' largest margin of victory at the stadium.
New Mexico's second-largest home crowd came in the 2001 season opener as 41,771 fans shoehorned into the stadium to witness a 26-6 triumph over UTEP. That was the first game following the seating addition in the north end zone.
UNM VS. OREGON - SERIES HISTORY
New Mexico will play Oregon for the first time on Sept. 4. The Lobos have played in the state of Oregon only once. UNM traveled to Corvallis to battle Oregon State in 2004 and lost 17-7.
NEW MEXICO VS. THE PAC-10
The Lobos have a 26-71-4 record against current members of the Pac-10. The school-by-school breakdown:
Arizona State 5-22-1
Oregon State 1-3
Washington State 0-2
Oregon's Autzen Stadium, consistently ranked among the nation's top 10 venues to watch a college football game, only got better in 2002.
Now in its 41st season, the facility, which originally was completed for a remarkable bargain of approximately $2.5 million in 1967, underwent a $90 million facelift prior to the 2002 season that not only added 12,000 seats and 32 luxury boxes to the stadium's south-side skyline, it improved the amenities that allows spectators to enjoy a better game-day experience in one of the loudest collegiate stadiums in the country. The renovation encompassed much-needed restroom and concession facilities, a 10,000-square foot entertainment center (Club at Autzen), widened walkway and concourse areas to better accommodate the increased capacity from 41,698 to 54,000 fans, as well as new ticket distribution centers and guest services windows to cater to the needs of its patrons.
The result was a record number of fans (450,730) flocking to an athletic arena which has witnessed more than four million fans walking through the turnstiles to watch Oregon football since 1987. Further emphasizing its popularity is the fact the Ducks have exceeded per-game seating capacity on a season basis seven of the last eight years and enter this season boasting of a school-record 24 consecutive sellouts.
LOBOS ENTER THE SEASON WITH TWO NEW COACHES
New Mexico added two new coaches in the spring in David Reaves and Matt Wells. Reaves joins the Lobo football program after spending the previous year at Tennessee. Prior to Tennessee, Reaves spent most of the decade at South Carolina working under coaching legends Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier. He will coach the quarterbacks and direct the passing game. Wells returns to UNM after spending last season at Louisville. Wells will coach the wide receivers and is no stranger to New Mexico. He was the wide receivers coach under Rocky Long from 2007-08.
RAINEY NAMED PRESEASON FAVORITES
New Mexico defensive end Johnathan Rainey was listed among the 2010 preseason favorites for the College Football Performance Awards at his respective position. Rainey, who is a junior, was a second team all-Mountain West Conference selection a year ago.
Rainey tied for the league lead with 15.5 tackles for loss (15 solo) and was second behind TCU All-American Jerry Hughes with 9.5 sacks - the most by a Lobo since 2000. The Houston native led all UNM defensive linemen with 52 tackles and had a team-high 38 quarterback hits/hurries.
IMPRESSIVE COACHING STAFF
Head coach Michael Locksley has assembled a coaching staff that possesses a wealth of accomplishments. A look at the numbers:
153 - Years of collegiate and/or professional coaching experience: Darrell Dickey 25, Doug Mallory 22, Rubin Carter 21, George Barlow 19, Michael Locksley 18, Toby Neinas 15, Matt Wells 13, David Reaves 8, Cheston Blackshear 7, Mike Degory 3, Mike Mendenhall 2.
2 - Super Bowl appearances as a player: Rubin Carter 2 (Denver).
The University of New Mexico begins its 112th season of football in 2010. The Lobos have an all-time record of 450-522-31. The school was founded in 1889. Three years later, the first football game was played on Oct. 7, 1892, when a team representing UNM played a squad from Albuquerque High School in a vacant lot north of the town's ice factory. The preps prevailed 5-0. The territory of New Mexico was not granted statehood until 1912.
2010 PERSONNEL PICTURE