Nov. 2, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Game No. 1,000 in the history of New Mexico football is Saturday at league co-leader Utah (No. 16 Coaches / No. 17 AP). The Lobos (0-8, 0-4 MWC) and Utes (7-1, 4-0 MWC) square off at 4:06 p.m., from Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. UNM has won two times in its last three trips to Utah. The game will be televised live on The mtn., channel 276 on Comcast cable in Albuquerque and channel 616 on DirecTV.
The University of New Mexico is in its 111th season of football. The Lobos have an all-time record of 449-519-31 since the first game was played on Oct. 7, 1892. The school was founded in 1889.
After a tough 23-20 loss at San Diego State, New Mexico is 0-8 for the first time since 1987 when it finished 0-11. UNM has lost 12 straight games for the first time since a 12-game slide in 1987-88. The Lobos' last win was Oct. 18, 2008, against San Diego State in Albuquerque. New Mexico has not lost 13 in a row since 1967-69 when it dropped a school-record 21 straight.
UNM has also dropped 8 consecutive conference games, 7 straight road games and 8 MWC road games in a row.
Utah freshman QB Jordan Wynn replaced starter Terrance Cain in the second half and the Utes (No. 16 BCS, No. 19 AP) rallied to beat Wyoming 22-10. Wynn threw for 82 yards and a touchdown. Eddie Wide tied a school record with his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game and added a late touchdown to seal the win for Utah, which trailed 10-3 at halftime.
The Utes' defense sacked Wyoming QB Austyn Carta-Samuels five times - all in the second half - and held the Cowboys to 202 yards in the game, 74 after halftime.
Last year, the Lobos finished 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the MWC, tying UNLV for 6th place. The Utes were 13-0 overall and MWC champs at 8-0. The Utes finished No. 2 in the nation in the final polls after ripping Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl.
Overall: 51st meeting since the first game at the 1939 Sun Bowl that Utah won 26-0...the Utes have a 31-17-2 overall lead
In Salt Lake: Utah leads 17-5-1, but it's 2-1 UNM in the last 3 games
MWC Games: Tied 5-5
Did You Know? UNM won 47-35 in Salt Lake City in 2003 when the Utes were No. 23 in the nation...that decision marked the only conference loss for former head coach Urban Meyer in his two seasons at Utah
LAST YEAR IN ALBUQUERQUE - Louie Sakoda kicked two field goals and No. 10 Utah scored its only touchdown off a little trickery to keep its BCS bowl hopes intact with a 13-10 win.
Utah (9-0, 5-0 MWC) struggled on offense as the Utes came into the game averaging a conference best 39 points. The defense made up for it with key stops. The last two stopped Lobo drives at midfield, one on downs with 3:46 left in the game and the other as time ran out.
New Mexico (4-6, 2-4 MWC) gave the heavily favored Utes all they could handle and stayed within upset range late into the game behind a 10-yard touchdown run by Rodney Ferguson and a 38-yard field goal by James Aho.
The Utes got their only touchdown when quarterback Brian Johnson threw a short pass to wide receiver Jereme Brooks, who then lateraled to Brent Casteel to complete the 7-yard scoring play with 3:23 left in the third quarter.
New Mexico came right back with a 9-play, 80-yard drive, with Ferguson and quarterback Brad Gruner taking turns finding holes in Utah's front line. Ferguson scored on the final play of the third quarter after the Lobos caught a break.
Ferguson fumbled at the Utah 10 and Ute cornerback Sean Smith recovered it. But the officials reversed the initial call, ruling the Lobo halfback was down before the ball came loose.
Utah lost a chance to gain some breathing room when Lobo defensive back DeAndre Wright intercepted a Johnson pass in the end zone on the Utes' ensuing drive. Wright got inside position on wide receiver Freddie Brown to kill an impressive Utah drive that started on the Utes' 5-yard and included three plays of 20 yards or more.
New Mexico's defense repeatedly blitzed Johnson and it kept the Utes offense off stride most of the night. Sakoda's 38-yarder as time expired gave Utah a 6-3 lead at halftime, the fewest points the Utes have scored in the first half this season.
Aho's field goal finished off New Mexico's only sustained drive in the first half as the Lobos drove from their 19 to the Utah 21.
TWO YEARS AGO IN SALT LAKE CITY - Darrell Mack became the ninth Utah player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the Utes won their seventh straight, beating UNM 28-10.
Koa Misi returned a fumble 41 yards for a touchdown as the Utes capitalized on four turnovers by New Mexico.
After pulling within 14-10, three critical UNM turnovers led to Utah touchdowns. The Lobos fumbled twice on punt returns and turned it over again when Paul Kruger ran down quarterback Donovan Porterie from behind and knocked the ball loose. Misi scooped it up and ran for a touchdown with 6:57 left.
Receiver Jereme Brooks threw a 7-yard TD pass for the Utes and Brian Johnson completed 16 of 27 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. Mack had 24 carries for 77 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run that put the Utes up 7-0 early in the second quarter.
Porterie was 18-for-41 for 198 yards and Rodney Ferguson ran 19 times for 51 yards for the Lobos, who went 50 yards on the first play from scrimmage only to fumble it.
Louie Sakoda kicked a low punt that Ian Clark tried to catch on the run, but the ball bounced hard off his chest and Utah recovered at the 39-yard line. The Utes got another 15 yards on a personal foul and started a short drive at the New Mexico 24.
The Utes scored on Johnson's 7-yard pass to Richards and the Utes led 21-10 with 49 seconds left in the third. The Lobos did it again early in the fourth when DeAndre Wright didn't make the catch near his own 10-yard line and the Utes recovered at the 5. But the Lobos got it right back when Johnson fumbled on first down. Clark, who had dropped the first punt, caused the fumble as Johnson tried a run up the middle.
Johnson also threw an interception on the first series of the third quarter. Wright caught Johnson's pass and returned it 42 yards to the Utah 11. The Lobos went 9 yards on the next three plays and went for in on fourth down, when Ferguson scored to cut the lead in half with 12:38 left in the third.
NOTES TO KNOW BEFORE THE GAME
The Lobos have a 7-40 record against nationally-ranked teams...the breakdown is 5-20 at home, 4-19 in University Stadium, 2-19 on the road and 0-1 at a neutral site...UNM's last win against a nationally-ranked team? 47-35 at No. 23 Utah on Oct. 25, 2003, the only conference loss for Urban Meyer in his two years as head coach of the Utes... after that game, Lobo OT Jason Lenzmeier was named MWC Offensive Player of the Week after UNM piled up 633 yards of offense, including 407 on the ground
New Mexico is 2-2 against nationally-ranked Utah teams...the ledger:
Nov. 5, 1994 - New Mexico 23, No. 8 Utah 21 (Albuquerque)
Oct. 25, 2003 - New Mexico 47, No. 23 Utah 35 (Salt Lake City)
Oct. 1, 2004 - No. 14 Utah 28, New Mexico 7 (Albuquerque)
Nov. 1, 2008 - No. 9 Utah 13, New Mexico 10 (Albuquerque)
Utah is 21-1 in its last 22 games and has won 16 straight at Rice-Eccles Stadium...the Utes have also won 8 straight bowl games
On Saturday, New Mexico will be going up against a Utah defense that ranks 7th in the nation against the pass (159.2 ypg), 13th in pass defense efficiency (98.4 rating), 17th in scoring (16.8) and 17th in total yards allowed (295.0)
Comebacks Against the Utes: Fourteen times since 1946 a Lobo team has rallied from at least a 14-point deficit to win...four of the comebacks have come against Utah, more than any other opponent...the largest deficit overcome - 21 points matching a school record - occurred in Albuquerque in 2006...UNM trailed the Utes 24-3 with 3:27 left before halftime, but redshirt freshman Donovan Porterie rallied the Lobos to a 34-31 victory
Lobo sophomore MLB Carmen Messina remains 1st in the nation in tackles at 13.5 a game...after 11 tackles and 1 sack Saturday at San Diego State, Messina is on pace to register 162 stops over the 12-game season...the school record is 178 by Brian Urlacher in 1998, also in 12 games...last year's Lobo tackle leader was Clint McPeek, who had 103 stops...Messina has posted double-digit tackles in 7 straight games, the longest streak with 10+ tackles by a Lobo since LB/S Quincy Black (now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) had 7 in a row in 2006
Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey still leads the MWC in tackles for loss with 12.5, or an average of 1.56 per game...he is also 2nd in the MWC in sacks with 7.5 (.94 per game) after a sack/caused fumble last week at San Diego State...the 7.5 sacks and 12.5 sacks matches last year's sack and TFL leader, Herbert Felder, who had 7.5 and 12.5 in 12 games...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)...the cat-quick Rainey was unofficially credited with 3 QB hurries/hits against San Diego State, giving him a team-high 32 this season...Rainey had 15 tackles in 11 games last year
Senior QB Donovan Porterie's passing numbers are picking up...over the past 5 games he is averaging 254 yards (1,270 total) with 7 TDs and 3 INTs while completing 58% of his passes to 14 different receivers for an efficiency rating of xxx.xx...he is the most accurate passer in school history among the 5 QBs with 4,000+ career yards...officially, he is 2nd all-time at UNM with a 58.6% conversion rate, trailing only Donald Sellers, who attempted 400 fewer attempts than Porterie
Senior P Adam Miller continues to shine...after a 42.4-yard average on 5 kicks at San Diego State, Miller is 2nd in the MWC and 11th nationally with a season average of 43.7 yards...the 43.7-yard average ties Jason Bloom for 4th by a Lobo for a season...the record is 45.6 by A.L. Terpening in 1954, a figure that led the NCAA...Mike Nesbitt had a 45-yard average in 1993
YOUTH BEING SERVED LIKE NEVER BEFORE - The 2009 Lobos could very well be one of the youngest New Mexico teams ever. Consider the numbers:
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
43% of the receiving yards have been recorded by UNM freshmen or sophomores (735 of 1,698)
98% of the rushing yards have been recorded by UNM freshmen or sophomores (739 of 753)
7 of the Lobos' 12 offensive TDs have been scored by freshmen or sophomores
52.4% of the Lobos' tackles have been recorded by freshmen or sophomores (362 of 690)
33.5 of the Lobos' 54 tackles for loss (62%), 16 of the 19 sacks, 3 of the 4 interceptions and 7 of the 9 forced fumbles have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores
UNM's top tackler, TFL leader and top 3 sack leaders are sophomores
SAN DIEGO STATE RECAP - Ryan Lindley threw three touchdown passes to lift San Diego State to a 23-20 win over New Mexico on Saturday night, handing the Lobos their 12th straight loss. Lindley threw a pair of TD passes to DeMarco Sampson, including the go-ahead score on a 4-yard pass with 7:54 to go in the game. Lindley, who was 22 of 38 for 253 yards, also had scoring passes of 18 yards to Alston Umuolo and a 7-yarder to Sampson.
SAN DIEGO STATE POSTGAME NOTES
The Lobos had won 8 straight games against San Diego State overall and 6 in a row over the Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium...UNM's last loss at SDSU was in 1995
The Lobos led 3-0 at the end of the 1st quarter (and 10-0) in the 2nd quarter...the last time UNM blanked an opponent in the 1st quarter was last year against San Diego State when it led 21-0
UNM came into the game allowing 177 rushing yards a game, but gave up just 50 to SDSU
New Mexico had the ball for 33:38...it came into the game averaging just 26:05 time of possession the first 7 games
UNM had a season-high 25 first downs
The Lobos converted 9 of 20 3rd downs, by far the best of the season...they came into the game last in the nation (120th) at a conversion rate of 24% (24-99)
UNM did not commit a turnover for the first time this season...the Lobos are now 19-5 since 1998 when not committing a turnover
Senior QB Donovan Porterie
27-52 passing for 277 yards, 1 TD and no interceptions
scored the 1st rushing TD of his 33-game career, a 1-yard sneak in the 2nd quarter
passed Casey Kelly for 3rd place all-time at UNM with 5,939 career passing yards
passed Graham Leigh for 4th place all-time at UNM with 5,897 yards of total offense
Sophomore LB Carmen Messina
the nation's leading tackler had 11 stops for his 7th straight game with double-digit tackles, the longest streak with 10+ tackles by a Lobo since LB/S Quincy Black (now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) had 7 in a row in 2006
also recorded his 3rd sack of the year, giving him 7.0 tackles for loss in 2009
has 108 tackles on the season; last year's tackles leader was Clint McPeek with 103
Senior WR Daryl Jones
set career-highs with 8 catches and 86 yards, including his 2nd career TD
Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey
4 tackles, a 7-yard sack and a caused fumble
the MWC leader in TFL now has 12.5 on the season, plus 7.5 sacks
12.5 TFL and 7.5 sacks matches last year's sack and TFL leader (Herbert Felder 7.5 and 12.5
Senior DT Kendall Briscoe
5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and a fumble recovery
has set personal career season bests with 10.5 TFL and 2 sacks...had 1.5 sacks and 3.5 TFL total in his first 3 seasons
True freshman RB Kasey Carrier
did not start, but had 13 carries for a career-high 63 yards in just his second collegiate game
Senior WR Victor James
career-high 5 catches for 55 yards
Sophomore K James Aho
2-3 FGs, converting from 35 and 45 yards
9-14 on FGs this season
now tied with Vladimir Borombozin for 7th all-time at UNM with 27 FGs
ranks 6th all-time at UNM with career FG% of 71% (27-38)
Redshirt freshman WR Quintell Solomon
career-highs with 4 catches and 48 yards