May 25, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico 2005 football season-opener against Mountain West Conference foe UNLV will now be played at 11 a.m. (MST) on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5 and will be nationally televised by ESPN2. The game was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, but was not tabbed for local or national television coverage. This is the second straight year New Mexico has opened the season at home in front of a national television audience. In 2004, the Lobos fell to Washington State, 21-17, in a Friday night game on ESPN.
"When the conference office asked us if we were interested in moving the game, (head coach) Rocky (Long) and I both thought it would be good for our national exposure and our fans at home," said UNM director of athletics Rudy Davalos. "The game will air at one in the afternoon on the east coast and noon in the central time zone, where we do a lot of recruiting. Plus, we both felt that a game on Labor Day would be more convenient for our fans. People now have a chance to take a trip on Saturday and Sunday, come back and attend the game on Monday."
The schedule change adds to an already historic weekend for New Mexico, which will open its football season with a conference game for the first time in 12 years. The last time UNM started the season against a league opponent was Sept. 4, 1993, when BYU played at University Stadium. UNLV will be the Lobos' earliest conference game since Aug. 31, 1991, when they opened at UTEP.
"I think it was important to make the change in order to get the national television exposure," said Long. "With a lot of people back in town on Monday, we expect to sellout the stadium. If we play well, it will give a part of the country that may not be familiar with our program a chance to see what Lobo football and our home crowd environment is all about."
Season tickets for the 2005 season go on sale June 13 and can be purchased here or by calling the UNM ticket office at 925-5626. Individual game tickets will go on sale on Aug. 24.