New Mexico Hosts UTEP Saturday for Homecoming
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/29/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 29, 2010

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    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico football team hosts UTEP Saturday for the 86th Homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 4:06 p.m. MDT in University Stadium.

    The game will be broadcast live on the MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.). The Mtn., can be seen on channel 276 for Comcast subscribers and channel 616 on DirecTV. Bill Doleman will handle the play-by-play with Reggie Rivers during the color. Toby Christensen will be the sideline reporter Saturday for the showdown with the Miners.

    The radio broadcast will be available on 770 KKOB and the Lobo Radio Network. Scott Galetti will have the call alongside Greg Remington.

    UNM hosts UTEP (3-1) Saturday for Homecoming at University Stadium. The Lobos are 41-41-3 all-time during Homecoming games and has dropped four of the last five. New Mexico is 3-1 when playing UTEP during Homecoming games. Saturday marks the first Homecoming game with UTEP since Oct. 10, 1998. The Miners won the game, 22-19. UNM's last victory on Homecoming was in 2008, when the Lobos beat Wyoming, 24-0.

    New Mexico and UTEP first met in 1919 and square off for the 76th time, making it UNM's second-oldest series next to New Mexico State (100 games). UNM and NMSU meet next week in Las Cruces.

    The Lobos and Miners played every year between 1955-99. This is the fourth game of a four-game set between 2005-10.

    The Lobos and Miners previously shared membership in two leagues: the Border Conference from 1935-1950 and the Western Athletic Conference from 1968-1998. New Mexico departed the WAC for the Mountain West Conference in 1999. UTEP is in its sixth season in Conference USA after 36 years (1968-2004) in the WAC.

    New Mexico is 0-4 for the second straight year and the ninth time in school history.

    Saturday will be the 76th meeting between the two schools. New Mexico leads the all-time series with UTEP, 42-30-3. The Miners, however, have won two of the last three games. Saturday will be the first meeting since 2007, when the Lobos lost at UTEP, 10-6. UNM has won the last two home games against the Miners, including a 26-13 victory in 2006. The Lobos hold a 26-9-1 series advantage when playing in Albuquerque and had won 14 of the last 16 games against UTEP at home since 1971. UTEP hasn't won at University Stadium since 1998.


  • Lobos head trainer Dave Binder spent 13 years in the same role at UTEP before coming to UNM in March of 1995. A native of Big Springs, Texas, Binder received his bachelor's (1973) and master's (1975) degrees from UTEP. During his tenure in El Paso, Binder was recognized with the school's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. He is a member of the UTEP Sports Hall of Fame and was elected to the El Paso Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

  • UNM has 14 players from the state of Texas on the roster. Mat McBain is the only Lobo from El Paso. McBain played high school ball at Burgess.

  • A couple of Lobos will be playing against high school teammates Saturday. Lobo RB Kasey Carrier was a prep teammate of Miner DL Bernard Obi at Pearland HS. Junior QB Brad Gruner played with senior OL Tanner Cullumber at Hamilton HS in Chandler, Ariz.

  • The only Miner from the state of New Mexico is junior LS Matt Camilli, who is from Las Cruces.

  • Former Lobo QB Tate Smith is currently on the UTEP roster after transferring in the spring. Smith spent two seasons at UNM before joining the Miners.

    New Mexico will travel to Las Cruces, N.M., next weekend to battle the Aggies of New Mexico State. The game is set for 6 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast live on AggieVision channel 77 on Comcast. Saturday will be the 101st all-time meeting in the Rio Grande Rivalry. New Mexico has won six of the last seven meetings including the last three at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

    The New Mexico football program has four student-athletes that have graduated in Cody Neely, Maurice Mears, Karlin Givens and Nick Wilhelm. UNM had its second highest grade-point-average (GPA) in school history during the spring of 2010, 2.71. The Lobos also posted a 3.10 GPA in the summer of 2010.

    Sophomore WR Ty Kirk has a 14-game streak with at least one catch heading into UTEP. Kirk has had at least one catch in every game of his career. This season, he had a career-high eight catches at No. 11 Oregon. He also had his second 100-yard receiving game against Texas Tech, when he racked up 119 yards through the air. Kirk led all Mountain West Conference freshmen in receiving last year.

    True freshman Tarean (TAR-ean) Austin made the first start of his career at UNLV Saturday. Austin was 17-for-40 passing for 177 yards including a TD. It was his second touchdown of the year and second to senior WR Bryant Williams. Austin became the first Lobo true freshman to start at quarterback since Jeremy Leach in 1988.

    The Miners are 3-1 on the year and have won their last two games. UTEP defeated Memphis last week, 16-13, in the Sun Bowl and New Mexico State, 42-10, two weeks ago. The Miners are off to their best four-game start since 2005. Mike Price is the head coach of UTEP and is in his seventh year in El Paso. Price has 29 years of coaching experience and ranks ninth among active FBS coaches with 166 victories.

    Trevor Vittatoe is the top quarterback for UTEP. Vittatoe is 82-for-144 this season for 986 yards and eight touchdowns. He is averaging 246.5 yards passing per game. Joe Banyard is the top rusher for the Miners. Banyard has a team high four TDs and 240 yards rushing. Kris Adams has a team-high 13 catches for 278 yards this season.

    Defensively, UTEP has allowed an average of 21.8 points per game and held three opponents under 14 points. The Miners have five sacks this season and 13 tackles for loss. UTEP has intercepted six passes and forced two fumbles.

    New Mexico is 47-42-3 all-time against schools from Conference USA. The Lobos have played at least one C-USA opponent every year for the past six years including 2010. UNM has dropped the last three games against C-USA foes, with its last victory against UTEP on Sept. 23, 2006 in Albuquerque, 26-13. Locksley is 0-1 vs. the Conference USA with his only loss coming against Tulsa.

    AHO OFF TO GOOD START AND CLIMBING CHART Junior kicker James Aho is off to a strong start hitting two of his three field goal attempts this season. Aho connect on a 42-yard field goal at UNLV. It was his season long and moved him into a tie for fourth all-time at UNM for career field goals with 33. Aho is tied with former Lobo great Kenny Byrd and sits eight behind Bob Berg and Colby Cason for second.

    OK, almost everybody loves to eat and is good at it. Often, too much and too often. But can you cook? Can you bring it with the special spices, the unique additives, the secret sauces and place your entry in front of some starving Lobo-type judges and see if you got what it takes?

    The Lobos have a deal for you, and, no, this is not our way of getting a free lunch. We love our Lobo Dogs. The University of New Mexico athletics department has teamed up with Albertsons, Pepsi and Route 66 Casino to bring you "The Lobo Football Tailgate Challenge."

    It's not really an eating thing. It's a cooking thing. But the cooked things have to be edible and we'll produce some highly-qualified judges to see whether you can bring it on your grill.

    Of course, the dishes mostly will be judged by palates and stomachs. We'll have some time-tested culinary experts (of sorts) who will sample your wares on a 100-point scale and give out points according to: 1- taste (70 points) and 2- ambience (30 points).

    Here are a few contest details.

    1. It's free.
    2. The contest begins three hours prior to kickoff.
    3. A tent will be set up next to the Lobo Football Pre-Game shows at Gate 8 (Stadium Lot North). That's where you bring the food.
    4. There will be prizes and GoLobos.com will announce them next week. Stay tuned.

    Of course, there also are specific dishes set for specific games. The scheduled Lobo opponent that week has little to do with the scheduled dish, but it does look suspicious that the first week is chili and a team from chili-famous Texas is coming to University Stadium. Anyway, here's the order:

    1. Sept. 11 vs. Texas Tech -- chili 2. Sept. 18 vs. Utah -- hamburgers & brats 3. Oct. 2 vs. UTEP -- Ribs 4. Oct. 23 vs. San Diego State -- brisket 5. Nov. 6 vs. Wyoming -- green chili stew 6. Nov. 27 vs. TCU -- chicken/turkey or any poultry.

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