Sept. 6, 2004
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The challenging non-conference schedule for the University of New Mexico bores ahead Saturday as Texas Tech crosses the border to Albuquerque. The Lobos and Red Raiders start popping the pads at 6:05 p.m. Mountain Time. KRQE will televise the game on a delayed basis beginning at 10:30 p.m. A crowd in excess of 34,000 is expected at University Stadium.
The two old foes play for the 41st time since the inaugural meeting in 1931. The Lobos look to snap a 10-game slide against Texas Tech, and it's been 20 years since UNM's last win in the series, 29-24 in Albuquerque. TTU has an overwhelming 33-5-2 lead, including a 42-28 victory last year in Lubbock. Saturday's tilt ends a current five-game series that started in 2000 with the Hispanic College Fund Classic in Lubbock. Currently, no games between the two schools are on future schedules.
Last Friday, the Lobos lost their first home opener since 2000, falling 21-17 to Washington State. That was also the last time UNM started 0-2 and dropped its first two home games of the season to Boise State and Oregon State. Texas Tech won its opener at SMU, 27-13.
Lobo junior TB DonTrell Moore needs 50 yards to become the career rushing leader in the fledgling Mountain West Conference, which began operations in 1999. Moore has 2,751 yards in 27 career games. San Diego State's Larry Ned is atop the leaderboard, gaining 2,800 yards from 1999-2001.
New Mexico was 8-5 last year, increasing its win total for the fifth consecutive season, a feat no other team in the country can claim. The Lobos lost to Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl, 55-14. UNM finished 2nd in the Mountain West at 5-2 and handed league champ Utah its only conference loss.
Texas Tech also finished 8-5 and defeated Navy 38-14 in the Houston Bowl. The Red Raiders placed 4th in the South Division of the Big 12 at 4-4.
SEASON TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE -
A four-game prorated season ticket for adults, children and UNM faculty and staff will be available at the UNM ticket office at The Pit starting Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. The family pack season ticket is not available.
Through Friday, Sept. 3, a school-record 15,629 season tickets had been sold. The old mark was 14,801 set last year.
LONG APPROACHING RECORD FOR GAMES COACHED -
Head coach Rocky Long is in his seventh season at his alma mater. Long is tied with Dennis Franchione for third place on the school's all-time win list. Long is 33-41 while Franchione went 33-36 from 1992-97. Roy Johnson is the all-time victory leader at 41-32-6 from 1920-30, followed by Bill Weeks, who was 40-41-1 from 1960-67.
In terms of total seasons, only Johnson (11) and Weeks (8) have been at UNM for more time than Long. However, with 74 games spent on the sidelines, Long will become the school's career leader in games coached when the Lobos visit BYU on Nov. 13. That will be Long's 83rd game at UNM, surpassing Weeks' total of 82 from 1960-67.
UNM VS. TEXAS TECH / BIG 12 / BCS - It's the 41st meeting between schools separated by about 250 miles. The series started in 1931 when both institutions were members of the old Border Conference. The Red Raiders have a commanding 33-5-2 lead in the series. TTU leads 21-2 in Lubbock and 12-3-2 in Albuquerque. UNM's last win was 29-24 at University Stadium in 1984.
Last year in Lubbock, B.J. Symons was 37 of 54 for 418 yards and 5 TDs, and he also ran for a score. UNM had 584 yards of total offense, including a career-best 187 yards and 3 TDs by TB D.D. Cox, who was subbing for an injured DonTrell Moore. UNM cut a 21-0 deficit to 35-28 with five minutes left. The Lobos were hurt by four turnovers.
Although his first carry did not come until midway through the second quarter when Moore was sidelined, Cox finished with the 11th-best rushing day in school history: 187 yards on 27 carries and 3 TDs. He was a real workhorse after halftime, toting it 19 times for 140 yards and getting all of his scores. Cox was also a receiver, hauling in four receptions for 69 yards. His 256 all-purpose yards is the 9th-best single-game total by a Lobo.
Two years ago in Albuquerque, Texas Tech ripped the Lobos 49-0 in a Friday night national telecast on ESPN2. UNM had scored in 111 straight games, dating to 1992 before the blanking. Kliff Kingsbury completed 41 of 59 passes for 407 yards and 6 TDs. Tech ran 102 plays - the most ever against a Lobo team - for 590 yards of offense. UNM was limited to a season-low 199 yards. QB Casey Kelly suffered a broken left arm in the first quarter, but played during the second period before X-rays at halftime revealed the fracture.
Current starting Lobo QB Kole McKamey actually played in that game two years ago, completing 1 of 4 passes for 3 yards and rushing twice for a loss of 1 yard. McKamey injured his back in practice later that year and was granted a medical redshirt. A native of Artesia, N.M., McKamey grew up attending Texas Tech games with his father, Keith. Kole's older sister, Krista, attended Texas Tech, majoring in Pre-Vet.
Texas Tech's offensive averages in four games since the 2000 season: 33.8 completions, 54.5 pass attempts, 359.3 yards passing, 431.8 yards total offense and 39.3 points. UNM has averaged just 15.3 points in those four games. The Lobos have picked off five passes in the four games. Kliff Kingsbury played in 2000-02, B.J. Symons in 2003.
New Mexico is 15-56-2 all-time against current members of the Big 12. The Lobos are 1-14 against the league since the 1985 season.
UNM has dropped 27 of its last 28 games against schools that currently play in conferences that are part of the Bowl Championship Series. Since the victory over Texas Tech in 1984, the Lobos' sole win versus the BCS came against Baylor in 2002. New Mexico has fallen to Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oregon State, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA and Washington State during that span.
MORE ON TEXAS TECH -
The Red Raiders return 53 lettermen from last year's 8-5 team. A whopping 18 starters are back, including seven on offense and nine on defense. Tech is employing a new quarterback in fifth-year senior Sonny Cumbie. The pass-happy system seemed to be in midseason form in the victory at SMU as Cumbie completed 40 of 66 attempts for 470 yards, with no interceptions and 4 TDs. The 470 yards is better than the first career starting performances of predecessors Kliff Kingsbury and B.J. Symons.
At SMU, Jarrett Hicks caught 8 passes for 150 yards while Bristol Olomua hauled in 7 for 100 yards.
Head coach Mike Leach (BYU `83) is 32-21 in his fifth year at Texas Tech. Leach is 4-0 against New Mexico. The Red Raiders have been to a bowl game every season since Leach took over for Spike Dykes after the 1999 season.
LOBOS FROM TEXAS -
New Mexico lists 35 players on its roster from the Lone Star State. Texas starters include FB Adrian Byrd (Missouri City Willowridge), LB Fola Fashola (Marshall/Kilgore JC), LB Chrishone Harris (Austin Lanier), NT Marcus Parker (Garland), CB Jerrell Malone (Rowlett), CB Brandon Payne (Dayton/Blinn JC), OT Claude Terrell (LaMarque), OG Fred Tucker (Houston Lamar) and OG Robert Turner (Austin Lake Travis).
WASHINGTON STATE REVIEW -
A blocked punt turned the tide in the Lobos' heartbreaking 21-17 loss to Washington State. UNM broke open a 7-7 game with a 61-yard option dash by TB DonTrell Moore midway through the third quarter and a Wes Zunker 21-yard field goal to grab a 17-7 advantage one minute into the fourth period. WSU answered with a 14-play, 82-yard drive to trim the margin to 17-14, converting a 4th-and-9 along the way. The Lobos were forced to punt on their next possession. The protection broke down as Omowale Dada blocked the kick and the ball was returned to the UNM 4. The Cougars scored on their first play from scrimmage to take a 21-17 lead over the stunned Lobos with 7:10 remaining.
UNM had a chance to regain the lead, but its next three possessions ended with a pair of interceptions by sophomore QB Kole McKamey and a fumble by senior TE Mike Augustyniak. Making his first career start, McKamey completed 16 of 30 passes for 229 yards. That's the most passing yards by a Lobo in his debut since Marcus Goodloe threw for 286 yards against Utah in 1990. McKamey also rushed 12 times for a net of 3 yards
The loss ended a 16-game winning streak for UNM when it took a lead into the 4th quarter...the last loss was to BYU in 2001...the Lobos led 13-10, but lost 24-20 to the 17th-ranked Cougars...the Lobos' are now 28-8 under Rocky Long when leading after three quarters
It had been 12 years since New Mexico lost a game when leading by at least 10 points in the fourth quarter...on Sept. 26, 1992, UNM had a 25-6 lead at Air Force only to fall 33-32 as the Falcons outscored the Lobos 27-7 in the final period
The two teams played to a scoreless first half, the first time the Lobos had been involved in that situation since Oct. 25, 1997 at Utah...the Utes eventually won that game 15-10
It's New Mexico's eighth straight loss to a Pac-10 team
UNM committed four turnovers (3 int/1 fumble) - all in the second half - compared to WSU's three miscues (2 int/1 fumble)...under Rocky Long, the Lobos are now 4-27 when committing more turnovers than their opponent
Washington State had to travel just 22 yards for two of its scores, an 18-yard TD pass early in the third period following McKamey's first interception, then just four yards midway through the fourth quarter after the blocked punt
15 players made their Lobo debuts: LB Quincy Black, WR Chris Brawley, S Charles Brown, WR Anthony Carter, S Martelius Epps, DE Adam Garday, CB Juamar Hall, TE Logan Hall, DE Steven Hutchison, LB Cody Kase, WR Major Mosley, deep snapper Jon O'Brien, TE Curtis Pino, WR Marcus Smith, S Ken West
DonTrell Moore rushed 24 times for 167 yards and a TD...it's Moore's 14th career 100-yard effort, leaving him two shy of Winslow Oliver's career mark of 16 set between 1992-95...it's also the most yards by an opposing runner against Washington State since Ohio State's Maurice Clarett gained 230 yards in 2002...only two backs surpassed 100 yards against the Cougars last year...Moore's 204 all-purpose yards (167 rush, 23 receiving, 14 punt returns) is his second-best game at UNM, trailing last year's 242 rushing yards against Colorado State
WR Hank Baskett established career-highs for receptions (9) and yards (165)...his previous best was three receptions against Utah and 48 yards against UNLV, both during last season...Baskett came into the game with 19 career receptions for 309 yards...the 165 yards are the most by a Lobo since Dwight Counter had 171 last year vs. UNLV
Senior S Kevin Walton suffered a broken left arm on the opening kickoff and will be lost for two to four weeks
The Lobo defense - with 8 new starters - picked up right where previous units left off, holding Washington State to just 271 yards, including 31 net yards rushing on 31 carries...UNM posted 5 sacks and caused three turnovers
Playing his first game in nearly a year after tearing his ACL Sept. 6, 2003, at Texas Tech, senior LB Fola Fashola logged a team-high 11 tackles, tying a career-high...he had 3 tackles for loss and a sack
NT Marcus Parker tied a career-high with 8 tackles, including 2 sacks...Parker has 7 career sacks with 4 of those coming against Washington State...he had 2 in last season's 23-13 loss at WSU
Senior CB Brandon Payne snared the first 2 interceptions of his career and tied a career-best with 7 tackles...the last Lobo to pick off at least 2 in a game was current CB Gabriel Fulbright, who had 3 last year at San Diego State
Senior DE Kyle Coulter established a career-high with 7 tackles while Josh Bazinet tied a career-high with 6 stops
In his first career start, sophomore OG Fred Tucker had a team and career-high 15 knockdown blocks
Junior FB Adrian Byrd recorded his first career rushing TD...he also had 6 knockdown blocks
The Lobos had a punt blocked for the first time since Colorado State's David Anderson did so in 2002, a span of 16 games
COACH LONG SAYS - on Washington State --
"For every negative thing that happened in the game, there were a lot of positives. It might be the first time we have played with a Pac-10 team even-steven, maybe even dominated them in several aspects the game. However, turnovers play a major factor in every game. I didn't think there was a dramatic difference in athletic ability."
on Texas Tech --
"I don't think we'll have any trouble bouncing back this week. Our young guys who have been in the program a few years have seen the veterans, and they know how we react to good or bad situations. Obviously, we're facing another good football team this week. Their offensive scheme is easy to describe, but is very difficult to defend. They want to spread out your defense, hit a lot of short, quick passes and let their skill guys get out in the open field. The key for us is being good tacklers and not turning the ball over."