Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/18/2010

Sept. 18, 2010

University Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M.

TEAM - Saturday marked the final matchup between Utah and New Mexico as members of the Mountain West Conference...Utah finished with a 7-5 series lead while in the MWC.

A.J. Butler's 27-yard fumble recovery for a TD to start the third quarter was the first by UNM since Tray Hardaway's 92-yard TD return against Tulsa in 2009.

UNM had three players make their first career start Saturday in DT Brett Kennedy, DT Reggie Ellis and OG Mike Muniz...Kennedy and Muniz are Albuquerque natives.

The Lobos are 3-9 all-time in home MWC openers.

Saturday marked the second straight game UNM has forced a fumble inside the opponents' 5-yard line...Junior LB Carmen Messina had his first forced fumble of the year and the third of his career.

New Mexico started its second quarterback of the year Saturday in Brad Gruner and played true freshman Tarean Austin in the second half...it was Gruner's first action at QB since the 2008 season finale at Colorado State.

Today's attendance was 23,940

INDIVIDUAL - Junior QB Brad Gruner - Made his first start since Nov. 15, 2008 at Colorado State...he went 3-for-8 Saturday against the nationally-ranked Utes...he is 3-6 all-time as a starting quarterback.

Junior LB Carmen Messina - Had his first forced fumble of the year Saturday against Utah...it was the third of his career.

Junior OG Mike Muniz - Made his first career start Saturday against the Utes...Utah was the first collegiate game for the Albuquerque native.

Freshman P Ben Skaer - Had 8 punts for a 43.6-yard average, including a career-long 56 yarder.

Junior S Bubba Forrest - Had a career-high 13 tackles Saturday...his previous mark was 10 against Air Force on Sept. 19, 2009.

Sophomore S A.J. Butler - Had his first two fumble recoveries of the year Saturday, including a 27-yard return for a TD...made his second consecutive start.

True freshman QB Tarean Austin - In a little more than a half of football, Austin completed 15 of 27 passes for 128 yards, 1 int. and his first career TD pass, an 18-yard strike to WR Bryant Williams...Austin completed passes to 8 different receivers and was also the Lobos' leading rusher with 38 yards on 8 carries