Nov. 20, 2010
Saturday: Brigham Young 40, Lobos 7
Up Next: TCU at Lobos, 2 p.m., University Stadium
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
It doesn't go down as a special day for Lobo linebacker Carmen Messina because his Lobos fell 40-7 to Brigham Young Saturday night in Provo, Utah. But the game did provide Messina with 11 tackles and a special landmark as a Lobo defender.
The talented Lobo registered his second consecutive season of 100 tackles or more and when you consider the last Lobo to do so was Brian Urlacher, a NFL All-Pro, that puts a huge accent on that plateau of defensive prowess.
It also is a cool thing for Messina, who lists Urlacher as one of his boyhood football heroes and one reason Messina came to be a Lobo.
"He has been one of our consistent guys on defense," said Lobo coach Mike Locksley. "He's not even close to 100 percent, but he finds way to have the production you want."
It wasn't a good day for Locksley or his Lobos in Provo either. He saw his young Lobos, led by freshman quarterback Stump Godfrey, turn the ball over on their first two possessions leading to a 10-0 BYU lead. UNM was down 17-0 at the close of the first quarter, down 20-0 at the half and down 27-0 early in the third quarter.
"He had a tough day," Locksley said of his young quarterback. "When you turn it over like he did, you don't give your team a chance to win. We are one of those teams that need to play close to perfect in order to win and we didn't do that today.
"You have to give BYU credit. They played well and they wore us down with their running game."
The usually pass-happy Cougars threw out a nice balance on offense, but leaned heavily on a rushing attack that churned out 258 yards on 44 carries for a 5.9 average. BYU added 236 yards passing for a 494 total. UNM countered with 100 yards rushing and 159 yards through the air for a 259 total.
Godfrey threw two interceptions and fumbled on a sweep to produce three of UNM's four turnovers. Lobo B.R. Holbrook came in for some mop-up duty late in the fourth quarter and also gave up a pick.
BYU's freshman quarterback had a better day going 18-of-32 for 231 yards and two TDs. Joshua Quezada led the BYU rushing attack with 107 yards, JJ De Luigi had 65 yards and Bryan Kariya had 58 yards. Those three BYU backs averaged 7.1, 6.5 and 6.4 yards per carry, respectively.
Heaps completed passes to ten receivers with Cody Hoffman pulling in five catches for 71 yards and two scores. Shane Hunter had 11 tackles for BYU and Andrew Rich had seven tackles and two interceptions - one off Godfrey and one off Holbrook.
When BYU went up 27-0 in the third quarter, the Cougars had locked in their sixth win of the season and became bowl eligible and New Mexico Bowl attractive.
The Lobos ended the shutout at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter when Godfrey scrambled out of a crumbing pocket, rolled out to his left and flipped a 12-yard scoring pass to Quintell Solomon, who had slipped behind BYU's first line of secondary defense.
BYU outscored UNM 13-0 in the fourth quarter to seal the 40-7 Mountain West Conference win. The loss drops UNM to 1-10 and 1-5 in league games. BYU is 6-5 and 5-2. Both teams have severe tests in their finals games of the season: BYU at Utah and TCU at UNM.
The Lobos also had a severe test in Provo against a rejuvenated BYU team that had won four of five. BYU has turned a 1-4 start into a 6-5 mark.
"I'm proud of them," said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall. " Our seniors earned it and our players earned it. I think everything took another step forward. We're making consistent gains."
The Lobos got early help a week ago when Air Force turned the ball over on its first possession. UNM did the same for BYU when Godfrey was picked off at the UNM 42-yard line and BYU ran the pick back to the Lobo 12-yard line. BYU's Jake Heap scored from a yard out three plays later. BYU was up 7-0.
The Lobos took a shot at their foot on the next possession, too. Godfrey fumbled the ball away at the UNM 38-yard line on a sweep to the right side. BYU turned that into a 10-0 lead.
The Cougars held one defense and then threw the Lobos into a 17-0 hole at the 2:58 mark of the first quarter. BYU marched 80 yards on seven plays with tailback JJ Di Luigi finishing the drive from four yards out. The Cougars added only three points in the second quarter to take a 20-0 lead into the half.
It wasn't the first-half scoring BYU had thrown out in their past two games, but it was a pretty fat lead at home against a struggling UNM team.
The Lobos had a good shot to get on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when Godfrey led UNM from its 25-yard line to BYU's 21. Godfrey lost the drive by forcing a pass into coverage, which was picked off by BYU's Andrew Rich in the end zone. BYU then marched 80 yards to push the board to 40-7
UNM's B.R. Holbrook took over the Lobo huddle with 7:17 to play in the game. The sophomore completed a few sharp passes and then almost had disaster hit on a sideline pattern that Rich picked off on the run. The BYU defender took the ball to the UNM 1-yard line, but the play was called back to the BYU 35 because of a personal foul flag. BYU still had the ball.