Sept. 21, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- It all started Jan. 1, 1894 - more than 18 years before the territory of New Mexico was granted statehood - when the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University first competed on the football field.
The rivalry celebrates its 100th game Saturday as the Lobos and Aggies meet in Albuquerque. Kickoff is 8:06 p.m. from University Stadium. UNM has a 66-28-5 series lead. Turn to p. 3 for more information on the series.
The game will be televised nationally on The mtn., which is channel 276 on Comcast Cable in Albuquerque and channel 616 on DirecTV.
The 99 total games makes UNM-NMSU the 35th-longest series in the NCAA record book. Wisconsin-Minnestota is the all-time leader at 118 games. The Lobos and Aggies have played every year since 1946.
The Lobos are 0-3 for the first time since 2000 after losing to Air Force 37-13 in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams. New Mexico has not started 0-4 since 1994 when it began 0-5.
New Mexico State is 1-2 after losing 38-12 at home to UTEP in a game that was delayed more than three hours due to lightning.
Last year, the Lobos finished 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the MWC, tying UNLV for 6th place. New Mexico State was 3-9 in all games and 1-7 in the WAC, finishing in 8th place.
SPONSORS & GIVEAWAYS - Game sponsors include Bank of Albuquerque, NewsRadio 770KKOB and 610 The Sports Animal. The first 7,500 fanes will receive Lobo flags courtesy of Bank of Albuquerque. It's also American Indian Night. Local tribal leaders will have a tailgate in the 1st Community Bank Lobo Fan Fest area and also be recognized during the game.
THE RIO GRANDE RIVALRY - It's Year 3 of the Rio Grande Rivalry between UNM and NMSU. The school with the most points in head-to-head competition in all sports is used to determine the annual winner. Three points are at stake for Saturday's football game. UNM has a 3-0 lead in 2009-10 after winning men's and women's golf earlier this month. The Lobos have won the first two years, outscoring the Aggies 16.25 - 6.75 in 2007-08 and 17.25 - 6.75 in 2008-09.
MORE NOTES TO KNOW BEFORE THE GAME
Saturday's game matches first-year head coaches in New Mexico's Mike Locksley and New Mexico State's DeWayne Walker...the last time that happened in this rivalry was Sept. 24, 1983, in Las Cruces...Joe Lee Dunn was making his Lobo debut while Fred Zechman was in his first season with the Aggies...UNM won that game 31-0
Three of UNM's four largest home crowds have come the last three times New Mexico State has come to town...the Lobos are 3-0 in those encounters: 44,760 in 2005; 44,075 in 2003 ; and 41,003 in 2007
As part of the Rio Grande Rivalry, the ROTC units from the two schools will again hand deliver the game ball before kickoff...members of the NMSU ROTC will carry the ball to mile marker 114 on I-25 where it will be relayed to the UNM ROTC on Thursday...the UNM ROTC will carry the ball the remaining distance to Albuquerque where it will arrive at University Stadium prior to kickoff
Lobo sophomore LB Carmen Messina is tied with UTEP DB Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith for 1st in the nation in tackles...both are averaging 14 stops
UNM senior DT Kendall Briscoe leads the Mountain West in tackles for loss with an average of 1.83 per game
The Lobos have lost 8 turnovers in the past 2 games, 4 interception and 4 fumbles...opponents have scored 34 points following those miscues
UNM has lost 7 straight games, the longest since 10 straight in 1990-91, the final 6 games of 1990 and first 4 games of 1991
SERIES HISTORY / NOTES VS. NEW MEXICO STATE
100th meeting and the Lobos have a 66-28-5 lead
Lately: UNM has won 6 straight, and it's 31-6 Lobos since 1972
The average margin of victory in the last 3 games is 9 points and all have been decided in the final 10 minutes...last year, UNM overcame a 14-0 deficit to win 35-24...in 2007, the Lobos pulled away late in the 4th quarter to break a 27-27 tie at home...in 2006, UNM held on for a 35-28 win in Las Cruces, stopping the Aggies at the 33 after they got the ball back with 1:44 to play
Albuquerque: UNM leads 39-12-3, including 14-1 since 1978
Aggies' last win: 24-13 in Las Cruces in 2002
Aggies' last win in Albuquerque: 35-28 in 1999
Stats: UNM has averaged 35.5 points, 223.3 yards rushing and 399.2 yards of total offense during the 6-game winning streak
UNM grabbed 1 interception in last year's game, giving them 18 takeaways (8 interceptions and 10 fumbles lost) during the 6-game winning streak...the Lobos have turned it over 7 times during that span, 5 interceptions and 2 fumbles
The Lobos have sacked Aggies QBs 16 times in the past 4 games
1st-year NMSU offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier is a 2005 graduate of UNM...he was a 4-year starter on the offensive line from 2000-03, earning 1st team all-MWC honors as a senior...Lenz was the Lobos' O-line coach in 2007-08
New Mexico has 4 players from Las Cruces: Junior WR Chris Hernandez and redshirt freshmen CBs Nathan Enriquez and Freddy Young attended Mayfield HS. True freshman Dante Caro went to Las Cruces High.
UNM has 27 players from the state of New Mexico on its roster
LAST YEAR AT LAS CRUCES - Paul Baker rushed for 146 yards and New Mexico rallied in the fourth quarter to beat New Mexico State 35-24, the Lobos sixth straight victory in the series.An 18-yard touchdown by Jermaine McQueen and a failed 2-point conversion pulled the Lobos to 24-22 with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Baker gave New Mexico the lead with a 3-yard TD run with 4:14 left in the game, and James Wright sealed the win with a 44-yard touchdown run two minutes later. Chase Holbrook was 24-for-38 for 382 yards, including an 84-yard touchdown to A.J. Harris on the first snap of the game.
POSTGAME NOTES FROM LAST YEAR'S GAME
UNM trailed 14-0 just 3:41 into the game
New Mexico scored the final 19 points, all in the final 10:16...that's the most points in the final period since 21 against Texas Tech in a 42-28 loss in 2003
New Mexico had 175 yards of total offense in the 4th quarter, nearly matching the 177 gained through the first 3 quarters...UNM gained 151 of its 297 rushing yards in the 4th quarter
Senior TB Paul Baker
146 yards on a career-high 37 carries; his previous high was 22 totes in the 2007 New Mexico Bowl win over Nevada
Redshirt freshman TB James Wright
3 carries for 55 yards in his Lobo debut in the 4th quarter
his 3rd carry as a Lobo was a 44-yard TD run and a 35-24 Lobo lead
Redshirt freshman QB Brad Gruner
made his first collegiate start
had a 46-yard run in the 4th quarter, the longest by a UNM quarterback since Kole McKamey went 71 yards for a TD against New Mexico State in 2005
2007 IN ALBUQUERQUE - Rodney Ferguson ran wild again and Donovan Porterie sure got on a roll in the fourth quarter. But Clint McPeek? He had the hit that dictated the outcome. Ferguson had 118 yards rushing and two TDs, Porterie threw for two more scores and McPeek's big play swung things in New Mexico's favor as the Lobos beat New Mexico State 44-34.
New Mexico State trailed 34-27 midway through the final quarter. Chase Holbrook was moving the Aggies when he tried a pass for tight end Nick Cleaver. McPeek, a safety playing the Lobo position, arrived at the same time as the ball, and it popped right into the arms of New Mexico teammate Frankie Solomon. It was the first turnover by either side.
Porterie completed 18 of 25 attempts - including 14 of his last 15 - for 342 yards passing. He had several big plays and was helped by Marcus Smith, who made a spectacular diving catch for a 36-yard gain in the final quarter.
Defensive end Tyler Donaldson sealed New Mexico's victory when he intercepted Holbrook with 3:33 to go. Three plays later, Porterie threw to wide open Chris Mark in the left flat for a 26-yard TD pass to make it 44-27.
An overflow crowd of 41,033 filled University Stadium, which had a seating capacity of 38,634. It was the 4th largest crowd in stadium history, and many fans who bought walk-up tickets sat on the grassy hillsides in the corners.
AIR FORCE POSTGAME NOTES
The Lobos have a 5-game losing streak in MWC games, the longest in conference play since dropping the final 6 games in 1990
Air Force has won 5 of the past 6 games against the Lobos, but notched just its 2nd win in Albuquerque since 1995 (6 games)
The team with the time of possession advantage has won 10 of the past 11 games in this series; it was 38:23 - 21:37 in the Falcons' favor
The Lobos had season-highs of 290 yards of total offense and 188 rushing yards...UNM entered the game averaging 201 yards of offense (402 total), including 38 on the ground (76 total)
Sophomore TB James Wright
Career-highs of 126 yards rushing and 2 TDs on just 5 carries; scored on TD runs of 43 and 84 yards
School record 25.2 yards per rushing attempt; the old mark was 23.5 (4-94) by Tony Gray vs. Utah State in 1958 and Quincy Wright (4-94) vs. Northern Arizona in 1999
Third career 100-yard game and he added a 13-yard catch for 139 yards from scrimmage
Scored UNM's first offensive TD of the season on a 43-yard run with 3:29 left before halftime on his first carry of the season
84-yard TD run in the 4th quarter is the 4th longest in school history and the longest since David Osborn's 85-yard run vs. North Texas State in 1982
Senior DT Kendall Briscoe
8 tackles, including 1.0 for a loss, and a fumble recovery
Came into the game leading the MWC with 4.5 TFL...his season total is now 5.5
Blocked a 42-yard FG attempt at the end of the 1st half...it was the Lobos' first blocked FG in 3 years, since Tyler Donaldson had a rejection against San Diego State in 2006
Sophomore MLB Carmen Messina
Career-high 19 tackles - most by a Lobo since LB Mike Mohoric had 20 in the 2005 season finale vs. Air Force
42 stops in the first 3 games (14.0 avg.)...had 35 tackles in 12 games last year
True freshman TB Demond Dennis
7 carries for 57 yards, or 8.1 yards per carry...came into the game with 45 yards on 19 rushes the first 2 games (2.4 ypc) of the season
Redshirt freshman QB B.R. Holbrook
Saw his most extensive action of the season...entered the game late in the 1st quarter and played the rest of the game save for 2 snaps in the 3rd quarter when he left briefly with an injury
Finished with 73 yards on 8-15 passing and 2 interceptions
Sophomore S Bubba Forrest
made his first career start as a Lobo and finished with a career-high 10 tackles