Sept. 13, 2004
The New Mexico Lobos play their first of six road games Saturday when they visit Pac-10 stalwart Oregon State. The Lobos and Beavers kick off at 1 p.m. Pacific Time, 2 p.m. in Albuquerque. KRQE will televise the game on a delayed basis beginning at 5 p.m. A live telecast is prohibited by Pac-10 rules, which states no game involving a hosting Pac-10 institution may be televised live opposite a network telecast The Oregon-Oklahoma game is being shown on ABC at 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
Saturday?s game is a rematch of last year?s Las Vegas Bowl, a contest the Beavers thoroughly dominated 55-14. It?s Oregon State?s home opener. UNM is opening the season with its third straight game against a BCS member. This will be New Mexico?s only game on traditional astroturf this season. After playing its first two games at home, UNM now plays six of its final nine games away from Albuquerque.
Last Saturday, the Lobos halted a 10-game, 20-year drought to Texas Tech, edging the Red Raiders 27-24 on Wes Zunker?s 43-yard field goal as time expired. UNM had not beaten Tech since 1984 and had lost 27 of its past 28 games to teams currently in the BCS. The Lobos avoided being 0-2 for the first time since 2000, however, they have not started 2-1 since 1998.
In Saturday?s victory, Lobo junior TB DonTrell Moore picked up 76 yards to become the career rushing leader in the Mountain West Conference, which began operations in 1999. Moore has 2,826 yards in 28 career games, supplanting San Diego State?s Larry Ned, who had 2,800 yards from 1999-2001. Moore remains 4th on the Lobo rushing charts. Fred Henry is No. 3 with 2,935 yards from 1970-72. Moore leads the MWC and is 15th nationally, averaging 121.5 yards a game.
The Texas Tech win also gave Lobo head coach Rocky Long career win No. 34, sliding him past Dennis Franchione into 3rd place on the school?s victory list. Roy Johnson had 41 to rank No. 1 followed by Bill Weeks with 40.
Picked to finish in the top-4 of the Pac-10 race, Oregon State is 0-2 after daunting season-opening road trips to defending BCS champion LSU and Boise State, currently the owner of the nation?s longest winning streak at 13 games. The Beavers led LSU most of the way before falling in overtime 22-21. OSU missed three extra points. At Boise, Oregon State jumped out to a 14-0 advantage after one quarter, but lost a shootout to the Broncos, 53-34. OSU is 0-2 for the first time since an 0-3 start to the 1996 season.
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.
Oregon State also finished 8-5 overall and tied Washington for 5th place in the Pac-10.
Two of the more productive receivers in the college game square off Saturday in Corvallis. Oregon State senior Mike Hass (rhymes with mass) leads the nation in receiving with 343 yards (on 17 receptions) after two games. He is coming off an eye-popping 12-catch, 293-yard performance in last Friday?s loss at Boise State. The 293 yards is an OSU record and the third 200-yard receiving game of his career. Hass caught 6 balls for 88 yards and a TD against the Lobos in last year?s Las Vegas Bowl. New Mexico junior Hank Baskett has caught 15 passes for 264 yards in his first two games as a Lobo regular. The reigning MWC high-jump champion ranks 7th in the nation in yards (132.0/game) and 11th in receptions (7.5/game).
The Lobos return 40 lettermen, 18 on offense, 18 on defense and four kickers. Gone are 14 starters, including eight performers who garnered first- or second-team all-conference honors a year ago. Six of the eight were on defense, including three defensive linemen. Also departed is Casey Kelly, the winningest quarterback in school history.
Playing in the Las Vegas Bowl in 2002 and ?03, New Mexico has made consecutive bowl appearances for only the second time in school history, the first occurence being after the 1945 and ?46 seasons. UNM is 2-5-1 in bowls and has lost three straight. The last win was in 1961, a 28-12 decision over Western Michigan in the one-time-only Aviation Bowl in Dayton, Ohio. The Lobos had a 36-year postseason hiatus before the 1997 Insight.com Bowl.
The Lobos have never played in three straight bowl games, although they have been bowl eligible for three consecutive years. UNM was 6-5 in 2001, but was not selected.
FINAL SEASON TICKET NUMBER - A school-record 15,729 season tickets were sold for 2004. 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 and is now third on the school?s all-time win list at 34-41.
In terms of total seasons, only Johnson (11) and Weeks (8) have been at UNM for more time than Long. However, with 75 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. OREGON STATE / PAC-10 / BCS - The two schools meet for the fourth time with OSU holding a 2-1 advantage...this is the first meeting in Corvallis after two games (1979, 2000) in Albuquerque and last year?s contest at the Las Vegas Bowl
OSU completely dominated last year?s Las Vegas Bowl, winning 55-14...RB Steven Jackson scored 5 TDs, rushing for 149 yards and 4 TDs...QB Derek Anderson was 21-33 passing for 322 yards...OSU compiled 29 first downs and 540 yards while UNM had just 7 first downs, 6 net yards rushing and 127 total yards, the 2nd-lowest output by a Lobo team in the past 189 games...the Lobos had 124 yards vs. BYU in 1999 and 66 at Texas in 1988
New Mexico has a 24-70-2 record against current members of the Pac-10 and has lost 8 straight to its western neighbors, including the past two years in the Las Vegas Bowl to UCLA and Oregon State...the last win came against OSU in Albuquerque in 1979
Before the victory over Texas Tech, UNM had dropped 27 of its last 28 games against schools that currently are part of the Bowl Championship Series. The only other win since 1984 was 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.
UNM-OSU TIES - New Mexico head coach Rocky Long was Jerry Pettibone?s defensive coordinator at Oregon State from 1991-95...both of Long?s daughters - Roxanne and Hannah - graduated from Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis
Lobo defensive coordinator Osia (OH-say) Lewis is a 1986 graduate of OSU where he was a four-year letterman and a decorated linebacker from 1982-85...a long jumper and standout quarterback and punter at Tucson (Ariz.) High School, Lewis played quarterback, safety, linebacker and wide receiver for the Beavers...as a senior in 1985, he was named OSU?s Most Inspirational Player, served as team captain and earned All-Pac-10 and honorable mention All-American honors by the Associated Press...Lewis still holds the school record for career fumble recoveries (8) and is tied for the lead in fumble recoveries in a season (4)...he spent 13 years at OSU either as a student or as a coach...he was a graduate assistant for the football team in 1987-88, then served as linebackers and special teams coach from 1991-96
Beavers defensive line coach Greg Newhouse was the Lobos? defensive coordinator and secondary coach under Mike Sheppard in 1990...Newhouse is in his 8th year with OSU
Current Lobo men?s basketball coach Ritchie McKay came from Oregon State in April of 2002...McKay posted a 22-37 record in two seasons in Corvallis
MORE ON THE BEAVERS - Oregon State returns 43 lettermen from last year?s team, including 11 starters, 4 on offense and 7 on defense
Head coach Mike Riley (Alabama ?74) is 16-21 in his fourth year and second stint at Oregon State. He was OSU?s head man in 1997 (3-8) and 1998 (5-6) before becoming head coach of the San Diego Chargers for three years (1999-2001). Riley was secondary coach of the New Orleans Saints in 2002 before returning to Corvallis in 2003. He played for Paul ?Bear? Bryant at Alabama as a defensive back from 1972-75. The Crimson Tide won four SEC titles and the 1973 national championship. Riley was 40-32 in five seasons as head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, including two Grey Cup championships in 1988 and 1990. Riley is 10-3 in non-conference games while at OSU, 1-0 against the Lobos.
Gone is standout Steven Jackson, the workhorse tailback who led the Pac-10 in rushing (1,545 yards), all-purpose yards (2,015) and scoring (132 points) a year ago. Jackson is now plying his trade with the St. Louis Rams.
Senior QB Derek Anderson has thrown for more than 8,200 yards in his career. He is 48-89 for 642 yards with 7 TDs and 5 interceptions after two games. Anderson, who threw 23 interceptions last season, was picked off 4 times at Boise State, although most of those bouced off the hands of his receivers.
Senior DE Bill Swancutt is Oregon State?s career sack leader with 25.5.
Reser Stadium is currently undergoing a $93 million renovation, the largest capital fundraising campaign in the school?s history. The three-phase overhaul of the 50-year-old stadium will add 8,000 seats to the east side, increasing capacity to 43,000. The new section will be completed prior to the 2005 season and possess all chairback seating, 22 luxury seats, loge level, club level, donor seating and a student section that stretches from end zone to end zone.
P.O.W. TRIFECTA - For the first time in school history, New Mexico swept the Mountain West Conference player of the week award. Following their performances against Texas Tech, sophomore QB Kole McKamey and senior S Josh Bazinet each earned the first honor of their careers while senior K Wes Zunker picked up his second special teams award.
TEXAS TECH REVIEW - Wes Zunker?s 43-yard FG as time expired gave the Lobos a gritty 27-24 victory over Texas Tech, ending UNM?s 10-game, 20-year losing skid against the Red Raiders?New Mexico had not beaten TTU since a 29-24 decision in Albuquerque on Sept. 22, 1984
The dramatic game-ending drive was beautifully engineered by sophomore QB Kole McKamey...with the score tied at 24, the Lobos took over on their own 20 with 1:47 remaining...McKamey opened the march with a 10-yard option keeper and capped it by completing a 14-yard pass to freshman WR Marcus Smith that advanced the ball to the Texas Tech 25...two plays and two Texas Tech timeouts later, Zunker cooly nailed the game-winner...junior TB DonTrell Moore - with an assist from the offensive line - came up big on the drive as well, rushing for 30 yards on 4 carries...the Lobos gained just 142 yards on the ground, but 40 yards came in the final 107 seconds
After tossing three second-half interceptions in his first career start against Washington State, McKamey showed all the poise of a veteran against the team he rooted for as a youngster...he totaled 222 yards of total offense and had a hand in all three of the team?s TDs...McKamey completing 12 of 24 passes for 173 yards with no interceptions and 1 TD to WR Hank Baskett...he rushed 10 times for 49 yards and a pair of TDs...after one quarter, McKamey was 1 of 5 passing for 8 yards, then went 11 of 19 for 168 yards in the final 3 quarters
Zunker connected on 2 fourth-quarter FGs...he also made a 44-yarder on the first play of the quarter to tie the game at 24...for Zunker, it's the second time in UNM's last four home games that he has won a game at the gun...on Nov. 7, 2003, Zunker nailed a 33-yard FG against Colorado State to win it 37-34
Attendance was 38,746, the third-largest gate in UNM history?New Mexico is averaging 36,803 through its first two home games
The game was tied 21-21 at halftime, but the two teams combined for just 3 FGs after the break...UNM and Washington State played to a scoreless first half on Sept. 3
NM senior safety Josh Bazinet doubled his career-high with 12 tackles...a former walk-on who is now a team captain, Bazinet had a 7-yard sack, 2 pass deflections and 3 quarterback hurries...he is tied with LB Fola Fashola for the team lead with 18 tackles
Led by sophomore OG Robert Turner?s 16 knockdown blocks, the Lobo offensive line did not allow a sack
TTU's Sonny Cumbie completed 44 of 70 pass attempts for 449 yards...it is the most completions and attempts against a Lobo team...the previous individual highs were 42 completions and 61 attempts by BYU?s Robbie Bosco in 1985
Senior CB Brandon Payne stopped a Texas Tech drive in the end zone with his 3rd interception of the season and of his career?he had 2 last week against Washington State...Payne is tied for 3rd nationally by averaging 1.5 interceptions a game...he is 1st in the MWC with 7 pass deflections
Junior WR Hank Baskett continued his stellar play, catching 6 passes for 99 yards and a 7-yard scoring lob from McKamey...Baskett also had a diving 38-yard TD catch taken away by officials who ruled he was beyond the back of the end zone...television replays clearly indicated he caught the ball in bounds
The Lobos scored 10 points following Texas Tech?s three turnovers (2 interceptions/1 fumble), a TD and a FG, but the Red Raiders failed to score after UNM?s two miscues despite starting at the Lobo 36 and 25?New Mexico is now 26-8 under Rocky Long when it commits fewer turnovers in a game
Redshirt freshman WR Marcus Smith recovered a fumble on a muffed punt in the 1st quarter that led to a 12-yard TD run by McKamey?Smith also grabbed the first 2 receptions of his career, including a key 14-yard reception during the game-winning drive
Senior LB Fola Fashola logged 7 tackles, including a 6-yard sack...Fashola is 1st in the MWC in tackles for loss with 4 and tied for 1st with 2 sacks
Senior LB Nick Speegle made 10 stops on the night, giving him 238 for his career...he is 6 tackles from moving into the top-20 all-time at UNM
Junior P Tyler Gaus? punting average of 53.8 on 5 punts is a career-best by more than 5 yards?he landed 2 inside the 20, including one at the TTU 2...Gaus now leads the MWC and is 4th in the nation with a 48-yard average on 9 kicks...he came into the season with a career average of 40 yards
UNM is now 14-1 since 2001 when scoring first, 23-10 under Rocky Long
The Lobos are 1st in the MWC and 5th nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 38.5 yards a game...that?s exactly the rankings UNM finished after the 2003 season when it yielded a program-low 86.1 yards a game
UNM got 2 sacks against Texas Tech, increasing their MWC-leading total to 7..New Mexico has led the league in sacks every year since 2000
COACH LONG SAYS - (on Texas Tech) -- "I thought our players hung in there through a lot of adversity. They showed a lot of heart. Anytime you beat a team as good and as talented as Texas Tech it's a big win. I don't want to overemphasize this win. We beat a very good football team and we're pretty proud that we did, but there are a lot more important things that happened on this date (Sept. 11). It's something to be proud of but it's only the second game of the year. There's a lot more football to play."
(On the play of sophomore QB Kole McKamey) -- "I thought Kole played very well. I tell you what, the last drive, with some help from some other people, that was one of the best quarterback drives I've seen. He was good on clock management, he knew when to spike the ball, he threw the ball very, very well, he checked a couple plays and got (junior TB) DonTrell (Moore) on some draws. He played like a veteran."
(On Oregon State) -- ?It?s their home opener, and after two tough losses against very good football teams, I?m sure we?ll get the very best they have physically and emotionally. Oregon State is an excellent football team; probably the most talented team of our first three opponents. We were probably a more confident team going into the Texas Tech game because of the way we played against Washington State. So, I expect our confidence level to be high as we go into this week's game at Oregon State."