Oct. 1, 2004
NEW MEXICO vs. No. 14 UTAH
Friday, October 1, 2004
University Stadium - Albuquerque, N.M.
Tonight's attendance was a season-high 40,182...it is the 3rd largest crowd in University Stadium history...through three home games this fall, UNM is averaging 37,929 fans/game (113,788 total).
New Mexico tailback DonTrell Moore suited up, but did not play...Moore, who is still nursing a strained MCL in his left knee, was held out per coaches' decision.
Utah snapped a two-game losing streak to the Lobos with its victory tonight and won in Albuquerque for the first time since 1998 (41-7)...the Utes have won 9-straight overall since losing to UNM, 47-35, in Salt Lake City last year...New Mexico has started 2-3 in each of head coach Rocky Long's seven years at the helm...the Lobos have lost 9 of their past 11 to ranked opponents, defeating the Utes in 1994 and 2003.
Utah's 278 yards rushing were the most the Lobos had allowed this year and the highest by an opponent since Air Force recorded 283 yards in 1999... opponents had gained over 200 yards on the ground just 3 times in the past 50 games entering the night...Oregon State's 124 yards were the previous best this season...the Utes had 202 yards at halftime, but gained just 76 yards in the second half...UNM entered the night ranked 7th in the nation in rush defense, holding opponents to just 66.2 yards/game.
Ute tailback Marty Johnson's 59-yard run in the first quarter was the longest against the Lobos in 14 games, since BYU's Reynaldo Brathwaite ran 89-yards to set up a Cougar field goal at University Stadium last year.
UNM failed to score on offense for the second time in three games...both times a fumble return provided the Lobos' lone touchdown...Gabriel Fulbright's 68-yard return was the Lobos' second fumble return of at least 60 yards in the last 3 games...Josh Bazinet scored on a 70-yard return for the Lobos at Oregon State (17-7 loss).
Utah scored first against New Mexico for the fourth straight year...the Lobos had won 2 of the previous 3 games...UNM fell to 0-3 this season when its opponent scores first.
UNM cornerback Brandon Payne had a career-high 4 pass deflections to increase his Mountain West lead to 12 this season...he is now 2 deflections shy of Eric Jack's school record of 14 set in 1993...Payne also had a career-high seven tackles and his 4th interception of the season, that coming in the endzone...in 2003, the team leaders were Gabriel Fulbright and Brandon Ratcliff with 4, which Payne has already equaled
Albuquerque Manzano product Rodney Ferguson became the third true freshman to play for the Lobos this year when he took the field in the second quarter...Ferguson is the first true freshman to appear at running back for UNM since Holmon Wiggins in 1998...fellow 2004 signees Tyson Ditmore and Travis Brown played at New Mexico State.
New Mexico's Tyler Gaus had a career-high 14 punts on the night, averaging 41.4 yards per kick...Gaus had 21 punts on the season coming into tonight's game.