Nov. 23, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The Lobos (1-10, 1-6 MWC) complete their 111th season Saturday when they visit No. 4 TCU (11-0, 7-0 MWC). Kickoff is 11:06 a.m., from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.
At No. 4 in all the major polls, TCU is the highest ranked team UNM has faced in 25 years. On Oct. 25, 1984, the Lobos fell to No. 4 BYU 48-0 in Albuquerque. The Cougars went on to win the national championship that season. Turn to p. 3 for more information on the UNM-TCU series.
Saturday's game will be televised live in high definition on The mtn., channel 276 on Comcast cable in Albuquerque and channel 616 on DirecTV.
Last Saturday, New Mexico snapped a 14-game losing streak - the 2nd-longest in school history - with a harrowing 29-27 victory over Colorado State. The Lobos' last win before CSU was Oct. 18, 2008, against San Diego State, 70-7, in Albuquerque. UNM also ended a 10-game losing streak in conference games.
The Lobos, however, have dropped 8 straight road games overall and 9 MWC road games in a row.
TCU ran its winning streak to 13 games with a 45-10 victory at Wyoming. Matthew Tucker and Joseph Turner each ran for TDs as the Horned Frogs' equaled their best start in 71 years. The win clinches at least a share of the MWC crown. TCU last went 11-0 in 1938, capped off by a win over Carnegie Tech in the national championship game. Wyoming was held to 52 yards of total offense in the second half.
The Horned Frogs have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 278-63 the past six games. That's an average score of 46.3 to 10.5.
UNM-TCU SERIES - New Mexico and TCU square off for the 11th time since the first game in 1991. The Horned Frogs have a 7-3 lead and have won all 4 MWC games played by a combined score of 139-52, including last year's 26-3 victory in Albuquerque. The Lobos' last win came in 1997 when both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson was the defensive coordinator on Dennis Franchione's Lobo staff in 1996-97...Patterson was actually one of three finalists for the New Mexico head coaching position following the 1997 season...in 2 wins against TCU in 1996 and `97, Patterson's Lobo defense held the Horned Frogs to 17 points (27-7 and 40-10)
Horned Frogs co-offensive coordinator Jarrett Anderson played at UNM from 1992-93, graduated in `93 and was a graduate assistant here in 1994...TCU safeties coach Chad Glasgow was a UNM graduate assistant in 1996
UNM sophomore S Bubba Forrest (Carlsbad, N.M.) and TCU sophomore DE Ross Forrest (Odessa Permian HS) are cousins...Ross' father, Mike, was a 1st team all-Western Athletic Conference linebacker at New Mexico in 1978 when he led the team with 162 tackles, the 3rd-highest season total in school history...a four-year letterman from 1976-79, Mike Forrest ranks 8th all-time at UNM with 362 career tackles
UNM-TCU: TWO YEARS AGO IN FORT WORTH - Andy Dalton threw for two touchdowns and TCU held New Mexico to 28 rushing yards in a 37-0 victory. Dalton connected with Derek Moore for a 29-yard touchdown in the second quarter and with Ervin Dickerson for a 1-yard score in the fourth. The Horned Frogs also scored on a 7-yard pass from Marcus Jackson, who shared time at quarterback with Dalton, to Marcus Brock during a 17-point second quarter.
Chris Manfredini kicked field goals of 28, 25, and 17 yards to help TCU end a three-game winning streak by New Mexico.
TCU hounded Lobos quarterback Donovan Porterie and held running back Rodney Ferguson to 13 carries for 28 yards, 81 below his season average. Porterie was 7-for-23 passing for 76 yards and was sacked twice.
Joseph Turner led TCU's balanced offense with a career-high 115 yards on 28 carries. The Frogs had 417 total yards -- 234 rushing and 183 passing -- while holding the Lobos to 119.
UNM-TCU: LAST YEAR IN ALBUQUERQUE - Andy Dalton ran for two touchdowns as TCU went on to a 26-3 win in the season-opener for both teams. The Horned Frogs scored on their first three possessions and needed a span of just over four minutes to build a 16-0 lead.
Dalton scored on runs of 11 and 4 yards, the second TD set up by Jeremy Kerley's 53-yard punt return midway through the fourth quarter.
The Lobos' only points came from a 28-yard field goal kick by Aho with 10:48 left in the third quarter.
K Ross Evans missed a chance to extend TCU's 16-0 lead when he missed a 20-yard field goal attempt with 39 seconds left in the first half. That drive was set up by Donovan Porterie's fumble near midfield that was recovered by defensive end Jerry Hughes. Porterie suffered a neck injury on the play and did not return.
Backup Brad Gruner made his first pass a spectacular one, teaming with wide receiver Chris Hernandez on an 81-yard pass play to the TCU 12-yard line. But New Mexico's offense picked up 6 yards on three plays and settled for Aho's field goal.
NOTES TO KNOW BEFORE THE GAME
The Lobos could really help themselves if they could get off to a better start against TCU. UNM's early deficits the past four games:
2005 - 28-0 at end of the 1st quarter
2006 - 24-0 at halftime
2007 - 20-0 at halftime
2008 - 16-0 at end of the 1st quarter
UNM is playing a ranked team for the third time in the past four weeks...the last time the Lobos faced a trio of ranked teams in one season was 1990
The Lobos have a 7-42 record against nationally-ranked teams...the breakdown is 5-21 at home, 4-20 in University Stadium, 2-20 on the road and 0-1 at a neutral site...UNM's last win against a nationally-ranked team was 47-35 at No. 23 Utah on Oct. 25, 2003, in Salt Lake City...the last victory in Albuquerque was 23-21 against No. 8 and undefeated Utah on Nov. 5, 1994
New Mexico has dropped 11 straight games to opponents residing in the Lone Star State...the last win was 40-10 at TCU on Nov. 1, 1997...since that victory, UNM is 0-4 at Texas Tech, 0-3 at UTEP, 0-2 at TCU and 0-1 at Baylor and Texas A&M
For the third time in the past four games, the Lobos will be facing a team whose head coach was once a member of a New Mexico coaching staff...TCU's Gary Patterson was UNM's defensive coordinator for Dennis Franchione in 1996-97...Colorado State's Steve Fairchild was offensive coordinator for Mike Sheppard from 1987-89 while BYU's Bronco Mendenhall was defensive coordinator under Rocky Long from 1998-2002
It has been nearly 9 quarters since the Lobos scored a TD against TCU...it came in Albuquerque in 2006 at the 13:45 mark of the 4th period, a game TCU won 27-21...the Horned Frogs won 37-0 in 2007 and 26-3 last year in Albuquerque
Lobo sophomore MLB Carmen Messina remains the nation's top tackler, averaging 13.2 stops a game...with 145 stops, Messina is on pace to register 158 this season, which would be the 4th-highest total in UNM history...the school record is 178 by Brian Urlacher in 1998, also in 12 games...LB Dave Thompson had 176 in 11 games in 1976 while LB Mike Forrest had 161 in 1978...last year's Lobo leader was Clint McPeek, who had 103...earlier this year, Messina posted double-digit tackles in 8 straight games, the longest streak with 10+ tackles by a Lobo since Urlacher had 11 in a row in 1998 (last 8 games) and 1999 (first 3 games)
Senior P Adam Miller continues to lead the Mountain West Conference and he ranks 7th nationally with a season average of 44.4 yards...the past 8 games, Miller has averaged 46.5 yards on 36 punts with 13 traveling more than 50 yards and 10 landing inside the opponents' 20-yard line...the UNM season record for average is 45.6 by A.L. Terpening in 1954, a figure that also led the NCAA...Mike Nesbitt is 2nd with a 45-yard average in 1993...the last Lobo to lead a league in punting was Steve Bauer in 1973...he led the Western Athletic Conference and finished 3rd in the NCAA with an average of 44.2 yards
Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey continues to lead the MWC with 14.5 tackles for loss...Rainey is also 2nd in the league in sacks with 8.5 (0.77 per game)...unofficially, the cat-quick Rainey has been credited with a team-high 35 QB hurries this season
COLORADO STATE RECAP - James Aho's 27-yard field goal with 12 seconds left sent New Mexico to a 29-27 victory over Colorado State, ending the Lobos' 14-game losing streak.
Colorado State's John Mosure ran for a career-high 177 yards and two touchdowns and Nick Oppenneer returned an interception 97 yards to give the Rams a 27-23 fourth-quarter lead. But Mosure fumbled at the New Mexico 5 later in the fourth quarter and the Lobos drove for a field goal to pull within a point.
The final drive started at the Colorado State 45 after a short punt. Quarterback Donovan Porterie converted a fourth-and-3 with a 5-yard scramble, and Kasey Carrier followed with a 22-yard run to the 11, setting up Aho's game-winning kick.
Demond Dennis rushed for a career-high 133 yards and one touchdown for the Lobos, and Carrier had 87 yards on 15 attempts.
COLORADO STATE POSTGAME NOTES
15 of the last 16 regular season games between the Lobos and Rams have been decided by 10 points or less with the average winning margin being 5.1 points...since 2003, UNM has won 5 of the 7 meetings, including 4 game-winning field goals (by 4 different kickers) in the final seconds
New Mexico set season-highs for points (29) and points in the 1st half (17)...the Lobos came into the game averaging 15.7 points a game...the Lobos' previous high score was 28 at Texas Tech on Oct. 3
UNM also put up a season-high 270 yards rushing, including 130 in the 4th quarter...it's the most by UNM in 15 games, since a 419-yard effort last year vs. San Diego State...the Lobos' previous high this season was 188 vs. Air Force on Sept. 19...UNM entered the game averaging 92.3 rushing yards/game
New Mexico's 467 yards of total offense is also a season-high and the most since its 565-yard day vs. SDSU last year...the Lobos' previous best this season was 431 yards at Texas Tech
New Mexico has converted 16 of 34 3rd down opportunities (47%) over the past 2 games (6-14 CSU, 10-20 vs. BYU)...that compares to 25% (34-137) the first 9 games
UNM had just one 5-yard penalty on the day, which was an intentional delay of game on a midfield punt...the previous lows were 3 flags at Texas A&M and 29 yards last week against BYU
Senior QB Donovan Porterie
22-37 passing for 197 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions
Engineered the 5th second half comeback of his career and 3rd game-winning drive on the Lobos' final possession of the 4th quarter (2 vs. Colorado State)...ran for 5 yards on a 4th-and-3 play from the CSU 38 to keep the drive alive
Won his 14th game as a starter (14-19), tying David Osborn (14-16-1, 1979-82) for 6th all-time at UNM...is 14-14 in games he has started and finished
4th multiple TD game of the season and he has 32 TD passes in his career (5th at UNM)
Over his last 8 games he is averaging 241 passing yards/game with 12 TDs and 7 INTs while completing over 57% of his passes
True freshman RB Demond Dennis
19 yards per carry, rushing 7 times for a career-high 133 yards - most by a Lobo this year - including a 42-yard TD run and 50-yard burst...78 yards on 2 carries in the 4th quarter...entered the game with 84 total rushing yards in his last 4 games played (missed 2 due to injury)
True freshman RB Kasey Carrier
Season-highs of 15 rushes for 87 yards...also 3 catches for 11 yards and 3 kickoff returns for 85 yards
Season-high 183 all-purpose yards, including UNM's longest kickoff return of the season (49 yards)
50 yards rushing on 6 carries in the 4th quarter, including 23 yards on 2 carries to set up the Lobos' game-winning field goal
258 rushing yards (51.6/game) and 17 catches for 141 yards (28.2/game) and averaging 26.8 yards on 8 kickoff returns since making his collegiate debut 4 weeks ago vs. UNLV
Sophomore K James Aho
One week after missing a career-worst 3 FG attempts (2 off the upright), he hit all 3 FG attempts, including the game-winning 27-yarder with 12 seconds remaining
It was the 3rd time his points have provided the winning margin for UNM, but the first game-winner in the final seconds
He is the 4th different Lobo kicker to defeat Colorado State with a game-winning FG since 2003
It was Aho's 4th multiple FG game of the year and 8th of his career, moving him up to 5th on the UNM career FG list (30), passing Zunker and Sullivan (29 each)
He improved to 16-21 in his career on 2nd half FGs, including 7-9 in the 4th quarter
Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey
3 tackles, including an 8-yard sack, giving him a team-high 8.5 on the year...it's the most by a Lobo since DE Brian Johnson had 9.5 in 2000
Entered the game leading the MWC in tackles for loss and upped his total to 14.5 - resulting in 109 yards of losses
Also forced an incompletion and knocked CSU starting QB Grant Stucker out of the game late in the 2nd quarter with a QB hit...unofficially has 36 QB hits or hurries this fall
Sophomore LB Carmen Messina
finished with 11 tackles (7 solo) - his 9th game this season with 10+ tackles
came into the game 1st in the nation at 13.4...now averaging 13.2 a game
has 145 tackles on the season, 10th on the UNM single season list and the most by a Lobo since 1993
Senior WR Victor James
set career-highs with 6 catches and 62 yards receiving, including a TD catch (12 yards) in his 3rd straight game
28 catches for 348 yards (12.4 avg.) and 3 TDs, averaging 43.5 yards in his last 8 games
Senior S Frankie Solomon
9 tackles and caused a fumble on a kickoff that resulted in the first career TD reception for his younger brother Quintell...also recovered Colorado State's final errant lateral on the last play of the game to seal the victory
Redshirt freshman WR Quintell Solomon
2 catches and 26 yards, including his first career TD reception (21 yards)
TD grab was set up by a forced fumble by his older brother Frankie on the Rams' kickoff return
Senior S Frankie Baca
1st interception of the season and 2nd of his career came in the end zone to thwart a CSU scoring threat