Oct. 26, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- A venue that has been kind to New Mexico for more than a decade is the site of the Lobos' next game this Saturday evening. UNM (0-7, 0-3 MWC) meets an improved San Diego State (3-4, 1-2 MWC) team at 5:34 p.m., from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
New Mexico has won 8 straight against SDSU overall and taken 6 in a row over the Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego State's last victory in the series was 17-16 in Albuquerque in 2000, while it's last triumph over the Lobos in San Diego was 1995 by a score of 38-29.
Saturday's game will be televised live on CBS College Sports HD, channel 274 on Comcast cable in Albuquerque, channel 613 on DirecTV and channel 152 on Dish Network. After a 34-17 home loss to UNLV, New Mexico is 0-7 for the first time since 1987 when it finished 0-11. UNM has lost 11 straight games for the first time since a 12-game slide in 1987-88. The Lobos' last win was Oct. 18, 2008, against San Diego State in Albuquerque. UNM has also dropped 7 consecutive conference games, 6 straight road games and 7 straight MWC road games.
Last Saturday, San Diego State sophomore QB Ryan Lindley completed 29-of-43 pass attempts for a career-high 459 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions in leading the Aztecs to a 42-28 come-from-behind win at Colorado State. He was named MWC co-Offensive Player of the Week. The bulk of Lindley's efforts came in the second half as he guided five consecutive scoring drives to help SDSU rally from a 21-7 halftime deficit. Lindley was 17-of-23 for 327 yards and five touchdowns in the second half. The six touchdown passes set a league record for most in an MWC contest, while his 459 passing yards are the most by an MWC player this season and ranks sixth nationally.
Lindley shared Player of the Week honors with teammate DeMarco Sampson. Filling in for injured receiver Vincent Brown (thumb), Sampson had 15 catches for 257 yards and three touchdowns (all career highs). Sampson's 15 catches tie for third-most in a single game in MWC history and are sixth-most nationally in 2009, while his 257 receiving yards set an MWC record for most in a conference game and ranks second nationally in 2009. Sampson's three receiving touchdowns also tie the MWC record for most in a conference game. Six of his catches came on third down, including four times when SDSU needed eight or more yards for a first down. Of Sampson's 15 receptions, 12 went for first downs and 11 were for more than 10 yards. He caught six passes on three key SDSU scoring drives in the second half, including a 33-yard TD reception that tied the game at 21-21 midway through the third quarter, and a 38-yard TD catch that put the Aztecs on top for good with 9:29 remaining in the game. Last year, the Lobos finished 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the MWC, tying UNLV for 6th place. The Aztecs were 2-10 overall and 1-8 in the league in 2008.
36th meeting since 1st game in 1953...SDSU leads 20-15
Current Streak: UNM has won 8 straight overall and 6 in a row at Qualcomm Stadium
SDSU's Last Victory: 17-16 in Albuquerque in 2000
SDSU Last Win in San Diego: 1995 by a score of 38-29
MWC Games: UNM leads 9-1
At San Diego: Aztecs lead 10-8
Past 6 Games: The Lobos have forced 20 SDSU turnovers
Past 9 Games: The UNM defense has allowed an average of 13.1 points, 70.7 yards rushing and 263.8 yards total offense to SDSU
LAST YEAR IN ALBUQUERQUE - Rodney Ferguson scored four touchdowns as New Mexico beat San Diego State 70-7. New Mexico scored in bunches against the Aztecs and the Lobos' 49 first-half points were the most since 1946, when the school began keeping such stats. The 70 points were the most ever given up by San Diego State, which lost to New Mexico for the eighth straight time.
Lobo cornerback Glover Quin intercepted a pass from freshman quarterback Ryan Lindley on the Aztecs' first possession, and the Lobos needed just four plays to go 46 yards after Quin's pick. Quarterback Brad Gruner scored from the 20.
New Mexico's first half scores included a pair of 4-yard TD runs: a 5-yarder by Ferguson and a 13-yard TD run by Gruner after linebacker Carmen Messina recovered a fumble by Mekell Wesley on a kickoff return. Gruner also threw a 19-yard scoring pass to tight end Chris Mark with 23 seconds left in the first half.
The Aztecs' only score was on a 15-yard pass to Darren Mougey with 7:30 left in the third quarter.
NOTES FROM LAST YEAR'S GAME
New Mexico recorded its 10th-highest scoring game in school history...it's the most points by UNM since a 72-8 win over Texas State in 2003
UNM's 8 rushing TDs tied a school and Mountain West Conference record...the Lobos had 8 against Utah in 1971, UTEP in 1972 and New Mexico State in 1982...Air Force had 8 rushing TDs against San Diego State on Nov. 17, 2007
New Mexico led 49-0 at halftime...since game statistics became official in 1946, that's the most points UNM has scored in a half...the previous mark was 46 against Northern Arizona in 1950...the 49 points ties a Mountain West Conference record for points in a half...BYU scored 49 against Tulane on Aug. 25, 2001
It's the Lobos' biggest win against San Diego State...the previous was 41-12 (29-point margin) in the first game of the series in Albuquerque in 1953
New Mexico had 419 yards rushing, the most since 434 yards against New Mexico State in 1997
The Lobos had 565 yards of total offense, the most since 633 yards against Utah in 2003
TWO YEARS AGO IN SAN DIEGO - Rodney Ferguson's 6-yard touchdown run with 15 seconds left in the game lifted New Mexico to a 20-17 victory at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Aztecs appeared to have the game in hand when quarterback Kevin O'Connell, who had rushed for two touchdowns, scrambled for an apparent first down on a 3rd and 11 play from the Lobos' 40-yard line. However, New Mexico linebacker Herbert Felder knocked the ball out of O'Connell's hand and OJ Swift recovered for New Mexico at the Lobos' 35-yard line.
From there, quarterback Donovan Porterie directed an 8-play, 65-yard drive capped off by Ferguson's run up the middle. Porterie finished the game completing 18-of-35 passes for 239 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Travis Brown with just 11 seconds left in the first half, tying the game at 10-10. Porterie also rushed for 16 yards, including nine on the last drive.
Brown caught seven passes for 119 yards. He also drew a pass interference call on San Diego State's Aaron Moore that set up the Lobos at the 6-yard line on their game-winning drive.
NOTES TO KNOW BEFORE THE GAME
Saturday, the Lobos face off against their former head coach in Rocky Long, who is in his 1st season as San Diego State's defensive coordinator...a 1974 UNM graduate and star quarterback from 1969-71, Long will be on the sideline opposite his alma mater for the first time since he was an assistant coach at Wyoming from 1981-85...the winningest coach in Lobo history with 65 victories, Long guided New Mexico for 11 seasons (1998-2008)...he oversaw the most prosperous seven-year stretch in program history from 2001-07 when UNM averaged 7 wins per season, was bowl eligible every season and participated in 5 postseason games...Long stepped down from his post surprised two days (Nov. 17) after the Lobos' final game of 2008
Lobo sophomore MLB Carmen Messina remains 1st in the nation in tackles at 13.9 a game...after a 17-tackle effort Saturday against UNLV, Messina is on pace to register 166 stops over the 12-game season...the school record is 178 by Brian Urlacher in 1998, also in 12 games...last year's Lobo tackle leader was Clint McPeek, who had 103 stops...Messina has posted double-digit tackles in 6 straight games, the longest streak with 10+ tackles by a Lobo since LB/S Quincy Black (now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) had 7 in a row in 2006
Although he did not have a tackle for loss for the first time this season, sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey still leads the MWC in that category with 11.5, or an average of 1.64 per game...he is also 3rd in the MWC in sacks with 6.5 (.93 per game)...in his 1st career start against New Mexico State, Rainey set career-highs for tackles (9), tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (2.5)...the cat-quick Rainey was unofficially credited with 5 more QB hurries/hits against UNLV, giving him a team-high 29 this season...Rainey had 15 tackles in 11 games last year
Senior QB Donovan Porterie's passing numbers are picking up...over the past 4 games he is averaging 248.2 yards (993 total) with 6 TDs and 3 INTs while completing 60% of his passes to 14 different receivers for an efficiency rating of 122.86...take away the sacks, and Porterie is also averaging 22.3 yards rushing and 5.2/carry during the span...he is the most accurate passer in school history among the 5 QBs with 4,000+ career yards...officially, he is 2nd all-time at UNM with a 59.1% conversion rate, trailing only Donald Sellers, who attempted 400 fewer attempts than Porterie
Porterie was 20-30 passing for 219 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs against UNLV...the pass efficiency of 149.99 is his best performance since the 2007 New Mexico Bowl (150.93)
The top-2 punters in the MWC will be kicking Saturday...SDSU's Brian Stahovich leads the MWC and is 4th nationally with a 45.8-yard average...UNM's Adam Miller is 2nd in the league and 14th in the FBS at 43.8 yards per kick
Despite no catches at Colorado State last week due to a sprained thumb suffered early in the game, San Diego State junior WR Vincent Brown leads the MWC in receiving yards (111.1 pg) and all-purpose yards (148.7 pg)
The UNM offense has struggled on 3rd down...it has converted 24% (24-99) for the season, which is last among the 120 FBS teams...and it has been even tougher in the 2nd half where the rate is 17.8% (8-45), including 3 of 22 (13.6%) in the 3rd period
YOUTH BEING SERVED LIKE NEVER BEFORE - The 2009 Lobos could very well be one of the youngest New Mexico teams ever. Consider the numbers:
Of the 48 different players listed on this week's offensive/defensive depth chart, 25 are either freshmen or sophomores...18 of the 48 are seeing gameday action for the first time in their college career...UNM's top-4 rushers are three freshmen and a sophomore, its top 2 receivers both freshmen
Only 12 seniors are seeing significant playing time on offense and defense
Entering Saturday's game at San Diego State, only six active Lobos have more than 8 career starts at UNM
46% of the receiving yards have been recorded by UNM freshmen or sophomores (653 of 1,421)
96% of the rushing yards have been recorded by UNM freshmen or sophomores (622 of 644)
7 of the Lobos' 10 offensive TDs have been scored by freshmen or sophomores
53% of the Lobos' tackles have been recorded by freshmen or sophomores (336 of 637)
30.5 of the Lobos' 47 tackles for loss (65%), 14 of the 16 sacks, 3 of the 4 interceptions and 6 of the 8 forced fumbles have been recorded by freshmen and sophomores
UNM's top tackler, TFL leader and top 3 sack leaders are sophomores
UNLV RECAP - Omar Clayton had 204 yards passing and two touchdowns and Ryan Wolfe had 11 catches for 118 yards as UNLV snapped a four-game losing streak, beating New Mexico 34-17 on Saturday night. The Rebels ended their school-record 20-game losing streak in conference road contests. Mike Locksley, New Mexico's first-year coach, wasn't at the stadium while he served the final night of a 10-day suspension for his role in a physical altercation with an assistant last month. Defensive backs coach George Barlow wore the main headset for the Lobos.
UNLV POSTGAME NOTES
UNM had been 13-1 in games following scheduled bye weeks since 1996
Senior QB Donovan Porterie
20-30 passing for 219 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs...pass efficiency of 149.99 was his best performance since the 2007 New Mexico Bowl (150.93)
was 11 of 13 for 109 yards and 2 TDs in the second half
61.2 pass completion percentage in 2009 is 4th by a Lobo for a season
2 multiple TD games in the past 3 games
Sophomore LB Carmen Messina
the nation's leading tackler had 17 stops for his 6th straight game with double-digit tackles.
came into the game 1st in the nation, averaging 13.3 tackles a game; average is now 13.9
recorded his 2nd sack, giving him 6.0 TFL in 2009
Redshirt freshman CB Nathan Enriquez
career-highs with 8 tackles and 2 pass break-ups (both in the end zone)
all 3 PBUs this year have come in the end zone
Redshirt freshman TE Lucas Reed
matched his career-high with 4 catches (34 yards), including his 1st career TD (13 yards)
True freshman RB Kasey Carrier
made his Lobo debut, rushing 6 times for 29 yards with a long of 15
became the 4th true freshman to play for UNM this year (2 RBs)
Senior WR Victor James
career-highs of 4 catches for 57 yards
Senior WR Daryl Jones
career-high 56 yards receiving on 3 catches (18.7 avg.) and caught the first TD pass of his career (25 yards)
Senior S Frankie Solomon
a career-high 14 tackles and 1 PBU
leads the team with 6 PBUs on the season
Sophomore K James Aho
lone FG attempt was good from 44 yards out
7-11 on FGs this season
tied with Pete Parks for 8th all-time at UNM with 25 FGs
Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey
unofficially credited with 5 QB hurries/hits, increasing his team-leading total to 29 on the season