Sept. 28, 2011
Ways to get your Tickets to the NMSU Game this Saturday:
1. At the Lobo Ticket Office in The Pit Mon-Fri from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2. At the UNM Bookstore Ticket Office on campus Tues-Fri from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat. Noon to 4 p.m.
3. All Albertsons locations in ABQ and Santa Fe from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday.
4. Online at GoLobos.com or unmtickets.com. All fans have the option to print tickets at home.
5. Beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday in the NE corner ticket office of University Stadium.
6. Beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday in the NE corner of The Pit. Both the Lobo Ticket Office and the Lobo Den Store will be open at 3 p.m. Saturday. Great way to get your tickets and officially licensed Lobo merchandise.
NEW MEXICO LOBOS FOOTBALL -- AT UNIVERSITY STADIUM
Saturday: 6 p.m., New Mexico State at Lobos
On The Air: The Mtn; 770-AM KKOB, Lobo Radio Network; pregame show at 3 p.m.
GoLobos.com: GameTracker, Game Story, Quotes, Stats, LoboTV
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
When it comes to marquee wins, the New Mexico State Aggies have the advantage over the Lobos in more ways than one - and in more years than simply 2011.
The Aggies have that 28-21 stunner they threw down at Minnesota on Sept. 10 in Minneapolis. They also come bouncing into University Stadium on Saturday as the proud owners of a two-game win streak over the Lobos - and looking to make it three straight.
But as Lobo receiver Michael Scarlett put it: "This is our chance for a marquee-type win and what better way to get our first win of the season than over the Aggies?"
Of course, it would be a lot better if UNM was looking at the Aggies as a chance to get their fifth win of the season - or their second. However, there is no question that a sweet way to take the sting out of UNM's 0-4 start would be to stomp on some Aggies.
It won't be easy.
The Aggies, like the Lobos, are a peculiar bunch when it comes to consistency on the football field. They beat Minnesota, but lost 44-24 to Ohio, lost 16-10 to UTEP and lost 34-24 to San Jose State.
These are not good losses. If anything, NMSU should be 3-1 with the loss coming at Minnesota. But that's why they play the game.
COOK OFF CHALLENGE
The Albertsons Cook Off Challenge for Saturday vs. New Mexico State is chicken. The contest is at 4 p.m. on the northeast corner of The Pit. Last week's winner was Gary Lange. The weekly prize is a $50 gift certificate to Albertsons.
The Aggies took a major blow when they lost starting quarterback Andrew Manley for the season. The blow was softened somewhat by having senior Matt Christian waiting in the wings. Christian was NMSU's starter in 2010 and led NMSU in passing and total offense.
Christian's fate at NMSU was similar to the path that hit B.R. Holbrook at UNM. Christian was replaced by a younger quarterback and had to fidget in the role as understudy. When Manley went down vs. UTEP, Christian reclaimed the huddle.
At San Jose State, he passed for 238 yards and ran for 58 yards. He scored through the air and on the ground. He's not billed to be as good a passer as Manley (297.3 yards per game), but he is a good passer and he can run it.
"He gives them more of a dual threat out of the pocket," said George Barlow, UNM's interim coach for the remainder of the 2011 season.
Said Lobo senior Bubba Forrest: "Their backup quarterback (Christian) is just as good."
Christian is similar to UNM's Tarean Austin in his ability to hurt teams via the pass or the run. A difference here is that Austin might have lost the UNM huddle to Holbrook, who probably will hurt teams more through the air than on the ground.
Holbrook went 19-of-30 for 289 yards in UNM's 48-45 OT loss to Sam Houston State this past Saturday. The Bearkats might have been playing a tad soft in the secondary nursing two 14-point leads in the fourth quarter, but Holbrook definitely was throwing bullets and darts.
Christian will be a problem for UNM, but the Aggies, with Manley's arm on the bench, obviously worked hard on establishing a run game vs. San Jose State. The Aggies got 129 rushing yards out of junior Kenny Turner. NMSU had 185 total yards rushing, a huge jump from the 16 rushing yards the Aggies got off the UTEP front and the six rushing yards earned against Ohio.
The Aggies' O-line has to like what it saw in the UNM/Sam Houston State stat box. The Bearkats rolled out 373 rushing yards and 547 total yards.
The Aggies have thrown the ball 139 times in four games and have run the ball 121 times. Against San Jose State, the Aggies threw 30 passes and ran the ball 32 times.
The Lobos probably can expect a balanced attack from the Aggies on Saturday, but if Christian goes up with the ball, the top Aggie hands are Taveon Rogers (19 for 369 yards), Turner (16 for 187) and Todd Lee (15 for 268 yards).
Rogers also is a threat on kickoff returns with a 26.8 average, bolstered by a 97-yard TD return. He averages 170.2 all-purpose yards. UNM's Deon Long averages 207.2 all-purpose yards.
The Aggies have the defensive edge statistically on the Lobos, who have given up 52, 59 and 48 points in their past three games off total offensive surges of 632, 624 and 547 yards.
"We need to start getting more hats to the ball," said Forrest. "We need to fly to the ball."
The Lobos give up an average of 518.2 yards on defense to 411.5 for the Aggies. UNM yields an average of 43.2 points to 28.8 for NMSU. The Aggies' top defender is Donyae Coleman, who has 39 tackles and two interceptions. Coleman was NMSU's leading tackler in 2010.
A footnote to Saturday's race on the scoreboard at University Stadium is the points this contest provides to the annual Rio Grande Rivalry Cup. UNM carries a 3.0 to 0 lead into the football contest, which is worth three points. The Cup's scorecard is formed by Lobo/Aggie competition in all sports that clash during a season.
The race for the Cup, in its fifth season, has never been won by Aggies.