Dec. 22, 2003
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The University of New Mexico football team received a boisterous sendoff as a large, vocal group of Lobo fans converged on Fremont Street, outside of the Golden Nugget Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, to root on New Mexico in the pre-game pep rally. Earlier in the day, UNM wrapped up its final open practice of the year on another warm, sunny day at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The Lobo defense shined on the third and final open practice for New Mexico in Las Vegas. UNM quarterbacks had a tough time finding much room to throw the ball in 7-on-7 drills against some solid coverage in the secondary.
New Mexico will do a final walk-through on Tuesday afternoon following the Las Vegas Bowl Kickoff Luncheon at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Former SMU stand-out Craig James, who is also calling the bowl game for ESPN, will be the featured speaker.
Earlier in the week, the Lobos took on the Beavers at the ESPN Zone in the New York, New York Casino in a rap battle and pie eating contest. With running back DonTrell Moore and safety Sidney Wiley providing the beat box rhythm, fullback Landrick Brody, offensive tackle Justin Colburn and safety Kevin Walton laid down the lyrics. Oregon State countered with a raw freestyle rhyme, but was unable to keep pace with New Mexico's furious five.
While the rap battle was declared a disputed draw, offensive guard Robert Turner made sure there would be no doubt in the pie eating contest. Turner successfully defended his 2002 Las Vegas Bowl individual pie eating title and led a Lobo foursome to another team championship in the second-biggest competition of the week.
The UNM players and coaches also took in a performance from the famed Blue Man Group and this morning a group of players took a trip to the Sunrise Children's Hospital to brighten the day for some very special patients.
Linebacker Daniel Gawronski and Colburn will appear with head coach Rocky Long tomorrow morning at the Kickoff Media Conference before the luncheon. The Lobos will be in bed early on Tuesday as they prepare for Wednesday's big game versus Oregon State. The weather on game day is expected to clear and sunny with highs in the mid-60s.