Oct. 27, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico football team travels to Fort Collins, Colo., Saturday to take on Colorado State. The Lobos and Rams battle live on the MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.) at 4 p.m. MDT on Sonny Lubick Field Stadium in Hughes Stadium.
UNM is coming off its best performance of the year against SDSU and is looking for its first win. The Lobos are 0-7 on the season and 0-3 during Mountain West Conference action. New Mexico has five games remaining on the schedule heading into Fort Collins.
Colorado State is 2-6 on the season under third year head coach Steve Fairchild. The Rams are 1-3 during conference play and are coming off a 59-6 loss at the hands of nationally-ranked Utah. CSU's lone MWC victory came against UNLV, 43-10. The game will be televised on The Mtn., with Ari Wolfe calling the play-by-play, Blaine Fowler as the analyst and Roger Bailey on the sidelines. The Mtn., can be seen on Comcast channel 276 and DirecTV channel 616.
Scott Galetti and Greg Remington will also provide the game on the Lobo Radio Network. Galetti, who is in his third year at UNM, will handle the play-by-play. Remington is the analyst and serves as the Lobo football historian after spending nearly 30 years in the UNM Media Relations Department. The Lobo Radio Network can be heard statewide.
Saturday will be the 38th all-time meeting between CSU and UNM. The Lobos have won three of the last four meetings. New Mexico beat the Rams in Albuquerque last year, 29-27. It was the first and only victory for the Mike Locksley and the Lobos in 2009. The series has been extremely competitive since 1999, when both teams joined the MWC. Since 1999, five of the 11 contests have been determined by three points or less.
The Lobos will be looking for their first road win in Fort Collins since Oct. 28, 2006, 20-19. UNM has never won a road game in the Locksley era and has lost 13 straight road contests dating back to Sept. 27, 2008 at New Mexico State, 35-24.
LOBOS SHOW SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT -
New Mexico showed signs of improvement Saturday against a much improved San Diego State squad. Sophomore B.R. Holbrook started at quarterback and led the Lobos to their best overall game. UNM scored 20 points and utilized some unfamiliar targets offensively. Junior RB James Wright started and was productive. Wright rumbled for 60 yards on 11 carries. Sophomore TE Lucas Reed had a career day with five catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, UNM held the conference's leading rusher Ronnie Hillman to 64 yards on 18 carries. Hillman entered the game averaging 130. The Lobos also limited the SDSU passing attack and only gave up two plays over 20 yards.
MESSINA RETURNING TO ALL-AMERICAN FORM -
Junior linebacker Carmen Messina is returning to his 2009 All-American form. Messina had 14 tackles against San Diego State and had his third consecutive game with double-digit stops. Messina is second on the team with 53 tackles and ranks ninth in the MWC. He has had 13 career double figure tackle games.
REED HAS CAREER DAY AGAINST AZTECS -
Sophomore tight end Lucas Reed had a career day against San Diego State. Reed caught a career-high two touchdowns and is tied for the team lead with three TDs. Reed finished the Aztec game with a career-high five catches for a career-high 95 yards. Reed, who was a freshman All-American, has 17 catches this season for 226 yards.
AHO IN SOLE POSSESSION OF FOURTH -
Junior Kicker James Aho has moved into sole possession of fourth place all-time for field goals at New Mexico with 35. Aho connected on field goals from 46 and 25 against San Diego State and sits six makes shy of a three-way tie for second. The Roswell, N.M., native enters Saturday's game with159 career points and is eight points away from cracking the all-time scoring list at UNM.
SATURDAY COULD FEATURE FRESHMEN BATTLE -
New Mexico and Colorado State have both started true freshmen quarterbacks this season. Saturday could feature two young gun slingers. UNM has utilized Tarean Austin for two starts and played Stump Godfrey in the last two games. Austin has been suffering from a high ankle sprain but Godfrey is looking to gain experience as the season progresses. If indeed it's a battle between freshmen quarterbacks, it will be the first time nationally since the 2009 Emerald Bowl, Matt Barkley (USC) and Dave Shinskie (BC) battled on the gridiron. True freshman Pete Thomas has been the starter for CSU this year.
LOBOS HAVE STARTED 35 DIFFERENT PLAYERS -
New Mexico has used an unprecedented 35 different starters in 2010. Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Darryl Johnson made his first career start against San Diego State and became the 18th Lobo to start on the offensive side of the ball. UNM has started 17 different defensive players.
UTILIZING YOUTH -
The Lobos aren't the youngest team in the country but they have used their fair share of true freshmen. UNM enters Saturday game have used seven true freshmen this season. The most recent freshman to play has been QB Stump Godfrey. Godfrey, who was expected to redshirt in 2010, was put into the New Mexico State game and has played ever since. UNM has started two true freshmen in safety Ravonne Carter and quarterback Tarean Austin.
BUILDING THE PROGRAM THE RIGHT WAY -
New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley is putting in a tireless effort to build the program the right way. Locksley, who has been navigating the Lobos through a three-year NCAA probationary period, has had limitations on recruiting but yet he still has signed some of the nation's top players. UNM signed one of its best classes all-time last February and many have redshirted. Of the 20 signed NLIs in 2010, only seven have played and two are starters. That leaves 13 players who are redshirting and developing into key contributors.
Locksley also signed impact transfers in WR Lamaar Thomas (Ohio State), Deon Long (West Virginia), Javarie Johnson (Maryland) and Omar Castillo (Texas Tech). All of the transfers will be eligible in 2011. Due to NCAA limitations, Locksley and the Lobos are 10 scholarship players shy this season and will only be allowed to sign 21 in February. This is the final year of the NCAA sanctions and will be able to return to the normal allotment of 25 in February of 2012.
INJURIES HAVING AN IMPACT - New Mexico has lost four starters due to season ending injuries this year. The Lobos are beat up and bruised after facing a difficult schedule to open the year. UNM, who recovered some with the bye week, is trying to develop depth and continue to improve as the season progresses.
TWO WINLESS REMAINING -
New Mexico and Akron are the only winless programs in the country. The Lobos are 0-7 but have played an outrageous schedule. The Zips are 0-8 and play at Temple Saturday.
ON THE HORIZON-
The Lobos return home next week to host Wyoming on Nov. 6. UNM will hold its annual "Think Pink" game against the Cowboys. Everyone in attendance is encouraged to wear pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. The Wyoming game will kickoff at 4 p.m. MDT in University Stadium. The Lobos defeated Colorado State last year during the "Think Pink" contest. The "Fans Feeding Families" food drive will also still be going on. Please bring canned foods and donate for families in the Albuquerque area.