Nov. 7, 2009
Saturday: Utah 45, Lobos 14
Up Next: BYU at Lobos, 12 noon, University Stadium
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer -- GoLobos.com
Lobo coach Mike Locksley probably summed it up in words about as tightly as you could want: "The momentum swing hit us."
Yeah, Mr. Mo hit the University of New Mexico hard as the Utah Utes exploded for 21 third-quarter points and broke out of a 17-7 halftime lead en route to a 45-14 Mountain West Conference spanking of the Lobos Saturday night in Salt Lake City.
While Utah exploded, Locksley said his Lobos imploded. "We couldn't get anything going, run or pass, and most of it was due to us," he said.
The first quarter was just fine for the Lobos: 7-all. The halftime wasn't too bad: a ten-point hole. However, the Utah Utes' dominated UNM in the third quarter which heavily padded game stats in the direction of the 8-1 Utes. "The third quarter really put us behind the eight-ball," said Locksley.
Utah ended with 251 yards rushing and 306 yards passing to total 557 total yards. Freshman quarterback Jordan Wynn completed 18-of-28 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns. The Utes had 28 first downs to 15 for UNM. The 0-9 (0-5 MWC) Lobos will play Brigham Young Saturday at noon in University Stadium.
"We have another ranked team coming in," said Locksley. "We have to try and play for four quarters next week. Right now, our pride is being tested."
The Lobos' focus is being tested a bit, too. UNM was penalized nine times for 81 yards vs. the Utes, with several of those mistakes coming at key points in the game. Utah was flagged four times for 34 yards.
The Lobos scored at the 4:07 mark of the first quarter on a 59-yard pass from Donovan Porterie to Ty Kirk, who had just returned to the UNM lineup after a two-game suspension. "I thought Ty came out came out and gave us another big-play threat on offense," said Locksley. "Anytime we have Ty involved in our offense, it's definitely a plus for us."
The Lobos failed to reach the scoreboard in the second quarter and the third period. Utah threw up 38 unanswered points before B.R. Holbrook took over the UNM huddle late in the fourth quarter and got UNM into the end zone. The Lobos scored with 17 seconds to play as Victor James hauled in a 15-yard TD pass from Holbrook.
Locksley said the game was "pretty much a mute point" when Holbrook came in for Porterie and that substitution does not mean Porterie's starting status is in jeopardy.
Porterie went 15-of-32 for 186 yards and two interceptions. Holbrook was 6-of-10 for 66 yards with one TD and no picks. Freshman Kasey Carrier had 54 yards on 11 carries, but UNM had only 82 yards on the ground. UNM added 252 yards passing for a 334 total.
The game was played in Rice Eccles Stadium in front of 45,051. Kirk hauled in four passes for 82 yards and Daryl Jones and Bryant Williams had three receptions each. Adam Miller punted eight times for a 51.2 average.
Lobo linebacker Carmen Messina, the NCAA's leading tackler, had 19 tackles and senior linebacker Clint McPeek had 10 tackles plus a fumble recovery. Linebacker Tray Hardaway had nine tackles and senior Frankie Baca was UNM's leading tackler in the backfield with eight wraps.
Utah's Eddie Wide set a school record with his sixth straight 100-yard rushing game. Wide finished with 145 yards, but had 122 rushing yards in Utah's decisive third quarter. The win was Utah's sixth straight going into a showdown this coming Saturday at TCU between the two top-ranked teams in the MWC.
"All our losses have been tough and it isn't getting any easier," said Locksley. "Somehow, we have to find a way."
The Utes struck first. Freshman Wynn did a nice job of stepping up into a pocket that was collapsing on the backside. He threw a bullet to Jereme Brooks streaking deep on a post pattern in front of Lobo DB Frankie Soloman. Brooks caught the ball on a dead run on his fingertips and raced into the end zone to complete the 69-yard TD play.
Wynn, who got the start ahead of junior Terrance Cain, came out completing 5-of-6 passes for 101 yards, leading up to his TD pass.
The Lobos showed a lot of poise coming back on their next possession to tie the game 7-all. It not only was a slap back at Utah, but it was a huge confidence boost as UNM scored on a 3rd-and-17 situation.
The Lobos had just been penalized 10 yards on a hold by Byron Bell and were in a hole. Porterie found Ty Kirk on a route similar to Utah's score. Kirk reached back a bit, took the ball off his left hip, and raced 59 yards for the score.
The first quarter ended on a 7-7 tie with UNM totaling 150 yards in offense and Utah at 126 yards. Utah out gained UNM 431 yards to 184 yards the rest of the way in.
The Utes came back to go up 14-7 on a drive aided by a roughing the passer penalty by UNM's Johnathan Rainey.
A key play for Utah was going for it on fourth-and-one at the UNM three. Utah pitched the ball deep to Wide, who made a nice cut inside and got the first down. Wide scored two plays later going up the middle into the heart of the UNM's defensive line for a one-yard score. It was a nice drive for the Utes' freshman QB as Wynn marched his team 81 yards in 15 plays.
The Utes padded the score again before the half with a 24-yard field goal.