Oct. 6, 2012
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New Mexico Lobos 35, Texas State Bobcats 14
Up Next: Lobos at Hawaii, 10 p.m. (MT), Saturday
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The message from these amazing New Mexico Lobos is simple enough. Here we come left. Here we come right. Watch out for your middle.
Try and stop us.
The Texas State Bobcats became the third team that couldn't stop Bob Davie's Lobos and the option-fueled "Pistol" that spoiled Dennis Franchione's return to Albuquerque in a 35-14 Lobo beat down.
The Lobos ran right at the Bobcats' defense and left Branch Field with 361 rushing yards on 59 carries. Lobo Kasey Carrier had 191 yards and four touchdowns. The Lobos in six games have now matched the three wins that the previous coaching staff reached in three seasons.
Especially when you consider that there aren't really any surprises in this "Pistol" offense. New Mexico threw the ball three times and completed one pass for nine yards vs. Texas State. UNM had 370 yards on offense - 361 off the run.
"That was pretty good," Coach Davie said of the win. "We talked about finding some way to steal a possession."
The Lobos actually stole a possession on Texas State's first offensive touch in each half. The first half steal came on a Bobcat fumble on a kickoff after UNM went up 7-0. The second half steal came on a Bobcat pass down the West sidelines that Destry Berry went horizontal on to make the pick in front of the UNM bench.
The tone for the second half had been set.
"To be able to shut this team out in the second half is pretty impressive," said Davie. "I do think our defense in the second half starting to feel good about themselves and got better as the game went on."
The game began with as pretty a start as the Lobos could have imagined. They cut through the Texas State defense to go up 7-0 on a 37-yard burst by Carrier. UNM's Dallas Bollema forced the fumble on the kickoff and Marquis Bundy scooped up the ball and ran 14 yards to the Texas State one.
Carrier scored three ticks later. The 14-0 lead was huge. Texas State came back to make it 14-7 and 21-14, but could not crack the Lobos' end zone or the Lobos' defense in the second half. UNM rolled into halftime with a 28-14 lead.
"We rushed for 200 yards in the first half. That's pretty impressive when you can rush for 200 yards on mostly dives," said Davie. "Pretty impressive."
Yes, the Lobos' rushing attack was impressive, but so is the turnaround on this UNM team. You can see it in the Xs and Os. You can see it in discipline and a returned passion for the game. You can see it in the belief in these Lobos' eyes.
You also can see it on the scoreboard.
It was a win that had one Albuquerque media guy asking if the Lobos - now 3-3 - were thinking about the postseason.
"Please, please," said Davie. "Let's not get carried away. We're scratching and clawing for everything we can get. We really are.
"But for us to have three wins right now in early October, I couldn't be more proud of this coaching staff and this football team. Those guys deserve all the credit in the world. That was pretty good.
"I could not be more proud of the toughness, the buying in. It's exciting to watch and I appreciate the effort of these guys."
The Lobos next play at Hawaii and then at Air Force -- tough road games. The Lobos have done exceptional by beating Southern, New Mexico State and Texas State. The losses to Texas, Texas Tech and Boise might have been unavoidable.
But there are some teams on the horizon that probably will be standing on even ground when they battle the new-look Lobos. The Lobos have seven games left to play and need seven wins to make the postseason.
The Lobos ran 62 offensive plays against Texas State and the Bobcats countered with 55. UNM went 3-of-4 on red zone opportunities. The UNM defense had five sacks, three interceptions and recovered the one fumble.
"It means a lot (to be 3-3)," said Carrier, who averaged 8.3 yards per carry. "It's never really happened for me since I've been here. A lot of the guys here, it's been tough, and now things are starting to turn around."
First Half: New Mexico 28, Texas State 14
Coaches like to throw out a script on what they want their offense to do on its first series. The Lobos' script Saturday afternoon on Branch Field was perfect - and then some. That's because the Lobo offense came out and marched down the field to score and on the ensuing kickoff the Bobcats fumbled.
Bundy scooped up the Bollema-forced fumble and rambled 14 yards to the Texas State 1-yard line. Kasey Carrier got his second touchdown in 12 seconds of game time. The Lobos were up 14-0. Carrier's first trip into pay dirt came from 37 yards out. It ended a 75-yard drive that took 10 plays and 4:20 minutes.
The second Lobo score was quicker: three seconds, one play.
A good start is crucial to a UNM team that Coach Davie says isn't good enough to overcome mistakes and win. Texas State was in a nice hole . The Bobcats came back with a 40-yard pass from Rutherford to Chase Harper to make it 14-7.
Texas State then made a mistake. The Bobcats were down only a score and field position was critical. They faked a punt and tossed a little pass over the middle that fell incomplete. UNM took over on the Texas State 39-yard line and Jhurell Pressley scored nine plays later to give the Lobos a 21-7 cushion.
The Bobcats scratched back. Rutherford hit Andy Erickson on a 35-yard scoring strike. It was a 75-yard drive in seven plays.
However, the Lobos weren't through with the Texas State end zone. A 68-yard drive in nine plays ended with Carrier going in from 19 yards out. UNM carried a 28-14 lead into the break.
UNM ended the half with 209 yards in total offense with 200 of them coming on the ground. Carrier had 118 yards in the half. Texas State had 165 yards in total offense - 147 through the air. Pressley had 68 yards in the first two quarters. UNM completed one pass in the half - nine yards to Lamaar Thomas.
Texas State had 18 yards rushing in the first half.