Sept. 28, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The final non-conference game of the regular season sends New Mexico back to Big 12 country as the Lobos meet Texas Tech Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is 1:40 p.m. Mountain Time from Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.
The Lobos and Red Raiders last met in 2004 when UNM kicked a field goal with no time left to take a 27-24 victory in Albuquerque. That snapped a 10-game losing streak for New Mexico against Texas Tech. Turn to p. 3 of the release for more information on the series.
Saturday's game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net. Fans should check their local listings to see if the game will be picked up on the Fox affiliate in their area. The game is expected to air on channel 10 on Comcast Cable in Albuquerque. The satellite radio broadcast is on Sirius channel 125.
After a tough 20-17 loss to New Mexico State last Saturday, the Lobos are 0-4 for the first time since 1994 when they began 0-5. Texas Tech is 2-2 following a 29-28 loss at No. 17/23 Houston.
Both UNM and Texas Tech suffered eerily similar and near simultaneous fates last week, losing heartbreakers in the final minute when their opponent scored from 4 yards out. The New Mexico-New Mexico State contest ended at 11:10 p.m. Mountain Time. Texas Tech and Houston finished at 12:08 a.m. Central Time.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico State converted a 4-yard TD pass on 4th-and-goal with 39 seconds remaining to take a 20-17 lead. The Lobos got in position to try a 47-yard field goal as time expired, but James Aho's attempt to send the game into overtime missed to the right by less than a foot.
The loss ended a streak of 11 straight wins for New Mexico when taking a lead into the fourth quarter. The last loss was at home against Wyoming in 2006. UNM led 10-7 after three periods, but lost 14-10.
In Houston, QB Case Keenum scored on a 4-yard run with 49 seconds left to cap a 95-yard drive in the Cougars' triumph over Texas Tech. The Red Raiders led 21-10 in the first half, but were limited to one score after halftime.
Last year, the Lobos finished 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the MWC, tying UNLV for 6th place. Texas Tech enjoyed a magical season, finishing 11-2 overall and 7-1 in the rugged Big 12 South. The Red Raiders tied Texas and Oklahoma for first in the league. Tech fell to Ole Miss 47-34 in the Cotton Bowl.
MORE NOTES TO KNOW BEFORE THE GAME
Saturday's game begins a four-year home-and-home series with Texas Tech...the Red Raiders are scheduled to be UNM's home opener next season, Sept. 11, 2010, and will also visit the Duke City on Sept. 15, 2012...UNM is slated to play in Lubbock on Sept. 17, 2011
A Very Young Team: Of the 48 players listed on this week's New Mexico depth chart, 25 are either freshmen or sophomores...16 of the 48 are playing their first year of college football...UNM's top-3 rushers are two freshmen and a sophomore, its top three receivers all freshmen
New Mexico has dropped 10 straight games to opponents stationed in the Lone Star State. The last win was 40-10 at TCU on Nov. 1, 1997...since that victory, UNM is 0-3 at UTEP and Texas Tech, 0-2 at TCU and 0-1 at Baylor and Texas A&M
Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach is 78-41 in his 10th season in Lubbock...Leach is a 1983 graduate of BYU...he earned his Law degree from Pepperdine in 1986
Texas Tech has played in nine straight bowl games since 2000, including two appearances in the Cotton Bowl...Leach's five bowl wins matches the five overall bowl wins during the first 75 years of the Red Raider football program
Texas Tech is 3rd in the nation in passing offense at 413.5 yards a game...QB Taylor Potts is averaging 400.5 yards and has completed 69% of his passes.
Texas Tech has won six NCAA passing titles behind Mike Leach's prolific offense, including four straight from 2002-05 and two more the past two seasons
Rain Man: Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey has kind of come out of nowhere to put up some impressive numbers the first 4 games: in his 1st career start last Saturday against New Mexico State, Rainey set career-highs for tackles (9), tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (2.5)...it was his second multiple sack game (2.0 at Texas A&M) this season...he leads the Mountain West with 8.5 TFL and is 2nd in the league with 5.5 sacks...the cat-quick Rainey was unofficially credited with 3 more QB hurries/hits, giving him a team-high 14 this season...three times he stuffed NMSU ball carriers on 3rd down...Rainey had 15 tackles in 11 games last year
Lobo sophomore MLB Carmen Messina is 1st in the nation in tackles at 14.2 a game...while Messina's play has been exemplary, his numbers are arguably a product of his environment...through 4 games, the Lobo offense is last in the nation among 120 teams in time of possession at 23 minutes 13 seconds a game...that means the UNM defense has been on the field an NCAA-high 36 minutes and 47 seconds per game...Lobo opponents are averaging 82.25 plays a game, or 26.25 more than the UNM offense, which is averaging just 56 snaps a game
With most stats being correlated in some fashion, maybe it's no surprise that the Lobos offense has struggled to convert on third down...UNM is at 19% (10-53) for the season, and it has been even tougher in the 2nd half where the Lobos are at 8% (2 of 24), including 0 of 12 in the 3rd period
UNM has lost 8 straight games, the longest since 10 straight in 1990-91, the final 6 games of 1990 and first 4 games of 1991
SERIES HISTORY / NOTES
42nd meeting, and the Red Raiders have a 33-6-2 lead
First meeting - 1931 when both schools were in the Border Conference
Last Meeting: 2004, a 27-24 New Mexico win in Albuquerque
Last Meeting in Lubbock: 2003, a 42-28 Texas Tech victory
Lubbock: Texas Tech leads 21-2 and has won 7 straight
UNM's last win in Lubbock: 30-10 in 1983
Albuquerque: Texas Tech leads 12-4-2
Mike Leach vs. New Mexico: 4-1
THE LAST MEETING: 2004 IN ALBUQUERQUE - Wes Zunker's 43-yard FG as time expired gave the Lobos a gritty 27-24 victory, ending their 10-game, 20-year losing skid to the Red Raiders. New Mexico had not beaten TTU since a 29-24 decision in Albuquerque on Sept. 22, 1984.
The dramatic game-ending drive was beautifully engineered by sophomore QB Kole McKamey (now the Lobos' radio analyst). With the score tied at 24, the Lobos took over on their own 20 with 1:47 remaining. McKamey opened the march with a 10-yard option keeper and capped it by completing a 14-yard pass to freshman WR Marcus Smith that advanced the ball to the Texas Tech 25. Two plays and two Texas Tech timeouts later, Zunker coolly nailed the game-winner.
Junior TB DonTrell Moore - with an assist from the offensive line - came up big on the drive as well, rushing for 30 yards on 4 carries. The Lobos gained just 142 yards on the ground, but 40 yards came in the final 107 seconds.
McKamey showed all the poise of a veteran against the team he rooted for as a youngster. He totaled 222 yards of total offense and had a hand in all three of the team's TDs. McKamey completing 12 of 24 passes for 173 yards with no interceptions and 1 TD to WR Hank Baskett. He rushed 10 times for 49 yards and a pair of TDs.
Zunker connected on 2 fourth-quarter FGs. He also made a 44-yarder on the first play of the quarter to tie the game at 24.
Texas Tech QB Sonny Cumbie completed 44 of 70 passes for 449 yards.
THE LAST MEETING IN LUBBOCK: 2003 - B.J. Symons was 37 of 54 for 418 yards and 5 TDs, and he also ran for a score in Tech's 42-24 victory. UNM had 584 yards of total offense, including a career-best 187 yards and 3 TDs by TB D.D. Cox, who was subbing for an injured DonTrell Moore. UNM cut a 21-0 deficit to 35-28 with five minutes left. The Lobos were hurt by four turnovers.
UNM-TEXAS TECH TIES UNM President David Schmidly is a native of Levelland, Texas, about 30 minutes due west of Lubbock...Schmidly earned his bachelor's (1966) and master's (1968) degrees from Tech in zoology...he was a member of the Texas Tech faculty from 1996-200 and served as the school's President from 2000-02
Texas Tech special teams coordinator Eric Russell was a member of current UNM offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey's staff when Dickey was the head coach at North Texas from 1998-2006...Russell was also a graduate assistant at UNM under Dennis Franchione in 1993
NEW MEXICO STATE REVIEW - Jeff Fleming hit Marcus Anderson with a 4-yard TD pass with 39 seconds left to rally New Mexico State to a 20-17 victory. The win for the Aggies in the teams' 100th meeting breaks a six-game losing streak to UNM.
Fleming came off the bench for the Aggies to complete 4 of 5 passes, hitting Anderson on 4th-and-goal. Seth Smith gained 113 yards on 31 carries for the Aggies, offsetting the career-high 98 yards by New Mexico's Demond Dennis.
The Lobos moved into field-goal position in the final seconds, but James Aho's 47-yarder that would have tied the game was wide right. It was his second miss of the night.
NEW MEXICO STATE POSTGAME NOTES
UNM had won 6 straight in the series and 4 in a row over NMSU in Albuquerque...the Aggies' last won in Albuquerque in 1999
Attendance of 35,248 is the largest crowd since 41,003 against New Mexico State in 2007...UNM stopped the distribution of student tickets Saturday at 6:10 p.m...a total of 6,057 student tickets were distributed for the game
New Mexico ran 53 plays to the Aggies' 80, however, UNM totaled a season-high 356 yards to NMSU's 218...the Lobos averaged 6.7 yards per play, New Mexico State 2.7
The Lobos allowed their fewest yards (218) since 201 in last year's 24-0 shutout over Wyoming
UNM has had 14 different players catch a pass...that's the most by a Lobo team since 15 had a reception in 2003
UNM had the ball for just 22:05 compared to NMSU's 37:55...the 22:05 of possession time is the Lobos' lowest since 21:10 at Washington State in 2003
Sophomore DE Johnathan Rainey
set career-highs for tackles (9), tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (2.5) in his first career start
second multiple sack game (2.0 at Texas A&M) this season and he leads UNM with 5.5 on the year
unofficially credited with 3 more QB hurries/hits, giving him a team-high 14 this season
Redshirt freshman WR Ty Kirk
set career-highs with 7 receptions and 105 receiving yards with a long play of 42
first Lobo over 100 yards receiving since Travis Brown (120) in the 2007 New Mexico Bowl
Senior QB Donovan Porterie
started 2-3 for 6 yards and an INT in the first quarter...14-25 (56%) for 200 yards and a TD over the final 3 quarters
led the Lobos on a 7-play, 50-yard drive (3-6 passing) with 39 seconds remaining, but the game-tying 47-yard FG was missed
threw his 22nd career TD pass, tying Noel Mazzone for 7th place all-time at UNM
True freshman TB Demond Dennis
career-highs of 16 carries for 98 yards and his first career TD...career-long 62-yard run
Sophomore LB Carmen Messina
third straight game with double-digit tackles, finishing with 15, including a career-high 2.0 TFL
came into the game tied for 1st nationally, averaging 14 tackles a game...average is now 14.3/game
also notched his 1st career interception
Senior LB Clint McPeek
10 tackles for the second time this season...double-digit stops in 7 games in his career
Senior WR Victor James
career-long 45-yard catch is the team's longest pass play of the season
had 2 catches for 51 yards
Senior DT Kendall Briscoe
Added 2.0 tackles for loss to his MWC-leading total of 5.5 TFL...career-high 7.5 on the year
Sophomore DE Jaymar Latchison
matched his career-high for the second straight week with 9 tackles and assisted on a sack, giving him 2.5 sacks on the year
Redshirt freshman CB Nathan Enriquez
made his first career start as a Lobo
3 tackles and he recovered a fumble in the 3rd quarter
Sophomore RB James Wright
made his first career start as a Lobo
4 carries for 47 yards before leaving late in the 2nd quarter with a hamstring injury (right leg)
Senior P Adam Miller
punted 5 times for a career-high 47.4-yard average
had a career-long 64-yarder in the third quarter