SATURDAY: Colorado State (5-5, 3-2 Mountain West) at New Mexico (3-6, 1-4)
Time/Location: 5:08 p.m. MT, Branch Field at University Stadium
TV: ROOT Sports (Comcast 261, DirecTV 683, Dish 414) and streamed on MWN (subject to blackout in systems carrying ROOT Sports)
GAME PROMOTIONS: Senior Night -- UNM will recognized its 18 seniors during pregame introductions.
Cherry Crush Night: -- Fans who purchase a "Cherry Crush T-shirt for $12.95 will receive a Cherry Level general admission ticket. T-shirts are on sale exclusively at the Lobo Den Store in The Pit (Monday-Friday, noon-5 p.m.).
Youth Night -- Fans can purchase a youth ticket (ages 2-18) for $5 in the Cherry and Turquiose sections.
Hall of Honor Recognition -- UNM will recognize its 2013 Hall of Honor inductees
Saturday is a special day for 18 University of New Mexico seniors who will experience the last home game of their careers as the Lobos play host to Colorado State on Branch Field at University Stadium.
UNM won its first MW contest of the season last weekend with a 45-37 victory over Air Force on Branch Field. The triumph was the Lobos’ first over the Falcons since 2007. Running back Kasey Carrier and quarterback Cole Gautsche each ran for more than 100 yards in the same game for the third time this season.
The Lobos’ 45 points were the most in a Mountain West game since they beat San Diego State 70-7 on Oct. 18, 2008.
UNM moved up to No. 2 in the nation in rushing with an average of 328.9 yards per game after going for 451 vs. the Falcons last week (Army is No. 1 at 330.6 yards per game). The Lobos are tied for No. 4 in the country in rushing touchdowns with 32 on the season.
Running back Kasey Carrier leads the MW and is No. 10 in the country in rushing at 123.2 yards per game. He has 1,109 for the season, which ranks ninth on UNM’s single-season rushing list. Carrier is the first Lobo with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Rodney Ferguson in 2008.
Kick returner Carlos Wiggins is the MW leader and the No. 10 kick returner in the nation with an average of 27.5 yards per return. He’s also No. 1 in the Mountain West and 25th in the nation in all-purpose-yard average at 130.0 yards per game.
Carrier is No. 2 at 128.0 ypg.
UNM is nationally ranked in several other categories. It is tied for No. 1 in the nation in interceptions thrown with two on the season. The Lobos are tied for third in fewest penalty yards per game at 29.1 and fifth in fewest penalties per game at 3.44, No. 4 in net punting at 41.2 yards per attempt, 12th in red-zone offense with a 91.4 percent success rate (32 scores in 35 possessions), No. 19 in time of possession (32:31), and No. 24 in fourth-down conversion rate at 61.9 percent (13 of 21).
The Rams have won three of four and boast the No. 2 rusher in the MW in sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs at 114.8 yards per game after his 312-yard outburst in CSU’s 38-17 victory over Nevada last weekend. He leads the nation with 19 rushing TDs, including 13 in his last four games. Linebacker Shaquil Barrett is tied for fourth in the nation at 1.65 tackles for loss per game. He’s 10th in sacks with 0.95 per game. Five of the last seven games between the schools have been decided by four points or fewer.
18 GOING ON ’13
The University of New Mexico has 18 players whose last home game of their collegiate careers takes place on Saturday when the Lobos play host to Colorado State on Branch Field at University Stadium.
The seniors are:
Justus Adams, K, Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)
Andrew Aho, TE*, Roswell, N.M. (Roswell HS)
K.J. Atkins, DL, Poway, Calif. (San Diego Mesa College)
Dallas Bollema, LB*, Artesia, N.M. (Artesia HS)
Dante Caro, FS*, Las Cruces, N.M. (Las Cruces HS)
Kasey Carrier, RB*, Pearland, Texas (Pearland HS)
Dillon Farrell, C*, Baton Rouge, La. (Christian Life Academy)
Emmanuel Fatokun, RB*, Washington D.C. (McKinley Tech HS)
Jacori Greer, NT*, Little Elm, Texas (Newman Smith HS)
Darryl Johnson, LT*, Baton Rouge, La., (Southern Lab HS)
Mat McBain, TE*, El Paso, Texas (Burges HS)
Calvin McDowney, OG*, Glenarden, Md. (DeMatha HS)
David Orvick, LB, Los Altos Hills, Calif. (Foothill CC)
Malcolm Proctor, LB, Houston, Texas (Pearland HS)
Rashad Rainey, LB, Riverside, Calif. (Riverside CC)
Demarcus Rogers, RB*, Oak Ridge, Tenn. (Oak Ridge HS)
Ben Skaer, P*, Waterloo, Ill. (Waterloo HS)
Fatu Ulale, DE, Long Beach, Calif. (Cerritos College)
* — denotes fifth-year senior
THE STARTING LINEUP
The University of New Mexico finishes its home schedule Saturday when it entertains Colorado State on Branch Field at University Stadium.
The Lobos and Rams have split the last 10 games, though CSU has won the last three. UNM’s game-winning drive stalled at the Colorado State 16 last season as time expired in the Rams’ 24-20 victory. The Lobos took the lead on a 55-yard pass from B.R. Holbrook to Jhurell Pressley with 3:12 left in the game, but CSU responded with a 76-yard TD drive with 1:29 remaining.
From 2003-07, the Lobos won four of five meeting against the Rams, three coming on field goals in the final minute.
The Lobos offense currently is averaging 428.6 yards per game, which would rank seventh on the school’s all-time list for yards per game in a season. UNM is on pace to surpass the 5,000-yard offensive mark for just the sixth time in school history, and its scoring average currently matches the school record of 34.0 points per game set in 1982.
The 1994 UNM team averaged 472 yards per game and ranked sixth in the country in total offense. In today’s offensive climate, that 1994 team’s total offense average per game would rank just 26th in the nation this season.
The Lobos’ rushing offense (a 328.9-yard average) is just shy of the pace to reach the 4,000-yard mark for the season. Only the 1971 team, with 4,229 yards, has surpassed that mark in school history (a 384.5 yards-per-game average). The current Lobo rushing offense would finish with 3,947 yards at its current pace.
44 NO MORE, IN HONOR OF URLACHER
The University of New Mexico retired the No. 44 jersey of former Lobo All-American and Chicago Bears standout linebacker Brian Urlacher at a halftime ceremony during the Air Force game. Urlacher, the 1999 Mountain West Player of the Year and Jim Thorpe Award finalist who retired this summer after a stellar 13-year NFL career, is one of four Lobos football players to have his number retired, joining Mike Williams (No. 40), Bobby Santiago (No. 42) and Don Perkins (No. 43).
Current Lobo junior defensive end Brett Bowers, the last player to wear 44, switched to No. 48, starting with the Air Force game.