Phil Steele Midseason All-MW
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Being ranked in the top 10 nationally in prominent statistical categories through the first half of the college football season has paid off for running back Kasey Carrier, punter Ben Skaer and kick returner Carlos Wiggins.
Phil Steele has released his Midseason All-Mountain West team, and the three University of New Mexico players earned first-team honors. Carrier, a senior from Pearland, Texas, is No. 8 in the nation in rushing yards, averaging 131.5 per game through the first six games of the season. His 291-yard effort at UTEP on Sept. 8 is the highest total in the MW this season.
Skaer, a senior from Waterloo, Ill., heads into Saturday’s game against Utah State one punt shy of qualifying in the NCAA statistical category for punting. His 46.7-yard average would place him sixth in the nation. The Lobos, however, are ranked No. 2 in the country in net punting with an average of 43.6 yards per punt.
Wiggins, a sophomore from Plano, Texas, also has a No. 2 national ranking in the kickoff return category. He is averaging 33.4 yards per attempt and has scored one touchdown on a 100-yard effort against New Mexico State.
The publication also recognized three other Lobos for their work during the first half of the season. Senior center Dillon Farrell (Baton Rouge, La.) and junior defensive end Brett Bowers (Ukiah, Calif.) each earned second-team honors.
Farrell, a three-time Rimington Trophy Watch List recipient, is the most experienced offensive lineman on a unit that has led UNM to a No. 2 national ranking in rushing yards per game with an average of 349.3 yards per game.
Bowers tied a Mountain West season high with three sacks against New Mexico State and is tied for 24th nationally with an average of 0.83 sacks per game (five on the season). He earned MW Defensive Player of the Week honors against NMSU and leads the team with seven tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He has 26 tackles to lead all Lobos defensive linemen.
Junior LaMar Bratton (Riverside, Calif.) earned third-team honors from the publication. He leads the team with 81 knockdown blocks in six games this season.