New Mexico Lobos 66, New Mexico State Aggies 17
By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
It was pretty much a name-the-score romp that was pretty much Lobos running left, Lobos running right, Lobos running just about anywhere and anyway they wanted to run.
The Lobos also ran to the top of the NCAA stats. The No. 1 rushing team in the nation no longer is in Eugene, Ore. It’s the Bob Davie Lobos of New Mexico, who powered, sprinted, muscled and looped for 541 rushing yards in crushing New Mexico State 66-17.
There were more fireworks Saturday night on Branch Field than there were over the International Balloon Fiesta Park at the end of that glow.
Over at University Stadium, the Lobos were putting the glow on their side of the scoreboard and you almost wished the college game had the same “mercy rule” that they do in prep sports. This Rio Grande Rivalry games was a 49-point mismatch.
“Anytime you can win 66-17, it’s a good thing,” said Lobo Coach Bob Davie. “A lot of different guys touched the ball tonight. It was good to get a win. It was a big game for us. There is no hiding that.”
And the game might not have been as close as the score. If there was any dent in this carving of Aggies, it was NMSU putting 17 points on the board and rolling out 451 yards of total offense.
“Tonight, we made some plays,” Davie said of his UNM defense. “It was good to see some guys make some plays.”
Said Brett Bowers (pictured left in sack of NMSU QB), a UNM D-lineman: “I got a big smile on my face. We definitely picked it up, did our job, made some plays. We were mostly just hungry for a win.”
The Lobos might have bent a bit on defense, however, there really wasn’t much the Lobos did wrong in this game. You give them credit and don’t forget to mention the offensive line that stood in front of the stable of running backs that UNM threw at the Aggies.
“Our O-line dominated from from the start and for the whole game,” said Kasey Carrier, who had 126 yards on 14 carries.
Sure, you factor in the 0-6 Aggie team – and the Aggie’s NCAA-last defense -- that limps back to Las Cruces, but still you go a little giddy over some of these UNM stats.
The 66 points.
The 541 yards rushing
The 608 total yards.
The nine UNM touchdowns, including the 100-yard kickoff return by Carlos Wiggins.
The two Lobo interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Going 7-of-7 in the red zone with six of those touchdowns.
This was a much-needed, feel-good win for the Lobos, who saw their season record jump to 2-3 heading toward a solid Wyoming team up in Laramie.
UNM was up 21-0 after the first, up 42-14 at the half. The Lobos held New Mexico State to only a field goal in the second half while adding 24 points to the Lobo total.
The Lobos went into Saturday’s game as the No. 3 rushing team in the nation chasing No. 1 Oregon, who rolled out 756 total yards in their 57-16 romp over Colorado. But the Duck ran for a measly 349 yards while UNM kicked out that 541 total.
The Lobos averaged 9.7 yards per carry with Carrier going for 126 yards and Gautsche going for 127 on 12 carries. Wiggins ran for 57 yards on two carries and David Anaya ran for 54 yards on two totes. Gautsche went 2-of-4 passing for 48 yards and one score to Wiggins.
NMSU's McDonald went 20-of-34 for 269 yards with two interceptions and he was sacked three times. Betancourt ran for 140 yards on 23 carries. The Aggies had 74 total snaps to 64 for the Lobos and NMSU didn't lose the time-of-possession battle by much: 29:20 to 30:40. However, UNM scored and moved the ball frequently off big, quick plays.
“These fifth-year seniors had never beaten this team in this stadium,” Davie said of UNM’s home win over NMSU. “ We’ve won two in a row, now. It’s a start. We’ll appreciate this one tonight.”