SATURDAY: Air Force (2-7, 0-5 Mountain West) at New Mexico (2-6, 0-4)
TIME/LOCATION: 7:04 p.m. MT, Branch Field at University Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M.
TV: ESPNU (Comcast 281, DirecTV 208, Dish 141)
RADIO: Lobo Radio Network (770 KKOB-AM in Albuquerque)' ESPN Deportes (1450 KRZY-AM and 105.9-FM Jose')
GAME PROMOTION: Brian Urlacher No. 44 Retirement Celebration -- UNM will retire Urlacher’s No. 44 uniform at a special ceremony during the game. Urlacher, a former Lobo All-America safety and former All-Pro Chicago Bears middle linebacker, will be in attendance. A limited number of fans can purchase the 4 for $44 special (four tickets, four hot dogs and four small sodas for $44 in honor of Urlacher).
Heroes Night -- The first 2,000 fans will receive Heroes Day mini replica helmets. All fans with a valid military ID can purchase Turquoise & Cherry Level tickets for $10 each. There will be a Heroes Day display in our Howl Zone and Wounded Warriors recognition.
AT A GLANCE
Friday football ... ESPNU ... Heroes Day ... Brian Urlacher — it will be a special evening when the University of New Mexico plays host to the Air Force Falcons on Branch Field at University Stadium. The game, broadcast on ESPNU, will pay tribute to military veterans. UNM also will retire the No. 44 uniform, in honor of former Lobo All-America Urlacher, at halftime.
UNM’s game last weekend at San Diego State was eerily similar to its previous road game at Wyoming. The Lobos rallied from an early hole but could not make a stop at the end, falling to the Aztecs 35-30.
UNM is playing its first Friday game since Oct. 1, 2004, a 28-7 loss to nationally ranked Utah at University Stadium. The Lobos are 3-7 in Friday games since 1964.
UNM is No. 3 in the nation in rushing offense at 313.6 yards per game and tied for fifth in the country with 27 rushing TDs on the season. The Lobos have just two interceptions this season, which is tied for fewest in the country.
Running back Kasey Carrier leads the MW and is No. 11 in the country in rushing at 116.2 yards per game. Carrier surpassed the 3,000-yard rushing mark for his career against San Diego State and now has 3,041 career rushing yards, good for fifth place on the school’s all-time list. He needs 70 rushing yards to become the first Lobo with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Rodney Ferguson in 2007-08.
Kick returner Carlos Wiggins is the MW leader and the No. 15 kick returner in the nation with an average of 27.7 yards per return. He’s also No. 1 in the Mountain West and 19th in the nation in all-purpose-yard average at 136.0 yards per game.
UNM is nationally ranked in several other categories. It is tied for No. 4 in fewest penalties per game at 3.63, No. 5 in fewest penalty yards per game at 30.9 yards per game, No. 4 in net punting at 41.2 yards per attempt and tied for 15th in red-zone offense with a 90 percent success rate (27 scores in 30 possessions). The Lobos are No. 21 in kickoff returns (24.2 yards per attempt).
The Falcons snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 42-28 victory over Army last week as senior running back Anthony LaCoste ran for 263 yards and three touchdowns. AFA has used four different starting quarterbacks this season. Its defense, which is ranked 114th in the country in yards allowed per game, held Army to seven points and 141 yards in the second half.
THE STARTING LINEUP
The University of New Mexico returns home on Saturday to take on the Air Force Falcons. AFA has won the last five meetings.
Lobo running back Kasey Carrier established a Mountain West record with 338 rushing yards and 343 all-purpose yards, but the Falcons used an interception return for a touchdown to help them stave off UNM 28-23 last season at Falcon Stadium. The Lobos lost QB B.R. Holbrook to injury, and Cole Gautsche already was hurt, forcing UNM to use Carrier and senior wide receiver Lamaar Thomas as wildcat QBs in the second half.
The Lobos are 3-7 in Friday night games in the last 50 years. Their last game was a 28-7 loss to nationally ranked Utah at University Stadium on Oct. 1, 2004. The Utes went on to an undefeated season and became the first non-BCS team to win a BCS bowl by defeating Pittsburgh 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl. UNM’s last win in a Friday game came almost exactly 10 years ago, a 37-34 victory over Colorado State at University Stadium.