Stevens: Lobos Snap Streak With 27-14 Roll of NMSU Aggies
Sept. 22, 2012
New Mexico Lobos 27, New Mexico State 14
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
In measuring his Lobos against New Mexico State Aggies, New Mexico Coach Bob Davie found the perfect measurement, the perfect answer.
In 2012, the Lobos are better on the football field than NMSU.
The Lobos rolled into Las Cruces' Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday and rolled out with a convincing 27-14 win - a win that snapped a 24-game road losing streak for UNM. The win also snapped the hurtful three-game win streak the Aggies held over the Lobos.
"First and foremost, this is what kind of team we have to be," said Davie. "There's not a great amount of room for error. This is what we have to be."
"I knew as soon as I became coach here this was our No. 1 rival. It's the biggest game of the year. I think it was probably February when I started putting up 9/22/12 every time we met as a team.
"I got tired doing it. But there's no question we put a lot into this game emotionally.
"The physical nature of the way we played this game is something I think we can build on. I really do," said Davie.
Senior quarterback B.R. Holbrook went the distance in the huddle and had a solid 11-of-18 passing night for 92 yards. The Lobos went into this game emphasizing a win for their seniors -- many who carried an 0-3 mark against the Aggies.
"I'm proud that the monkey's off these kids' back," said Davie. "We have 14 seniors that have played for three different head coaches. Seven seniors transferred in here from different parts of the country, all with unbelievable journeys, unbelievable stories.
"I really like these guys. I really do. I'm just glad these seniors are able to leave this university having beaten their biggest rival because they've been through a lot."
The Lobos, now 2-2 heading toward Saturday's visit from Boise State, went into the game expecting to run on the Aggies and that's exactly what the Lobos did.
UNM had 24 first downs with 15 coming on the ground, five through the air and four thanks to Aggie penalties. The Lobos only had one turnover - a fumbled exchange from Holbrook on a handoff - and were penalized twice for 15 yards.
The Aggies had a number of costly mistakes in the game, losing two fumbles - one that ended an impressive third-quarter drive that could have kept the Aggies in the game. UNM's lone fumble came shortly after that NMSU miscue. The Aggies also were penalized eight times for 60 yards.
The Lobos went into this game looking for balance on both offense and defense and both of those units did what was necessary to help each other out - and win the game.
The New Mexico defense that had been shredded a week earlier at Texas Tech bent a few times to the Aggies, but there wasn't much breakage in this stellar defensive effort.
Especially against the run.
New Mexico State also appeared to take to Aggie Memorial Stadium believing it could run the ball. The Aggies were wrong.
NMSU went at the UNM line 20 times and were held to 78 yards for a 3.9 average. Aggie quarterback Andrew Manley seemed frustrated at times when the Aggie went away from the pass in order to test the Lobo defense on the ground.
The Lobos averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 54 attempts. UNM's ability to run the ball also helped the Lobos roll to a big edge in possession time. UNM held the ball for 38:15 to 21:45 for the home team. "Time of possession, whether it's the first half against Texas, whether it's against Southern or New Mexico State, we have to control time of possession," said Davie.
The Aggies punted five times and the Lobos punted four times. The Aggies got 13 first downs through the air, five on the ground and UNM did not provide the Aggies with a first down via penalty.
The Lobos went up 3-0 in the first quarter on a 24-yard field goal from Justus Adams. UNM advanced that count to 10-0 on a 7-yard run by Pressley. That touchdown came off a nine-play, 84-yard drive. UNM went into the halftime break up 13-7 off another Adams' field goal.
UNM went up 17-7 at the close of the third quarter when Carrier scored from 29 yards out. The Lobos iced the game on another score by Pressley that pushed UNM to a 27-7 lead at the 9:10 mark of the fourth quarter. The drive started at the NMSU 40 after Lobo linebacker Joe Stoner pounced on an Aggie fumble.
The Aggies got a 23-yard pass from Andrew Manley to Franklin with 3:54 to play. Manley finished the game going 22-of-34 for no interceptions and 256 yards.
"I'm happy for (our players) and for this coaching staff," said Davie. "Let's head home. We've been on the road three straight weeks. We're 2-2. We're 2-2."
Editor's Note: Richard Stevens is a former Associate Sports Editor and sports columnist for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at email@example.com.