Lobo Football Team Returns Home To Face Wyoming
Nov. 6, 2012
Saturday: New Mexico (4-6, 1-4 Mountain West) vs. Wyoming (2-7, 1-4)
The University of New Mexico football team looks to snap a three-game losing streak Saturday when it plays host to the Wyoming Cowboys. The Lobos beat the Cowboys 34-31 the last time the teams met at University Stadium in 2010. Wyoming played at University Stadium last season, losing to Temple 37-15 in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 17.
The game is on Comcast channel 77. Jeff Siembieda (play-by-play) and Kole McKamey (analyst) will handle the game. The game will air on the Lobo Radio Network with play-by-play announcer Scott Galetti and analyst Greg Remington, and on ESPN Deportes (KRZY-AM 1450) with Javier Misiego on play-by-play and Paco Pocorro as analyst.
UNM, which had scored on its opening possession in each of its last four games, failed to get off to a fast start against UNLV last week and paid the price. The Rebels capitalized on some big plays to take a 21-0 first-half lead en route to a 35-7 victory. The Lobos controlled the clock for an unfathomable 41 minutes, 2 seconds, won the turnover battle 3-1 and rushed for more than 300 yards but never could make a close game of it.
Junior Kasey Carrier ranks seventh in the nation in rushing at 128.4 yards per game but was held to fewer than 100 yards at UNLV for the first time in five games and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since week three against Texas Tech. Still, his 1,156 rushing yards currently ranks as the sixth best single-season performance in school history.
New Mexico is No. 5 in the nation in rushing offense with an average of 303.1 yards per game. UNM has 29 TDs this season. The rushing TDs rank tied with the 1982 and 1994 teams for the third most in school history. The offense has eight 300-yard rushing games and seven in a row; the 1971 team had nine consecutive 300-yard games and averaged 384.5 rushing yards per game.
UNM leads the nation in average time of possession at 34:15 per game. The Lobos are No. 16 in the nation in fewest penalty yards (37.3 per game). They're No. 13 in turnover margin (plus-1.10 per game) and tied for 10th in turnovers forced (23).
Wyoming enters the game with momentum, having retained the Bronze Boot with its 45-31 win over Colorado State in the Border War last weekend. The Cowboys are tied for fourth in the nation in red-zone offense, scoring on 28 of 30 chances. Quarterback Brett Smith is second in the Mountain West and 34th nationally in passing at 255.9 yards per game. The Cowboys defense, however, struggles on third down, allowing foes to convert 52.8 percent.
The Starting Lineup
The Lobos (4-6, 1-4 Mountain West) look to get back on the winning track Saturday when they host Wyoming. The Cowboys' last victory over UNM in Albuquerque was 2006 in a 14-10 decision.
The Cowboys have lost three games by three points or less and a fourth game in overtime in 2012.
Wyoming has won two of the last three games in the series, but the Lobos have some memorable wins against the Cowboys in recent years. The last time out at University Stadium, Wyoming had three players rush for more than 100 yards each and finished with 392 rushing yards, but UNM capitalized on four Cowboys turnovers to take a 34-31 victory. UNM scored two defensive touchdowns in 2001 and had a 30-16 lead with 4:15 left in the game at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyo. The Cowboys answered with two TDs, the second with 21 seconds left in regulation. Kicker Jarvis Wallum missed the extra point, preserving a 30-29 Lobo victory.
Laramie also was the site of one of the most memorable UNM wins in its history. In 2003, the Lobos were scheduled to fly to Wyoming in the regular season-finale. UNM was supposed to land in Laramie at 6 p.m., but a snow storm twice diverted the Lobos' plane back to Denver. The team finally had to bus up to Laramie and got into town at 3 a.m. with game time set for noon. The wind chill factor was below zero as several Lobo players, including current offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier, walked onto the field in T-shirts and shorts a couple hours before game time. UNM beat Wyoming 26-3 to cap an 8-4 regular-season record.
Senior Donovan Porterie started every game at QB for the Lobos in 2009. Since then, UNM has experienced quite the carousel at the position -- no QBs recruited from 2009-11 are on the roster. B.R. Holbrook arrived in 2008, and both Cole Gautsche and Quinton McCown are 2012 recruits. Between 2009-11, the Lobos had nine scholarship signal-callers besides Holbrook -- eight quit before their eligibility expired (two began their careers before 2009), and one never arrived on campus.
That's right -- 13 games, no bye week in 2012 for UNM. It's a tall order for a team just beginning to rebuild program numbers, a foundation and tradition. The last time the Lobos went through a season without a bye week was 2008. That team started off 4-4, including a 70-7 victory over San Diego State. Injuries crippled that New Mexico team down the stretch, and it lost the last four games of the season.
The 2012 Lobos started 4-3 but have lost three in row in the absence of a bye week. Coincidence?
UNM is one of five schools that does not have a bye week in 2012. The others are California, Louisiana-Monroe, UNLV and Western Michigan. UNM and UNLV play 13 games; the others play 12. The Lobos are the only ones who play on 13 consecutive Saturdays. The Rebels' season started Aug. 30 and had nine days before their second game.