It's Lobos-Aggies For The 96th Time
One of the nation's oldest rivalries resumes Saturday as the undefeated New Mexico Lobos meet the New Mexico State Aggies for the 96th time. Kickoff is 6:05 p.m. Mountain Time from University Stadium in Albuquerque. KRQE-TV will televise the game on a delayed basis unless advance ticket sales warrant a live broadcast. An overflow crowd of 40,000 is expected by Saturday evening.
New Mexico is 2-0 for the first time since 1998 after getting past Missouri 45-35 last Saturday in Columbia. It was the Lobos' second win in six days as they defeated UNLV last Monday 24-22.
The victory at Mizzou is the 42nd in head coach Rocky Long's career at UNM, pushing him past Roy Johnson as the school's all-time leader. It also put a halt to a pair of dubious streaks: Since 1997, UNM had lost 15 straight road games against non-conference opponents outside the state of New Mexico and UNM had dropped 12 consecutive contests to Big 12 teams on their home turf dating to 1983.
The Lobos have won seven straight regular-season games (7 of 8 overall if you include the Emerald Bowl loss to Navy) and four in a row at University Stadium.
New Mexico State is 0-2 following a 39-0 loss at Colorado. The Aggies were held to 181 yards of total offense. Through two games, NMSU has minus-12 yards rushing while allowing 11 sacks. The Lobos have led the Mountain West Conference in sacks five straight seasons and in rushing defense four of the past five years.
The New Mexico-New Mexico State series dates to Jan. 1, 1894. The schools played six games - from 1894-1911 - before the territory of New Mexico became a state in 1912. The 95 total games makes UNM-NMSU the 35th-longest series in the NCAA record book. Wisconsin-Minnestota is the all-time leader at 114 games.
The Lobos are trying to start 3-0 for the first time under head coach Rocky Long. Dennis Franchione's 1997 UNM team began 6-0.
New Mexico was picked to finish 2nd in the MWC in 2005. New Mexico State 6th in its inagural year in the Western Athletic Conference.
MOORE 55 STEPS FROM THE RECORD BOOK - Senior TB DonTrell Moore needs 55 yards rushing Saturday to become the Lobos' career leader, a record that has stood for 27 years. Moore's 39-game career has produced 3,808 yards, which is already ranks No. 1 in the Mountain West Conference. Former Lobo Mike Williams gained 3,862 yards in 45 games between 1975-78.
THIRD STRAIGHT RECORD FOR SEASON TICKETS; PRORATED TICKET AVAILABLE - As of Monday morning, a school-record 17,213 season tickets had been sold in 2005. It's the third consecutive year UNM has established a record for season tickets. To put that number in perspective, the Lobos averaged just 15,822 fans per game in 1991. A total of 15,729 season tickets were purchased in 2004. A prorated four-game season ticket is available through this Friday. Prices range from $52-$100.
LONG GETS RECORD FOR CAREER VICTORIES - In his eighth season, Rocky Long has become the school's winningest head coach. The 45-35 decision at Missouri on Sept. 10 was the 42nd for Long and pushed him past Roy Johnson, who was 41-32-6 from 1920-30. The only coach to guide New Mexico to three bowl games, Long has coached more games (87) than any other Lobo mentor. He has a 42-45 record at his alma mater, but is 30-22 since 2001.
Late last season, UNM and Long agreed on a contract extension good through the 2009 season. A raise of approximately $100,000 per year kicked in Jan. 1, 2005, increasing Long's total package to more than $425,000 annually.
SCOUTING NMSU - The Aggies have faced a pair of formidable foes - UTEP and Colorado - in their first two games. Consequently, they have been outscored 73-17 after last week's shutout at Colorado.
Justine Buries leads the team in rushing with just 26 yards. Quarterback Royal Gill has completed 61% of his passes for 508 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He has thrown three interceptions. Amazingly, 16 different players have caught passes for New Mexico State led by former quarterback Paul Dombrowski with 15 grabs for 127 yards and one TD. All-conference linebacker Jimmy Cottrell has 20 solo tackles and 17 assists after two games. He also leads the team with three tackles for loss and a sack.
New head coach Hal Mumme is facing a New Mexico team for the first time in his career. Mumme has a career record of 97-66-1 in his 15th season as a head coach. He was also the head coach at Iowa Wesleyan, Valdosta State, Kentucky and Southeastern Louisiana.
LEAVING THE AGGIE NEST - Lobo sophomore safety Tyson Ditmore is a 2004 graduate of Las Cruces High School where he was an all-state receiver and defensive back. His older brother Dustin was a tight end at New Mexico State from 2001-03. Tyson's father (Jim) and mother (Lori) both graduated from NMSU and still work at the school, dad in the chili-breeding program in the College of Agriculture and mom in the Office of Distance Education.
MISSOURI RECAP - Missouri's defensive game plan centered on stopping one player. It turned out to be the wrong guy. Hank Baskett caught 10 passes for 209 yards and a career-best three touchdowns, helping New Mexico pull away in the fourth quarter for a 45-35 victory. "Baskett, we didn't think that he was that great," Missouri defensive end Xzavie Jackson said. "That's a great player."
Baskett's career game overshadowed that of teammate DonTrell Moore, who had 94 yards on 20 carries and threw for a touchdown on the option. Moore had been the player the Tigers wanted to control. "Baskett's a great player, the only problem is he plays for us and nobody in the country knows," coach Rocky Long said. "But he'll be a top draft choice and he's as good as any wide receiver in the Big 12."
Kenny Byrd's 40-yard field goal snapped a fourth-quarter tie and Baskett's 9-yard touchdown catch from Kole McKamey with 2:01 clinched it for the Lobos, who scored 17 points in the final quarter and won for the second time this week after beating UNLV on Monday. They spoiled Missouri's home opener despite a record-breaking day from Brad Smith.
McKamey threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth. He held his own against Smith, who ran for touchdowns of 31 and 15 yards, threw for a third score and broke school career records for rushing and passing.
Smith also had a career-high 29 rushing attempts for Missouri, but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Gabriel Fulbright had both of the interceptions, including one with 3:15 left that led to Baskett's third touchdown catch.
The game had been tied four times before Byrd's career-long field goal put New Mexico ahead to stay with 4:22 to go. Baskett's touchdown catch came four plays later.
New Mexico's pass rush forced a fumble by Smith that Evroy Thompson returned 28 yards to put New Mexico ahead 21-14 early in the third quarter. Smith tied it again when he broke three tackles and slipped a fourth on a 31-yard run on the ensuing drive.
Then Smith put Missouri ahead, breaking three more tackles after New Mexico collapsed the pocket on a pass play and scoring on a 15-yard scramble for a 28-21 lead. New Mexico tied it on a 41-yard option pass from DonTrell Moore to Baskett near the end of the third quarter.
The teams traded scores early in the fourth quarter, McKamey getting a 4-yard run for New Mexico and Missouri answering on a 12-yard pass from Smith to Chase Coffman.
MISSOURI POSTGAME NOTES - The Lobos won their fourth straight road game for the first time since a school-record six in a row beteen 1981-83
The 45 points are the most by UNM since a 47-35 victory at Utah in 2003...the 431 yards of total offense are also the most since 2003 when the Lobos rang up 578 in a 37-35 loss to UNLV
The Lobos surpassed 200 yards rushing (202) and passing (229) against the Tigers, totals they accomplished just one time last year, versus Navy (212 rushing, 207 passing) in the Emerald Bowl
UNM totaled 17 points in the fourth quarter, the most in the final period since scoring 21 in a 42-28 loss at Texas Tech in 2003...after two games, the Lobos have scored 24 points in the fourth quarter compared to just 47 points in 12 games all of last year
New Mexico scored a touchdown on its opening possession for the third straight game...the Lobos did that just four times last year (Texas Tech, UNLV, San Diego State and Navy)...since 2002, the Lobos are 20-2 under Rocky Long when scoring first
UNM also won the turnover battle 3-0 (2 interceptions and 1 fumble return for a TD) and are 15-1 since 2003 when it commiting fewer turnovers than the opponent...the Lobos won for the first time in 4 chances under Long when entering the 4th quarter with the score tied...UNM was 0-3 between 1998-2002
Senior wide receiver Hank Baskett turned in one of the best receiving performances in New Mexico history, recording career-highs of 10 receptions for 209 yards and 3 TDs...Baskett became the third Lobo ever to tally 200 yards receiving in a game and the first since Terance Mathis (252) did it against Utah in 1989...Baskett's 3 TDs tied a UNM single-game record held by five others, most recently Pascal Volz against TCU in 1997...it was the 6th 100-yard receiving game of Baskett's career and his third in a row...he now has 12 TD catches in his career, which is tied with Eric Morgan (1989-90) and Mike Henderson (1987-90) for 7th on the UNM all-time list...Baskett ranks 9th all-time at UNM with 1,558 career receiving yards
Senior CB Gabriel Fulbright had the third multiple interception game of his career, recording his second and third picks of the year...the Bronko Nagurski Award candidate set up the Lobos' game-clinching TD with his second interception with 3:15 left in the game...last Monday, he secured New Mexico's 24-22 win over UNLV with a theft at the UNM 35 with a minute remaining...his 12 career interceptions are tied for 4th all-time at UNM and are the most since Sharay Fields had 14 between 1978-80
Senior TB DonTrell Moore had 94 yards rushing on 20 carries...he also threw the second TD pass of his career, a floater to Hank Baskett for a 41-yard TD...he had a 21-yard TD pass to Adrian Boyd against UNLV in 2003
Junior QB Kole McKamey threw 3 more TD passes, bringing his 2-game season total to 5 TDs with no interceptions on 54 attempts...McKamey is 34-54 on the season for 476 yards...McKamey threw 6 TD passes and 9 interceptions in 11 games as a first year starter in 2004...he also scored his 7th career rushing touchdown against the Tigers
Senior DE Evroy Thompson's 28-yard scoop and score was the Lobos' third fumble return for a touchdown in the past 12 games...last year, Josh Bazinet returned Oregon State QB Derek Anderson's fumble for a 70-yard TD and Gabriel Fulbright returned Utah QB Alex Smith's dropped ball for a 68-yard score...Thompson added 8 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, a sack and 2 QB hurries as he earned MWC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career
New Mexico employed 24 defensive players in the game...Fulbright played a team-high 92 snaps, followed by Thompson (91) and LB Mike Mohoric (89)...junior LB Justin Clayton made 3 tackles and had a QB hurry in the first half, all of which were the first of his career
During the last four minutes of the second quarter and first nine minutes of the third period, Missouri ran 37 offensive plays to the Lobos' 7...the Tigers had a 36-12 differential in the third quarter
Missouri ran 105 plays, the most ever against a Lobo team...Texas Tech ran 102 in 2002
Junior TE John Mulchrone scored his first career TD, an 6-yard pass from Kole McKamey on the game's opening possession...sophomore Marcus Smith carried the ball a career-high 8 times for 57 yards and added 53 yards on two KO returns...junior K Kenny Byrd 40-yard FG was a career-long
New Mexico was a perfect 4-4 in the red zone, getting 3 TDs and a FG...UNM leads the MWC in red zone offense at a perfect 7-7...unfortunately, the Lobo defense is last in that category as opponents are 8 of 8 with 6 TDs and a pair of FGs
BASKETT CATCHES - Coming off an All-America performance at Missouri that netted Hank Baskett MWC Offensive Player of the Week honors, the senior wide receiver has put together some very impressive numbers after just two games in 2005:
* Tied a school record with 3 TD receptions at Missouri
* 10 catches for 209 yards at Missouri to become just the 3rd Lobo to surpass 200 receiving yards in a game
* 16 receptions, 341 yards and 4 TDs after just two games
* Baskett currently ranks 2nd in the nation in receiving yards per game (170.5), 11th in receptions per game (8.0), 12th in scoring (12 ppg) and 16th in all-purpose yards per game (170.5)
* Dating to last year's Emerald Bowl against Navy, Baskett has posted three straight 100-yard receiving performances, catching 21 passes for 456 yards and 4 TDs in that span
* 12 career receiving TDs ranks tied for 7th all-time at New Mexico
* Has 46% of UNM's receptions on the season (16 of 35) and 66% of the yards (341 of 517)
* Is averaging a whopping 21.3 yards per reception
McKAMEY, EARLY OFFENSIVE RETURNS VERY IMPRESSIVE - Leading the way is junior QB Kole McKamey, who looks to be coming of age in the Lobos' new offensive set. The past 3 games, McKamey has completed 63% (49-78) of his passes for 683 yards with just 2 interceptions and 6 TDs. He's run for 217 yards, providing a total offense average of 300 yards a game while being responsible for 8 TDs.
McKamey has been the beneficiary of solid protection from his offensive line in 2005 as opponents have sacked him just once in two games, the lowest total in the MWC
SIMPLE FORMULA: FEWER TURNOVERS MEANS MORE WINS - New Mexico enters Saturday's game as the only team in the MWC yet to commit a turnover. The Lobos have been error-free in consecutive games for the first time since 2003 against Colorado State and Air Force. Since stats became official in 1946, UNM has never played three straight games without a turnover.
Since Rocky Long started at New Mexico, the Lobos have a 14-1 record when they do not turn the ball over. The only loss came in the 1999 season opener, a 13-10 setback at UTEP. UNM has won 13 straight since.
The Lobos are 33-9 under Long when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent - 15-1 since 2003 - but 5-30 when UNM has more giveaways.
MOORE CLOSING IN ON MORE HISTORY - After gaining 1,091 yards his junior season, senior DonTrell Moore has a shot at becoming just the sixth player in the history of NCAA Div. I-A football to reach 1,000 yards rushing four times in a career: Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh 1973-76), Amos Lawrence (North Carolina 1977-80), Denvis Manns (New Mexico State 1995-98), Ron Dayne (Wisconsin 1996-99) and Cedric Benson (Texas 2001-04) were the first five.
Moore ranks No. 2 among all active NCAA rushing leaders with 3,808 career yards. Memphis' DeAngelo Williams tops the list at 4,147 yards. Moore ranks No. 1 among active ballcarriers with 789 attempts and 38 rushing TDs.
Moore is UNM's career leader in rushing TDs (38), overall TDs (44), points (264) and 100-yard rushing games (19). He is 2nd in career rushing attempts (789) and 3rd in all-purpose yards (4,475).
Moore has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in 11 of his last 15 home games dating to the 2002 season. He is also responsible for 29 TDs (23 rushing, 5 receiving, 1 passing) in the past 15 home games. Moore has averaged 128.7 rushing yards (1,891 total) in his last 15 games at University Stadium.
STATISTICAL TRENDS - The Lobos are 25-2 since 2002 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter. The only losses were in 2001 (led BYU 13-10, but lost 24-20) and last year's opener against Washington State (led 14-7, but lost 21-17).
During that same time, UNM is 20-2 when scoring first. The two setbacks came against Utah State in 2002 and against Navy in last year's Emerald Bowl.
New Mexico is 15-1 since 2003 when it commits fewer turnove