New Mexico wins homecoming game against Texas State, 35-14

Posted at: 10/06/2012 7:58 PM
Updated at: 10/07/2012 7:36 AM
By: J.P. Murrieta, KOB Sports; Shaun Griswold, KOB.com

The New Mexico Lobos have three wins and three losses.

Usually, it’s not big news when a college football team reaches the .500 mark.

For this Lobo football team and its fans - who suffered the past three seasons with only three wins combined - it’s a huge accomplishment.

The Lobos ran over Texas State in a 34-14 win.

The Lobos rushed for 306 yards against the Texas State team directed under Dennis Franchione, who left New Mexico in 1997 for head coaching spots at TCU, Alabama and Texas A&M.

Lobo running back Kasey Carrier rushed 191 yards and scored four touchdowns in the UNM homecoming game Saturday night. 

The Bobcats (2-3) were billed as another team that would test UNM, and offer a chance to bring out the measuring stick to see how far the Lobos have progressed from their darkest era.

New Mexico proved its success begins with the running game.

The Lobos stacked into the Pistol formation, and although Texas State could predict the run - UNM completed just one pass on three attempts for 9 yards in the entire game - trying to determine which Lobo took the carry left the Bobcats stunted.

Eight different Lobos ran the ball for a total of 59 carries.

New Mexico quarterback Cole Gautsche and running back Jhurell Pressley, both freshmen, had 79 and 78 yards, respectively.

The Lobos also showed its reliance on tough defense, something Franchione touted in his 5-year stint as New Mexico head coach that began in 1992, and ended in 1997 with a loss to Arizona in the Insight.com Bowl.

Franchione is credited for introducing the linebacker position to UNM criminology major and eventual 5-time NFL All Pro, Brian Urlacher.

Franchione couldn't do much to give his defense rest as the Lobos contained the Bobcat offense 100 yards below their season average, and forced four turnovers. 

New Mexico's next seven games in Mountain West Conference play will be the ultimate measurement for the Lobos.

The Lobos are 0-1 in conference play after a close loss at home last week against Boise State.

Don't expect UNM to stay in the conference cellar too much longer.

Out of the remaining teams on its schedule, only Nevada (5-1, 2-0) and Fresno State (4-2, 2-0) have a better record than New Mexico. 

Air Force (2-3, 1-1) fell this weekend in a 28-21 overtime loss to Navy.

UNM will play four teams - Hawaii, UNLV, Wyoming and Colorado State - that will go into next week with only one win. 

New Mexico will play its second week in a row as the favorite against Hawaii in a 10 p.m. kickoff in Honolulu.

A win there would give the Lobos their best record since a 4-4 mark set in 2008.

A loss would pit UNM below .500. Nothing in that is new to Lobo fans, slowly growing confidence their team is no longer on the front porch.

Suddenly it appears the Lobos won't be too far off from their fourth win, this season.