Category: New Mexico Lobos

New Mexico head coach Bob Davie reacts after a touchdown catch by Air Force wide receiver Jalen Robinette to give Air Force the lead in the third quarter of in an NCAA college football game at Air Force Academy, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Air Force won 35-31. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

New Mexico locks down Bob Davie through 2021

1 Comment

The coaching carousel in college football went for a wild ride this season, but New Mexico managed to avoid losing Bob Davie to another school. Now, New Mexico is rewarding Davie for his loyalty to the program with a contract extension.

Earlier today New Mexico released a statement saying the school has given Davie a two-year contract extension, which will keep Davie in Albuquerque through the 2021 season. The contract extension comes packaged with a $50,000 raise that kicks in on July 1.

“Under the leadership of Coach Davie, our football program has transformed both on and off the field,” said Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs.  “We have a healthy future for our program, and I’m excited to have Coach Davie lead us.”

In 2015, New Mexico paid Davie $773,940, which ranked seventh among Mountain West Conference coaches. Once his raise takes effect on July 1, Davie will move up one spot among MWC coaches, passing San Diego State head coach Rocky Long barring any other contract changes before then. In four years at New Mexico, Davie has coached the Lobos to a record of 18-32 but is coming off a winning season and bowl appearance after tkaing over a program that went just 3-37 in the 40 games prior to his arrival.

New Mexico’s Markel Byrd killed in one-car accident

FORT COLLINS, CO - NOVEMBER 22:  Running back Dee Hart #10 of the Colorado State Rams rushes for a first down and is tackled by defensive back Markel Byrd #22 of the New Mexico Lobos on November 22, 2014 in Fort Collins, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Getty Images
9 Comments

Just ahead of the holidays, tragedy has struck the New Mexico football program.

The school revealed Wednesday morning that 20-year-old Lobo defensive back Markel Byrd was killed in a single-car accident Tuesday in Gallup, New Mexico.  The redshirt sophomore safety was driving back to California for the holidays with his girlfriend, who was critically injured in the crash, when one of the tires on the vehicle sustained a blowout.

From the release:

Both parties were ejected from the vehicle. Markel died instantly. His passenger was taken to a local hospital where she was in critical condition.

“This is an absolute tragedy. Markel Byrd was an outstanding person and student-athlete and we will miss him,” said head coach Bob Davie in a statement. “I was with the family late Tuesday night and obviously they are devastated. Our thoughts and prayers go to them. Markel will forever be a member of our family.”

This past season, Byrd tied for the team lead in interceptions with three.  He had three tackles in UNM’s New Mexico Bowl loss to Arizona last Saturday.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those impacted by Byrd’s passing.

Arizona kicks off bowl season with wild New Mexico Bowl victory

Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon, left, pushes his way to the end zone to score a touchdown against the defense of New Mexico safety Daniel Henry during the first half of the New Mexico Bowl NCAA college football game in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
AP Photo/Andres Leighton
2 Comments

The first game of this year’s college football bowl season was not one short for fun. Arizona (7-6) came away with an exhilarating, back-and-forth New Mexico Bowl victory over New Mexico (7-6) of the Mountain West Conference, winning 45-37 on Saturday afternoon in Albuquerque.

Arizona took a 28-17 into halftime and wasted little time extending its lead in the third quarter. Jared Baker broke loose for a 32-yard touchdown run right up the middle fo the New Mexico defense on Arizona’s second-half opening drive. New Mexico could not be buried though, as the Lobos and Wildcats exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter, with each scoring twice. Arizona capitalized on a New Mexico turnover a Lamar Johnson interception that put the Wildcats on the four-yard line. One play later, Baker crossed the goal line for a short touchdown and a 42-24 lead.

New Mexico rallied to make things interesting, getting a three-yard Lamar Jordan scoring jaunt to pull within 42-31 late in the third quarter and a four-yard Austin Apodaca dash to climb with 42-37 with 13:52 to play.

Arizona welcomed back linebacker Scooby Wright III, who finally got on the field after a season riddled with injury issues, and he turned in an admirable performance, hitting double digits in total tackles in the first half alone, then making two clinching plays to thwart New Mexico’s rally. Facing a 4th-and-13 with 6:42 remaining, Wright sacked Apodaca to end the threat. After a Casey Skowron field goal with 1:32 to play, it was Wright who pressured Apodaca into his game-ending interception.

Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon looked like the player that led the ‘Cats to the Pac-12 South title a year ago, throwing for 329 yards and two touchdowns while adding another on the ground. Arizona wide receiver Cayleb Jones turned in a big game as well, with 182 receiving yards and a score.

With the win, Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez picked up his third bowl victory since being named the head coach at Arizona. Arizona has won three of the last four bowl games they have played in, which included the New Mexico Bowl in 2012 as well. Arizona lost last year’s Fiesta Bowl against Boise State. New Mexico head coach Bob Davie is still on the prowl for his first career bowl victory. Davie was 0-3 in postseason bowl games at Notre Dame.

In 2016, Arizona will kick off the new season in Glendale, Arizona against BYU on September 3. New Mexico will also open the new season that same day, but they will do so at home against FCS power Sam Houston State.

New Mexico Bowl: Scooby Wright and Cayleb Jones dominant in first half for Arizona

Arizona's Scooby Wright III smiles as he walks on the field prior to the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Boise State, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File
Leave a comment

Welcome back, Scooby Wright III. Arizona’s top linebacker may have missed the majority of this season, but he is putting ona  show in the New Mexico Bowl with a game-high 10 tackles in the first half as Arizona leads New Mexico 28-17. This first bowl game of the year has had a little bit of everything in the first half, including twice setting a record for the longest pass in New Mexico Bowl history.

Arizona took a lead on New Mexico on a crazy four-play sequence that saw Arizona have a fake punt stuffed by the Lobos, the Arizona defense pick off a deep pass to the endzone on the very next play, and finish with a 78-yard pass from Anu Solomon to Cayleb Jones for a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. The play was the longest pass play in New Mexico Bowl history, but that record would not last long. New Mexico quarterback Lamar Jordan completed a 92-yard strike to Delane Hart-Johnson late in the first half to break the record for a second time in the first half.

In addition to Arizona getting a fine showing from Wright, wide receiver Jones has been unstoppable. Jones has already gone off for 182 yards and a touchdown on just four receptions for Arizona.

This should be a wild second half.

CFT Previews: Your Dec. 19 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 25: head coach Trent Miles of the Georgia State Panthers walks on the sideliens in the second half against the Georgia Southern Eagles at the Georgia Dome on October 25, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Getty Images
3 Comments

Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 19 bowl menu, which on “opening weekend” features five bowl games as the 2015 postseason officially kicks off.  Included in that quintet of contests is one bowl making its debut, another in just its second year as well as the holiest of Beehive State wars.

WHO: Arizona (6-6) vs. New Mexico (7-5)
WHAT: The 10th Gildan New Mexico Bowl
WHERE: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
WHEN: 2 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: The uncertainty over the availability of Arizona starting quarterback Anu Solomon (concussion) has some sportsbooks, including the one we use for lines, Bovada.lv, taking the game off the board.  If Solomon is healthy, the Wildcats would likely be double-digit favorites; without him, one could make a very good case for the Lobos.  In fact, the Wildcats went 0-3 in games that Solomon either didn’t start or didn’t finish because of injury.  Even with Solomon on the field for most of the last five games, though, UA still lost four of those.  UNM, meanwhile, comes into its first bowl berth since 2007 on a high, finishing out the season with wins over bowl-bound Utah State (6-6), Boise State (8-4) and Mountain Division champion Air Force (8-5).  The combination of how both teams finished the season, the uncertainty over Solomon and ‘Zona likely feeling underwhelmed with its postseason lot has a very motivated Lobos squad primed for an upset.
THE LINE: Off the board
THE PREDICTION: New Mexico 33, Arizona 27

__________

WHO: BYU (9-3) vs. Utah (9-3)
WHAT: The 24th Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
WHERE: Sam Boyd Stadium, Whitney, Nevada
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
THE SKINNY: This promises to be one of the best “non-marquee” bowl games of the 2015-16 cycle because not only are both teams coming into it with nine wins but because of the whole “Holy War” aspect, and in Sin City no less.  The two football programs have been on a sabbatical the last two seasons in a rivalry that’s seen 89 previous matchups, but will resume in the regular season beginning next season and running through 2020.  The Utes have won four straight in the series and nine of the last 12 meetings dating back to 2002.  The Cougars’ situation is somewhat muddled as their long-time head coach, Bronco Mendenhall, has accepted the same job at Virginia but will coach his “former” team in the bowl game.  After beginning the season 6-0 and with playoff talk dancing in their heads, the Utes muddled through the remainder of the schedule at 3-3.  Here’s to guessing the Cougars, winners of seven of their last eight, add to their rival’s late-season misery and send their old coach with off with his first bowl win since 2012 — especially if words can be used as motivation.
THE LINE: BYU, +3
THE PREDICTION: BYU 27, Utah 23

__________

WHO: Ohio (8-4) vs. Appalachian State (10-2)
WHAT: The 2nd Raycom Media Camelia Bowl
WHERE: Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: There were 21 teams that won 10 or more games during the 2015 regular/championship season; I’d bet you could make some pretty decent coin regarding Appalachian State’s inclusion in that select group.  And ASU’s two losses this year came against top-ranked Clemson in Death Valley and 2015 Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State.  Ohio University, not to be confused with Brady Hoke‘s derisive “Ohio” directed at Ohio State, had a near-perfect start to the season at 5-1, with the only loss coming by three at Minnesota… before they lost three in a row (two by a combined 66 points)… before they regrouped to win their last three by a combined 49 points.  The Bobcats are looking for their first bowl win since 2012, while the Mountaineers are playing in their first bowl game as an FBS program.  ASU is a touchdown favorite… and even that might be a little on the short side.
THE LINE: Ohio, +7½
THE PREDICTION: Appalachian State 45, Ohio 24

__________

WHO: San Jose State (5-7) vs. Georgia State (6-6)
WHAT: The 1st Cure Bowl
WHERE: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
WHEN: 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
THE SKINNY: If you like underdog stories, tune into this one.  Georgia State went 3-29 from the beginning of the 2013 (first FBS season) through the eighth game of the 2015 season.  The Panthers then ripped off four straight wins — by double digits in each, no less — to close out the year and reach a level 6-6 to become bowl-eligible.  GSU’s Nick Arbuckle, one of the most prolific quarterbacks you’ve probably never heard of, is currently sixth in the country in passing yards with 4,160.  Its head coach, Trent Miles (pictured), will very likely be one of the hot names on the 2016 spinning of the coaching carousel.  As for San Jose State?  I have zero desire to discuss a sub-.500 team that doesn’t deserve a bowl bid.  And this isn’t to pick on the Spartans; rather, this will be a running theme throughout these types of posts when it comes to 5-7 teams getting an unwarranted and undeserved invitation to the postseason. [/steps off soapbox]
THE LINE: Georgia State, +3
THE PREDICTION: Georgia State 31, San Jose State 21

__________

WHO: Arkansas State (9-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-4)
WHAT: The 15th R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
WHEN: 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: Arkansas State lost its first two games of the 2015 season (USC, Missouri) then won nine of its last 10 to become the first team in Sun Belt history to go unblemished in conference play.  Louisiana Tech features the potent one-two punch of former Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel (14th nationally in passing yards with 3,575, 26th in pass efficiency) and touchdown machine Kenneth Dixon (83 career scores, tied for second all-time among FBS players).  One thing to keep in mind if you’re the wagering type when it comes to Driskel’s success through the air this season: the Red Wolves are currently 95th nationally against the pass, giving up an average of 251.9 yards per game; Driskel was held under that number just twice in 2015.  ASU did intercept 26 passes this season (No. 1 in the country), and Driskel tossed three in a season-ending loss to Southern Miss, so there is that if you’re on the Red Wolves side.
THE LINE: Arkansas State, +2
THE PREDICTION: Louisiana Tech 48, Arkansas State 45