New Mexico (1-2) at New Mexico State (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 22, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Aggie Memorial Stadium (30,343) -- Las Cruces, New Mexico. Television:ESPN3. Home Record: New Mexico 1-0, New Mexico St. 1-0. Away Record: New Mexico 0-2, New Mexico St. 0-2. Neutral Record: New Mexico 0-0, New Mexico St. 0-0. Conference Record: New Mexico 0-0, New Mexico St. 0-0. Series Record: New Mexico leads, 66-32-5.
GAME NOTES: I-25 rivals will meet for the 104th time in history this weekend when the New Mexico Lobos charge into Aggie Memorial Stadium to battle the New Mexico State Aggies for some instate bragging rights.
New Mexico will be looking to snap its 24-game road losing streak, which is the longest in the nation. The last time the Lobos came out of an away game victorious was on Sept. 27, 2008 when they upset NMSU, 35-24, in Las Cruces. After opening up 2012 with a 66-21 win over Southern University of the FCS, UNM dropped two away games at Texas (45-0) and Texas Tech (49-14). Bob Davie is in his first season with the Lobos. Davie has reached a bowl game 18 times in his 25-year coaching career.
NMSU is riding a two-game losing slide after falling, 41-28, to Texas-El Paso on the road last week. The Aggies cruised to a 49-19 win over Sacramento State of the FCS in their season opener, but suffered a 51-24 loss to Ohio University in Athens the following week. DeWayne Walker, now in his fourth season at the helm of the program, has a career record of 10-31. Walker has yet to lose to UNM during his career.
Despite holding a 66-32-5 advantage in the all-time series, New Mexico has lost its last three games to NMSU. The Aggies' 42-28 victory in last season's matchup was the only game in the past three seasons that did not come down to the final moments. History is not on the side of Davie, as the last time a Lobos' coach won in his debut versus NMSU, Ronald Reagan was president.
The Lobos have one of the poorest offensive units in the nation in terms of total yardage with an average of only 261.67 per game. The passing attack is basically non-existent with an average of just 49.3 yards through the air per contest.
In three games, B.R. Holbrook has attempted just 27 passes. His 17 completions have gone for 132 yards and a touchdown. The senior QB passed for 265 yards on the Aggies in last season's duel with NMSU.
Cole Gautsche is heading UNM's deep rushing attack. Gautsche has amassed 159 yards and two scores on 29 carries. Demarcus Rogers (105 yards, two TDs, 14 carries) is the second leading rusher, while David Anaya and Kasey Carrier have seen extensive action as well. The deep array of rushers have helped UNM average an impressive 212.3 yards per game on the ground.
The Lobos have been dominated by opposing offenses in back-to-back games as Texas and Texas Tech combined to score 94 total points. UNM is surrendering 486 yards of total offense per game.
Linebacker Dallas Bollema has stood out as the team's top defensive player early on. Bollema had a career-high 14 tackles last week versus the Red Raiders. Brandon Branch and Cranston Jones made their first career starts in the secondary last week in the new 4-2-5 alignment.
Contrary to their opposition, the Aggies are more successful at moving the ball through the air than on the ground. NMSU is averaging 264.0 passing yards and 94.7 rushing yards per contest this season.
Quarterback Andrew Manley is leading the way with 240.7 yards of total offense per game. Manley completed 20-of-47 attempts for 290 yards and three touchdowns versus UTEP last week. It was the second time he tossed three touchdown passes this season.
Manley has developed an effective chemistry with star wideout Austin Franklin. After finishing his freshman year with 524 yards on 34 receptions, Franklin has amassed 415 yards and five touchdowns on 20 catches through three games this season. Coming into Saturday, Franklin is the nation's second most productive wide receiver.
Tiger Powell and Germi Morrison are NMSU's top two rushers. Powell has taken a team-high 37 carries for 109 yards and four scores, while Morrison enters with 147 yards and a touchdown on 27 touches.
While the offense has held its own, NMSU's defensive unit has struggled this season. Ohio and UTEP put up a combined 92 points against the Aggies in their previous two outings. NMSU is allowing 489.3 yards of total offense per game.
Trashaun Nixon and Bryan Bonilla are two of the top tacklers in the WAC. Nixon has a team-best 27 stops, followed closely by Bonilla's 26 tackles.
Both sides are desperate for a victory to avoid falling to 1-3. This should be a hard-fought battle between the instate rivals, but NMSU's offense and the homefield advantage gives the Aggies a slight edge.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico State 31, New Mexico 27
09/19 10:39:14 ET