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Head Coach: Rocky Long (46-50, 8 years; 14th year at school) 2005 Record: 6-5,4-4/T4th MWC
Location: Albuquerque, NM Turf: Grass Capacity: 38,634 Seating Chart:
New Mexico's last bowl win was in 1961 as they have dropped all 4 bowl games in the 45 years since. As mentioned in the coaches section, Rocky Long's teams improved each year and he did a fine job in 2004 getting a rebuilt team to a 5-2 MWC record despite being outgained by 44.0 ypg in league play. That was in sharpcontrastto his 2003 squad which outgained league foes by 157.0 ypg (over 100 ypg better than the #2 team) but came up a game short in the MWC standings. Long was given a well deserved contract extension after 2004. NM was picked #2 in the preseason MWC poll in 2005 and were thinking MWC Title with 12 starters back. The Lobos have not won a league title since 1964. While they usually get off to a slow start, they opened 2005 3-0 for the first time since 1997. They also earned their first ever win over a BCS team on the road when they knocked off Missouri 45-35. They suffered a tough home loss to UTEP in which they led 10-7 in the 3Q and were driving when they gave up a 68 yd IR TD and a blk'd punt TD, both within 3:30 and lost despite a 285-248 yd edge. NM blew a 24-13 4Q lead over BYU and a 13 pt halftime lead over Cob St. They stunningly lost their final two home games but would have gone to the Fort Worth Bowl had Kansas not won in OT vs Iowa St. The Lobos have a combined record of 11 -19 to start the season the last five years but are 23-5 SU down the stretch. Last year's Lobo offense had 8 starters back including RB Moore and WR Basket! and improved as expected avg'ing 9.3 ppg more than in 2004. This year they have a veteran QB and OL but must replace Moore and Basket! and will likely be less potent. The Lobos were one of 4 teams in the NCAA that had finished in the Top 30 in total defense since 2000 but that streak was snapped last year #68. The D has had just 4 starters returning in each of the last 3 years but after allowing just 18.7 ppg in 2004, yielded 29.7 last year, their highest since 1998.
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