Scouting Boise State’s next opponent: New Mexico

Statesman staffNovember 27, 2013 

Boise State defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski discusses New Mexico's offense on Nov. 26, 2013.

BRIAN MURPHY — bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

FACTS AND FIGURES

Where: Albuquerque, N.M. (population: 555,417)

Founded: 1889

Enrollment: 27,278

Colors: Cherry and silver

Nickname: Lobos

Record: 3-8, 1-6 Mountain West

Last game: Lost to Fresno State 69-28 last Saturday in Fresno, Calif.

COACH

Bob Davie, 59, is 7-17 in his second season at New Mexico. He coached Notre Dame from 1997 to 2001, going 35-25 with an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2000 season. Davie, who worked for ESPN between coaching gigs, signed a two-year extension in April and is signed through 2019.

OFFENSE

The Lobos’ option attack ranks No. 6 in FBS in rushing, averaging 314.7 yards per game and 6.18 yards per carry. They will be without their top rushers: RB Kasey Carrier (1,122 yards) and QB Cole Gautsche (777) are out for the season after suffering concussions.

The run gave Boise State fits last season, producing 330 yards and scoring 29 second-half points in a 32-29 loss.

The Lobos struggle to throw the ball (averaging 118.5 yards per game, 120th among the 123 teams in FBS). Clayton Mitchem has taken over in Gautsche’s absence, completing 57.4 percent of his passes for 618 yards and one TD.

DEFENSE

New Mexico played seven freshmen, four walk-ons and four players in their first year at their position against Fresno State, all because of injuries.

New Mexico is 119th in FBS in total defense (524.1 ypg.) and 118th in scoring defense (42.5 ppg.). The Lobos surrendered 66 points to Colorado State and 69 to Fresno State in their last two games.

“Moving forward we’ve got to have our niche on defense that is just as unique as our niche on offense, because that’s what this program is,” Davie said. “That’s how we’re going to be successful here.”

That niche, Davie said, needs to be an all-out attacking defense. True freshman Dakota Cox leads the team with 87 tackles. Senior captain Dallas Bollema has 85 tackles, including five for loss.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Sophomore kick returner Carlos Wiggins leads the country with three kickoff return touchdowns, including an 89-yarder against Fresno State. He has returned kicks for scores in each of the last two games and has eight returns of 40 or more yards.

Punter Ben Skaer is fifth in FBS with a 45.6-yard average. Kicker Justus Adams has made five straight field goals.

DID YOU KNOW?

New Mexico kicker Katie Hnida became the first woman to play in an FBS game when she had an extra point attempt blocked in the Lobos’ 27-13 loss to UCLA in the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl. Hnida made two extra points in a game the next year, becoming the first woman to score in an FBS game.

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