Game Preview: BYU at New Mexico

When Rocky Long abruptly resigned as head coach for New Mexico during the offseason, no one expected what would transpire next. The 2009 season has been marred by a winless record and a new head coach accused of physically agressing an assistant coach. It is well known that head coaching transitions can be hard, but they are not supposed to be this hard, are they? The one bright spot for New Mexico is linebacker Carmen Messina. He is leading the nation in tackles with a mind blowing 127. This is the last “easy” opponent on BYU’s schedule before finishing the year with a tough home stand hosting Air Force and Utah. Bronco Mendenhall would love to rest the starters for another 20 minutes of game time just as he was able to last week at Wyoming.

Here is what I will be watching:
  1. Will Harvey Unga set the career rushing record? He is now 90 yards away, which isn’t guaranteed. (He has averaged 75.5 yards per game against New Mexico in his career.) However, Utah had two 100 yard rushers last week against the Lobos.
  2. Will Max Hall tie Ty Detmer for most career wins as a starting QB for BYU? With a win, Hall will have won 29 games as a starter for BYU. Only the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner has done the same for BYU.
  3. Will the new 4-3 defense for New Mexico be effective? After years of the unorthodox 3-3-5 defensive scheme at New Mexico that was able to have its fair share of success shutting down BYU’s routinely high powered offense, the Lobos have switched to a more conventional 4-3 defensive front.
  4. Will Jan Jorgensen reclaim the MWC sack record? Jorgensen set the MWC career sack record last year as a junior. However, Jerry Hughes at TCU has stormed ahead of Jorgensen and has taken a slim lead. Jorgensen logged 1.5 sacks last week against Wyoming. Two or three more against New Mexico will go a long way to helping Jorgensen reclaim that record.
  5. Will BYU have its first undefeated season on the road since 1984? The last three years BYU was undefeated at home, now they are on the verge of doing the opposite. No BYU team has won all its games on the road for 25 years. The 1985, 1987, 1989, 1994, 1996, 1999, and 2001 teams came close losing just once on the road, but none has won them all.
Kickoff: 12:00 PM (MST)
Television: The Mtn.
Radio: KSL 1160 AM, 102.7 FM