New Mexico Bowl Player Profile & Histories
Posted Dec 14, 2006

2006 New Mexico Bowl Player Profile, History & More

San Jose State (8-4) vs. New Mexico (6-6)

Dec. 23, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

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By Richard Cirminiello

New Mexico Bowl Player Profile
RB Rodney Ferguson, New Mexico – Ferguson is Exhibit A why putting too much credence into spring performances can often backfire.  The sophomore, long pegged as DonTrell Moore’s heir apparent in Albuquerque, was downright mediocre in March, losing his fire and slipping unexpectedly on the depth chart.  Entering the 2006 season, it looked as if he would, at best, split carries with teammates Martelius Epps and Paul Baker.  That was then, and this is now.  Through 12 games, Epps and Baker have just 61 carries between them, while Ferguson used his 230 touches to rumble to the fifth best season for a running back in Lobo history.  At some point in August, he regained his intensity, stopped dancing in the backfield and embraced the physical, straight-ahead running style that fits his 6-0, 230-pound physique.  The results this fall were rather favorable, particularly for an offense that had three different quarterbacks start games and desperately needed a reliable constant amid the sea of change.  Ferguson delivered 1,132 yards, capped by 210 yards in the regular season finale, nine total touchdowns and 20 receptions, which tied him for third-best on the team.  Those concerns from earlier in the year are now old news.  Ferguson is a new man, confident, determined and more motivated than ever to be the Lobo workhorse for the next two seasons.  In other words, bearing absolutely no resemblance to the player that couldn’t buy a complement back in the spring.

Best Lobo Bowl Moment – The pickings are slim here since New Mexico has lost its last four bowl games and boasts just a pair of bowl victories, the last one coming in the 1961 Aviation Bowl. That 28-12 win over Western Michigan gets the nod by default, however, it'll fall by the wayside if the Lobos can handle San Jose State later this month in Albuquerque.

Best Spartan Bowl Moment – San Jose State capped a ten-win season and a Pacific Coast Athletic Association title by pounding Miami (OH) in the 1986 California Bowl.  Mike Perez, the nation’s leader in total offense, led the way with three touchdown passes, while the Spartan did its part by intercepting five passes.  The win helped propel San Jose State to a rare season-ending appearance in the rankings.

New Mexico's best win ... New Mexico 34 ... Utah 31
Down 24-3 in the second quarter, New Mexico became unstoppable with three touchdown passes from Donovan Porterie, including two to Marcus Smith, and took the lead for good on a one-yard Martelius Epps run with just over two minutes to play. Utah's final drive was stopped around midfield when QB Brett Ratliff was stuffed on fourth and two. The Utes got up early on two Darryl Poston touchdown runs and the first of two Ratliff touchdown passes, and took a late lead on a three-yard Brian Hernandez touchdown, but the defense couldn't adjust when the light went on for Porterie.

New Mexico's worst loss ... Portland State 17 ... New Mexico 6
New Mexico turned it over three times and committed 11 penalties, and Portland State took advantage of the mistakes to overcome a 6-0 halftime deficit to score 17 unanswered points. Sawyer Smith threw two touchdown passes starting with a 39-yard pass to Brendan Ferrigno and closing out with a 26-yard scoring strike. New Mexico's offense gained 339 yards, but it only managed two Kenny Byrd field goals.

San Jose State's best win ...
San Jose State 24 ... Fresno State 14
San Jose State picked off FSU QB Tom Brandstater four times while Spartan QB Adam Tafralis threw three touchdown pass in the first half. Tafralis connected with John Broussard for an 85-yard touchdown on the first play of the game, hit James T. Callier for a ten-yard score, and threw a 42-yard pass to James Jones late in the first half. Fresno State moved the ball, but turnovers proved costly. Dwayne Wright ran for an 11-yard score and Alan Goodwin returned a fumble 28 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Player of the game ... San Jose State LB Matt Castelo made 16 tackles, one tackle for loss and one interception

San Jose State's worst loss ...
Hawaii 54 ... San Jose State 17
Hawaii rolled over San Jose State with 568 yards of total offense, while the defense got into the act allowing just 192 yards. Colt Brennan threw five touchdown passes and ran for another, but the Warriors didn't put the game out of reach until the second half scoring the final 27 points of the game over the last 19 minutes with two Davone Bess touchdown catches and scoring grabs from Ryan Grice-Mullen and Nate Ilaoa. James T. Callier ran for two one-yard scores for the Spartans.

New Mexico Bowl History (3-7)
2004 Emerald Navy 34, New Mexico 19
2003 Las Vegas Oregon St 55, New Mexico 14
2002 Las Vegas UCLA 27, New Mexico 13
1997 Arizona 20, New Mexico 14
1961 Aviation New Mexico 28, Western Michigan 12
1946 Harbor New Mexico 13, Montana State 13
1945 Sun New Mexico 34, Denver 24
1943 Sun Southwestern Texas 7, New Mexico 0
1938 Sun Utah 26, New Mexico 0
San Jose State Bowl History (4-3)
1990 California San Jose State 48,
Central Michigan 24
1987 California Eastern Michigan 30,
San Jose State 27
1986 California San Jose State 37,
Miami (Ohio) 7
1981 California Toledo 27,
San Jose State 25
1971 Pasadena Memphis 28,
San Jose State 9
1949 Raisin San Jose State 20,
Texas Tech 13
1946 Raisin San Jose State 20,
Utah State 0

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