2008 was to be the year New Mexico would move up into the top three and possibly contend for the conference title, but that all came crashing down when starting quarterback Donovan Porterie had a neck injury in the season opener against TCU.
Porterie did play two games more after the injury but had to shut it down and was replaced by redshirt freshman Brad Gruner. Gruner was not good at quarterback, but did show respectable performances in the last two games.
The injury was a blow because Porterie was experienced, and with the loss of their top two receivers last year, Porterie was to keep the team on track.
Running back Rodney Ferguson continued his success at New Mexico with his third straight 1,000-yard season. Ferguson did what he could, but when New Mexico was done early in games that essentially took him out of games in the second half.
This team had trouble scoring points (outside of the 70-7 San Diego State win) and stopping teams from scoring.
The expectations were high this year. Even I predicted the Lobos to finish 8-4 and go to another bowl game.
No Chance… NONE
50/50… TCU, Texas A&M, Arizona, @Tulsa, @New Mexico State, @BYU, @Air Force, Utah
Lock it up… Wyoming, @UNLV, @San Diego State
Projected Record: 8-4
The year ended in long time coach Rock Long stepping down, because he said he could do no more at New Mexico. Long just thought his time was up, because he was at New Mexico forever as a coach and a player with the Lobos.
His replacement at New Mexico is Mike Locksley, who came from Illinois, where he was their offensive coordinator for the past four years.
Up next…UNLV. Check for that coming up shortly.