On Saturday, the New Mexico Lobos will make their fourth and final trip to Fort Worth to take on TCU in Mountain West Conference competition. As we will do with many of the Frogs' MWC foes this season, let's look back at the Lobos' previous trips to Funkytown:
October 1, 2005: TCU 49, New Mexico 28
-The first month of the 2005 season, if you'll recall, was quite the roller-coaster. The win in Norman was followed up by a loss at SMU and then consecutive, heart-stopping OT wins over Utah and BYU. What the Frogs- and the TCU fans- needed was a return to normalcy. That looked to be what was on tap when the Frogs jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter with Jeff Ballard (making his first career start) running for two scores and throwing for another. But then the Lobos scored twice in the second quarter and twice quickly at the beginning of the third quarter to tie the game at 28-28. Gulp. But the Frogs quickly retaliated with Ballard hitting Chad Andrus on a 38-yard scoring strike to reclaim the lead for good, and Ballard added two more scores on the ground for insurance in a quirky 49-28 win.
November 3, 2007: TCU 37, New Mexico 0
-Much like the current Horned Frog squad, the 2007 bunch was struggling to find it's identity as it faced New Mexico coming off of a bye. They had lost two of their previous three games, including a listless home loss against Utah. This one was over as soon as it started, though, as the TCU defense clamped down on the Lobos and never let up. New Mexico managed just 119 total yards (and just 28 on the ground) and the combination of Andy Dalton and Marcus Jackson led the Frog offense to 30 points while Rafael Priest got the defense on the board with a 13-yard fumble recovery in the second half. This game was the beginning of a stretch in which the Frogs ended the season winning four of five.
November 28, 2009: TCU 51, New Mexico 10
-On an absolutely gorgeous Thanksgiving Saturday, the red carpets were rolled out for TCU's coronation as a BCS team. Two weeks prior, they had destroyed Utah at home to clear their tallest hurdle toward an unbeaten season, and had then dispatched Wyoming easily in Laramie. Ross Evans made the home crowd a bit nervous by missing a 42-yard field goal attempt on TCU's first possession, but the Frogs forced a safety and Andy Dalton scored on the ground to end the first quarter up, 9-0. Then in an amazing two minute span early in the second, the Frogs extended their lead for good. First, Dalton hit Bart Johnson for a 17-yard touchdown pass. After a quick three & out by UNM, Dalton hit Antoine Hicks for a 62-yard scoring strike on the Frogs' third play of the drive. The Lobos then fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, and Dalton hit Hicks again, this time for a 20-yard touchdown on the next play. Just like that, 30-0. Dalton added another touchdown pass to Bart Johnson and Daryl Washington and Rafael Priest both returned interceptions for touchdowns in the second half as the crowd chanted "BCS! BCS!" and the Frogs won, 51-10. After the game, fans were invited down on the field as the MWC trophy was awarded to the team. I saw some Sugar Bowl reps on the field and mentioned to them how many of the people they saw that day would be more than willing to come spend lots of money in New Orleans, but I guess they knew as well as I did that the Frogs were headed to Glendale.