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11/09/2013 1:56 AM EST
New Mexico runs past Air Force, 45-37
NEW MEXICO 45, AIR FORCE 37

By GLEN ROSALES
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico ran past Air Force - with
some encouragement from Brian Urlacher.

New Mexico retired Urlacher's No. 44 jersey at halftime and the
former Chicago Bears linebacker gave the Lobos a pep talk before
their 45-37 victory Friday night.

"You can tell he's a leader," New Mexico tailback Kasey Carrier
said. "I was thinking we were the Chicago Bears. I was like,
`Let's go!' He got pretty intense. And he's a big dude, too."

New Mexico used that inspiration to beat the Falcons.

"Getting a win with him in the stadium means a lot to our team,"
said Carrier, who finished with 179 rushing yards to lead a
ground attack that had 451 yards.

Lobos quarterback Cole Gautsche added 140 yards and two scores
and also threw a touchdown pass - a 28-yarder to Jeric Magnant
in the first quarter - on his only completion in three attempts.

"Up front, they are a mammoth group, their offensive line," Air
Force coach Troy Calhoun said. "I thought they did a nice job of
being able to push on that advantage. And the quarterback played
well. If you didn't know any better, there's a resemblance to
Tim Tebow. With his size - and when you meet the kid, he is a
huge young man - and that execution-wise is pretty crafty, too."

New Mexico (3-6, 1-4 Mountain West) snapped a four-game losing
streak.

"It's just as big as any other win, but I guess it feels a
little bigger just because we've been kind of down and Air Force
is a pretty solid team and we came out and won," said linebacker
Brett Bowers, who wore Urlacher's No. 44 until this game.

The teams combined for 924 total yards, but one of the biggest
plays came on defense when Bowers sacked Air Force quarterback
Nate Romine for a 13-yard loss on a fourth-and-23 attempt midway
through the fourth quarter with the Falcons trailing 42-34. The
Lobos then took 4:10 off the clock in driving for a field goal.

Perhaps a bigger play, however, came in the third quarter New
Mexico backup running back Jhurell Presley broke off a 61-yard
touchdown run shortly after Air Force (2-8, 0-6) had taken its
first lead at 28-27.

"That was a big play, a very big play," Calhoun said. "It was
just one of those where you get into a contest with a bunch of
points and bunch of yards and that certainly happened."

Anthony LaCoste ran for 177 yards for Air Force, and Romine
threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score.

Urlacher was a standout defensive back from 1996-99 at New
Mexico. He played linebacker for the Bears, retiring after last
season.

"It's a big deal," said Urlacher, from the small New Mexico town
of Lovington. "There's a lot of people from my hometown that
came up here to watch this and be a part of it. So I'm very
excited and honored to have this chance to do this."

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