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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lobos projected to finish fifth in MW's Mountain Division

Boise State, Fresno State named front-runners in conference's preseason poll

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By JR Oppenheim / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNM wide receiver Carlos Wiggins basks in the end zone after running in a 62-yard run Saturday. Wiggins scored three of the six touchdowns Saturday against UNLV at University stadium

It appears that the New Mexico football team still hasn’t done enough to change its perception around the Mountain West.

On Tuesday, Mountain West media members predicted the Lobos will finish fifth in the Mountain Division this upcoming year. UNM (56 points) was picked only ahead of Air Force (53 points) in the division. The Lobos finished with an overall record of 3-9 and a MW record of 1-7 last season.

Boise State was chosen as the favorite in the Mountain Division and Fresno State was selected as the front-runner in the West Division. The Broncos earned 20 first place votes and finished with just seven more points than second-place Utah State (183-176). Both Fresno State and San Diego State earned 15 first place votes apiece but the Bulldogs had two more points than the second-
place Aztecs (174-172).

Colorado State (135 points) and Wyoming (90) were picked to place third and fourth, respectively, in the Mountain Division.

In the West Division, Nevada (130 points) was selected to finish third, UNLV (95) was chosen to be fourth, San Jose State (87) was placed fifth and Hawai’i (35) was placed sixth.

Mountain West preseason awards

UNM kick returner Carlos Wiggins and offensive lineman LaMar Bratton were named to the Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Team.

Wiggins also garnered the Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year award. He led the FBS in kick return yardage in 2013 with 29.6 yards per return.

Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who played in just six games last season, was chosen as

the Preseason MW Offensive Player of the Year. Fresno State senior safety Derron Smith was selected the MW Defensive Player of the Year.

Boise State, Utah State and Fresno State all had a league-high four players named to the MW Preseason All-Conference Team.

Thomas Romero-Salas is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at sports@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @ThomasRomeroS.