"We wanted to play smart and not help the Broncos by giving up the football or being penalized," said UNM interim coach George Barlow. "I was proud of the focus our kids brought into the game. They played with great effort and it has been a special part of my coaching career to have been able to lead these players into games."
Messina reached double-digit tackles for the seventh straight game and ninth time in 10 games. He also passed Brian Urlacher for third place on UNM's career tackles list.
"Carmen was simply unbelievable out there," said Barlow. "He was everywhere."
Senior safety Bubba Forrest also had 10 tackles to finish the season with three double-digit tackle games. It was his first double-digit tackle effort since the Sam Houston State game on Sept. 24. He finished with 12 tackles against the Bearkats.
Boise State (11-1) scored on each of its first five possessions in racing out to a 31-0 halftime lead. The Broncos manages a gaudy 542 yards of total offense led by Heisman Trophy candidate Kellen Moore, who threw three touchdown passes and went 28-of-33 passing for 312 yards in just over three quarters of play for Boise.
Junior quarterback B.R. Holbrook went 16-of-28 passing on the afternoon for 312 yards with two sacks, no interceptions but no touchdown passes.
Crusoe Gongbay led UNM rushers with 17 yards on seven attempts. Gongbay finished the season with 500 yards total.
Junior Deon Long had his highest yard total receiving with 96 yards on eight receptions.
"I thought the effort they gave against great odds was a tribute to their character as individuals and as a team," said Barlow.
The Lobos were shut out for the third time this season. The last time New Mexico suffered three shutouts in a season was 1998. Also, the 144 points scored and 12.0 points-per-game total was the lowest output for UNM in over 40 years. New Mexico scored 120 points overall and averaged 12.0 points per game in 1968.
Lastly, New Mexico allowed 500 points this season, the second most in school history. The record is 532 points, set last year.