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Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Lobos RB Ferguson ineligible for bowl game; backup Love also out

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico running back Rodney Ferguson, the team's top rusher each of the past two seasons, won't play in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday after being declared academically ineligible.

Reserve running back Mike Love also is ineligible and cannot play when the Lobos (8-4) meet Nevada (6-6).

"They will not be able to practice," coach Rocky Long told the Albuquerque Journal. "They will not be able to participate in the [bowl] activities or bowl game. If they have a good spring semester, they will be eligible to return next fall."

Ferguson, a junior, ran for 1,177 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns this season. Last year, he led the conference with 1,234 yards rushing.

Another junior, Paul Baker, will start at tailback. He has 324 yards rushing this season, with a career-high 54 yards in a season-opening loss at UTEP.

"It won't affect our game plan," Long said. "We anticipate that Paul Baker will have a great game. This has been a team since Day 1. We've overcome obstacles before and we'll overcome one this time."