ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It's Friday afternoon and although kickoff's more than 24 hours away, Lobos diehard fan Rick Garcia is here outside the Pit with his RV.
He's been tailgating for about two decades and has been at University Stadium whether UNM football is winning or losing. Garcia will be there yet again Saturday, and he's got a good feeling.
"Something's different; the atmosphere's different, the energy," Garcia said.
The energy Garcia's referring to is one that used to fill University Stadium with bodies and noise. On Sept. 8 2007, more than 40,000 packed inside to see the Lobos beat the Aggies.
But as the wins dried up the last few years, so did the fans. UNM had just two wins combined in 2010 and 2011. In the 2011 season, the 1-11 Lobos averaged a little more than 20,000 in ticket sales.
What a difference a year makes. Under new head coach Bob Davie, the Lobos are 2-2, and excitement for the program is building.
More than 28,000 took in UNM's crushing victory over Southern University. UNM senior associate athletic director Kurt Esser told News 13 Friday afternoon that, without counting students, nearly 23,000 tickets had already been sold for Saturday's clash with Boise State.
Add in students and last-second sales, and there could be a sizeable crowd on hand.
"I think if we can hit 30 or 31 (thousand)," Esser said. "A lot of folks are predicting that number. That would be great for us."
Besides New Mexico State games, the Lobos haven't cracked 30,000 at a home game since 30,051 saw Tulsa crush UNM 44-10.
Saturday's game kicks off at 4 p.m.is set for 4 PM. Last year, Boise State creamed UNM 45-0.
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