Titans Still Recall Rare New Mexico St. Victory

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Too little has followed New Mexico State's one great recent success for it to mean much to the Aggies anymore.

In 1986, Mike Knoll's first season as coach, the Aggies beat Cal State Fullerton for what remains their only victory against a Big West Conference team since joining the conference in 1984.

Now Knoll is in the fourth year of a four-year contract, and his winning percentage has dwindled to .097--four wins, 37 losses.

"(The victory over Fullerton) is something to reflect back upon," Knoll said by telephone from Las Cruces, N.M. "As far as (something we) think about anymore, we don't."

Fullerton, which plays the Aggies at 1 p.m. today in Santa Ana Stadium, cannot afford to forget that game.

Fullerton has to be wary.

"As the recipient of the only loss in conference history, we do," Fullerton Coach Gene Murphy said. "We didn't play worth a darn against them last year either. We just have to win the game."

Fullerton (3-4-1) needs to win its final three games to have a winning record for the first time since 1985. It needs to beat 0-8 New Mexico State to avoid humiliation.

"If we hustle, just play hard the whole darn game, we should be in good shape," Murphy said. "If we don't, we'll be in trouble."

New Mexico State is giving up more than 40 points a game, which would seem a good sign for the several Titans who are on the verge of offensive records.

--Mike Pringle needs 17 yards to become only the fourth player in Fullerton history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

--Quarterback Dan Speltz needs 195 yards passing to become the school's career passing leader, surpassing Damon Allen, who had 4,218 yards.

--Receiver Rocky Palamara will set a school record for catches in a season with his first catch of the game, his 55th of the year. He is 80 yards from breaking his single-season receiving yardage record of 875 yards, set last season.

Titan Notes

Mike Pringle dropped to second in the nation in all-purpose rushing during the Titans' bye week, being overtaken by San Jose State's Sheldon Canley.

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