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Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus :: New Mexico Lobos

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2010 Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus

Game 1: SMU Mustangs (9.5.10) :: Game 2: @ New Mexico Lobos (9.11.10) :: Game 3: Texas Longhorns (9.18.10) :: Game 4: @ Iowa St. Cyclones (10.2.10) :: Game 5: Baylor Bears (10.09.10) :: Game 6: Oklahoma St. Cowboys :: Game 7: @ Colorado Buffaloes (10.23.10) :: Game 8: @ Texas A&M Aggies (10.30.10) :: Game 9: Missouri Tigers (11.06.10) :: Game 10: @ Oklahoma Sooners (11.13.10) :: Game 11: Weber St. Wildcats (11.20.10) :: Game 12: Houston Cougars (11.27.10)

General Information

Opponent New Mexico
Nickname Lobos
Location Albuquerque, NM
Enrollment 27,304
Conference Mountain West
Head Coach Mike Locksley
2009 Record 1-11, 1-7
Starters Returning 5 Offense : 6 Defense
Blogs The Lobo Lair (Message Board)
Links New Mexico 2010 Spring Prospectus

Join me after the jump for a closer look at the Lobos.

Statistics

Statistic New Mexico Texas Tech
Pass Offense 215.08 (63) 386.77 (2)
Rush Offense 100.25 (110) 84.00 (115)
Total Offense 315.33 (103) 470.77 (4)
Scoring Offense 16.33 (113) 37.00 (7)
Pass Efficiency 105.87 (112) 143.79 (19)
Sacks Allowed 3.42 (115) 2.38 (87)
Pass Defense 253.67 (105) 225.62 (73)
Rush Defense 165.00 (83) 126.77 (38)
Total Defense 418.67 (100) 352.38 (49)
Scoring Defense 35.92 (113) 22.46 (41)
Pass Efficiency Defense 155.59 (114) 117.38 (35)
Sacks 1.92 (58) 3.09 (4)
Tackles For Loss 6.08 (45) 6.46 (34)
Turnover Margin -0.50 (97) -0.46 (94)


Top Returners

Category Player
Rushing Demond Dennis :: 78 Rushes : 427 Yards : 3 TD
Passing B.R. Holbrook :: 19/34 : 170 Yards : 2 INT : 1 TD
Receiving Ty Kirk :: 35 Receptions : 418 Yards : 2 TD
Tackles Carmen Messina :: 81 Solo : 82 Assists : 163 Total
Sacks Johnathan Rainey :: 9 Solo : 1 Assists : 93 Yards : 9.5 Total
Interceptions Nathan Enriquez :: 2 INT : 0 Yards : 0 TD


Spring Discussion

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on the opponent, but I try my best. If I have something wrong, please let me know and I'll correct or revise as necessary.

Key Losses: QB Donovan Porterie, WR Victor James, WR Daryl Jones, LB Clint McPeek, DB Frankie Solomon, LB Tray Hardaway, and DB Frankie Baca.

Impact Offensive Player:: RB Demond Dennis: Without a returning quarterback, the Lobos should lean on Dennis, who as a freshman, played pretty darn well. I'm trying to recall, but I believe that Dennis was injured during the Texas Tech game, and that kept him out of the next two games, but Dennis was huge in New Mexico's lone win against Colorado St., rushing for 133 yards on just 7 carries. Dennis averaged 7.8 YPC last year and I'd be willing to guess that Dennis is going to see an increased workload in 2010.

Impact Defensive Player:: LB Carmen Messina: This guy is a tackling machine. It's almost unbelievable as to how many plays he's in on and to give you some perspective, Messina was #1 in the country in tackles by more than a full tackle. For those of you who don't remember, Messina had 12 tackles against Texas Tech, 2 of those were for a loss and one of those TFL's was a sack for 17 yards. And he was only a sophomore.

Coach Speak: Head Coach Mike Locksley after the Cherry-Silver spring game:

"Our emphasis on both sides of the ball was the run game," Locksley said. "Coming out of spring, we felt good about our ability to run, and defensively, I thought our front seven did a great job all spring long."

Spring Chatter:

  • QB Gruner Injured; Holbrook Opportunity: Much like Texas Tech, New Mexico had a bit of a quarterback battle going on during the spring, but that battle was ended prematurely as QB Brad Gruner tore his MCL, giving B.R. Holbrook an opportunity to take the reins at this position. Without any other options, Holbrook was the only healthy quarterback, he played relatively well for the rest of the spring:
    "I would say I have two years (of experience) up on them," Holbrook said. "So in that sense, I have an advantage. But I know they're going to come in and compete, so we'll see what happens."
  • Spring Game Recap: As the above-referenced numbers indicate, New Mexico was better against the run, and actually had pretty good pressure at the line of scrimmage, but it was the defensive backs that struggled during the spring game:
    "Our defensive line has some depth, and I felt a lot better about our linebackers' soundness and read keys," Mallory said. "In the back end, we've got to tackle better than we did last year. I think our corners are more physical than they were last year, and our new safeties add some ability, depth and competition."

    The secondary, however, will be the primary concern when the team reconvenes in the preseason. Cornerbacks Anthony Hooks, Emmanuel McPhearson and Nathan Enriquez must show more consistency in coverage. A. J. Butler and Carmeiris Stewart, who came over from the offense, still must master the safety position.

  • Seniors Looking for Successful Season: After a 1-11 season, the Lobo seniors are looking to end their careers on a high note:
    Hernandez, a wide receiver, and Anyaibe, a linebacker, have just completed their fourth UNM spring practice. After Saturday's Cherry-Silver scrimmage, they were asked to compare this year's spring workouts with those of the past.

    "This is pretty far up there," Hernandez said. "We had a lot of people make plays that hadn't made plays (before), so I think it built a lot of confidence for a lot of different guys, on offense and defense."

    Anyaibe agreed.

    "I think this spring, we had a lot of energy," he said. "Last spring (the first under coach Mike Locksley and his staff), there was a lot of teaching, a lot of new stuff coming in. But now we know the system on offense and defense."

    Hernandez and Anyaibe also are among a handful of current players who know how it feels to have played on a winning Lobo team; they were redshirt freshmen on the 2007 UNM squad that went 9-4 and won the New Mexico Bowl.

  • Improving Secondary: As mentioned above, the secondary struggled last year, however, the defensive backs as a whole are looking to improve. Defensive backs coach George Barlow had this to say about the secondary and what's coming back in 2010:
    "The only thing is when we make a mistake, we make a mistake and it's glaring," he said. "We've got to understand that if you make a mistake in the front seven, everyone may not see it. If you make a mistake in the secondary, everybody sees it."

    UNM finished last in the Mountain West Conference and 105th among 120 Division I-A schools in pass defense at 253.7 yards per game. The Lobos gave up six more passing touchdowns (29) than their entire team scored (23) in 2009.

    UNM returns its top four cornerbacks from last season in true junior Anthony Hooks, redshirt sophomores Nathan Enriquez and DeShawn Mills, and true sophomore Emmanuel McPhearson.

vs. Texas Tech: That was a really ugly game last year . . . at least for a half. If there was ever a time where the Red Raiders just didn't look right with Potts at the helm, it was the New Mexico game. Not to re-hash what happened last year, but when Sheffield hit the field, the Texas Tech offense out-scored New Mexico 41 to 28. The defense was actually pretty bad that game too, giving up 316 yards to a quarterback that averaged 200 yards a game.

The Lobos should be better in 2010 because it's difficult to be much worse. I wish I could say that the offense was much better at home rather than on the road, but that's not true. The Lobos scored 17.2 points per game at home and 15.2 on the road. The defense was better, but it was still bad, giving up 31 points per game at home and 40 points per game on the road. Obviously, neither are respectable. I mentioned it briefly, and the numbers play this out as well, the defensive line for New Mexico isn't bad. In fact, they're actually pretty darned good. The problem, again, highlighted above, was that the pass defense was pretty woeful. I'm guessing that Locksley is going to try to hang his hat on stopping the run defensively.

Offensively, the Lobos will be replacing one half of their top four receivers and their quarterback. That's always a tough combination. The leading returning receiver was a true freshman last year, Ty Kirk, and Bryant Williams will be a senior so there is certainly returning talent. The other problem with the Lobos is that they were one of the worst offensive lines, with a fairly athletic quarterback, in giving up sacks. That's always a bad sign and I'm not sure it's going to get much better as they'll lose three-fifths of their offensive line. The Red Raiders will be playing a relatively young offense and this should be a game that's won on talent alone. The problem with this sort of thought is that last year, for the first half, that talent didn't get this team very far. I don't think that New Mexico is going to be much better in 2010 and I'm expecting a different result.