Sept. 26, 2011
Ways to get your Tickets to the NMSU Game this weekend:
1. At the Lobo Ticket Office in The Pit Mon-Fri from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2. At the UNM Bookstore Ticket Office on campus Tues-Fri from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat. Noon to 4 p.m.
3. All Albertsons locations in ABQ and Santa Fe from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday
4. Online at GoLobos.com or unmtickets.com. All fans have the option to print tickets at home
5. Beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday in the NE corner ticket office of University Stadium.
6. Beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday in the NE corner of The Pit. Both the Lobo Ticket Office and the Lobo Den Store will be open at 3 p.m. Saturday. Great way to get your tickets and officially licensed Lobo merchandise
NEW MEXICO LOBOS FOOTBALL -- AT UNIVERSITY STADIUM
6 p.m., New Mexico State at Lobos
On The Air: The Mtn; 770-AM KKOB, Lobo Radio Network; pregame show at 3 p.m.
GoLobos.com: GameTracker, Game Story, Quotes, Stats, LoboTV
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The hurting is to be expected. So are a time of mourning and a time for healing. However, the time the New Mexico Lobo football players devote to licking their emotional wounds needs to be of a short duration.
The New Mexico State Aggies are coming to town and the only thing the Aggies want to do is inflict some more Lobo pain. The Lobos will find no comforting Aggie shoulders to cry on come Saturday. If the Lobos are down, the Aggies will try to kick `em while their down -- keep `em down.
The emotional blow the Lobos took was losing Mike Locksley, the UNM head coach who walked into the 2011 season with a 2-22 record and walked away with a 2-26 mark. Locksley was relieved of his head coaching position for reasons even obvious to UNM players.
"This is a production oriented business and we have to grow up really fast and get over it really fast," said Jaymar Latchison, a senior defensive end.
The losing of a head coach isn`t a first for Latchison and most of the seniors on the UNM team. They lost Rocky Longwho bolted four years back and on Sunday Locksley was handed his walking papers as his coaching record and attendance in University Stadium continued to plummet.
That's the way it is with football, sports -- life. Coaches and other things come and go. Locksley is gone. The Lobos, as a team, are still here and there are still football things to concentrate on regardless of who is leading the team.
UNM held a press conference Monday highlighted by Paul Krebs, Vice President of Athletics, explaining the move, talking about a coach search, answering media questions and introducing the interim head coach, George Barlow.
Krebs also made an emotional request that the community of Lobos stand behind the student-athletes representing them on the football field.
For sure, Sunday and Monday were tough days for the Lobo players. They found out that their head coach had been replaced. They also banded as a team and made a decision and a commitment to remain united as a team.
"We are a family and we've been a family for a long time," said junior tight end Lucas Reed. "We remain brothers and we are out here to fight for each other."
Said senior Bubba Forrest; "This is a part of life. These are the cards that have been dealt to us and we have to grow up and accept what has happened. It's a tough situation for everybody, but the sun came up again this morning. It's over now and we have to direct our concentration on New Mexico State."
One of Locksley's pet phrases falls down perfectly for the Lobos during this trying time: Don't worry about the things you can't control and concentrate on things you can control.
"This is a big game. This is the Super Bowl of the state."
Lobo senior Jaymar Latchison on NMSU's visit on Saturday
OK, Locksley is gone. A coach having problems producing on the scoreboard isn't much different than a chief executive officer not producing in the profit and loss column. College football is big business. Locksley was paid the big bucks to produce and 2-26 didn't cut it.
Krebs had to make a tough decision in evaluating the slow progress of Locksley's program. Locksley often had to make tough decisions on which Lobo got to play and which Lobos sat the pine. Nothing personal here, but, to borrow Forrest's words: "This is a part of life."
And a cruel part of collegiate football.
"When you come to this university, you come to play for the program and the community and the fans," said senior linebacker Carmen Messina. "You don't come out here to just play for a coach. All the guys know that."
As Reed put it, a football team also "is here to fight for each other." That's the Lobo battle cry for this week and, really, for the remainder of the season.
The key now for the Lobos, for Coach Barlow, for his coaching staff is to quickly put the pieces back together and try to win a football game on Saturday. And then a few more.
"The kids are working their way through an awkward situation and they are doing a good job with it," said Barlow, who will continue as UNM's defensive coordinator. "It's going to be difficult to keep your focus with all this stuff going around, but it`s our job to get them focused and get them ready to win a game.
"It's a difficult time for these kids with this type of transition and we have to stick together. The kids are doing a good job of bonding together. They know the only way we can get this accomplished is by sticking together."
Said Latchison: "(Emotions) have been all over the place, up and down. There is a lot coming in at once, but I think we have handled it well. We want to finish the season out right."
Said junior quarterback B.R. Holbrook. "There are a lot of emotions, a lot of uncertainly, but there is nothing we can do about it at this point. We have a game on Saturday that we need to prepare for."
For sure, the rest of the 2011 season will be a tough road for the 0-4 Lobos. There are some nasty football challenges lying in their path. But for this week, the rest of the 2011 season should be pushed in the back of the Lobos' minds just like they need to tuck away any emotional baggage that came with losing Locksley.
The sun is back up. The cards have been dealt. The King is dead. Long Live the King. Life and football go on.
And here come the Aggies.