April 23, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico defense showed why it is annually ranked among the best in the nation as it limited the Lobo offense to 16 points this afternoon in the 90-minute offense versus defense Cherry-Silver spring scrimmage. The offense had several bright spots though, including an 88-yard rushing performance by sophomore tailback Rodney Ferguson and 97 all-purpose yards from sophomore wide receiver Marcus Smith. The real winner, however, was the crowd of over 1,000 fans who enjoyed the spirited scrimmage on a warm sunny day at the scenic UNM practice fields.
Working almost exclusively out of its new spread option package throughout the afternoon, the New Mexico offense got off to a solid start in spring practice No. 15 as junior quarterback Kole McKamey marched his first string group down the field against the top defense. The opening drive stalled in the red zone, however, resulting in a 35-yard field goal by redshirt junior Garth Archibald.
The defense picked up its intensity on the following possessions, keeping the Lobo punters busy during the first half of the scrimmage. Sophomore Eric garrison and redshirt freshman John Sullivan booted field goals of 42 and 27 yards, respectively, but it was the defense making the bulk of the plays early.
Senior linebacker Mike Mohoric picked off junior quarterback Chris Nelson, the No. 2 signal-caller, and returned the ball 25 yards. Sophomore safety Tyson Ditmore also had a diving interception against fellow sophomore Bryan Clampitt. Redshirt junior linebacker Yimin Bauman also had a big hit to force a fumble by freshman fullback Matthew Quillen.
New Mexico's new-look linebacker corps was impressive throughout as Bauman, junior Quincy Black and sophomore Cody Kase each recorded a game-high six tackles. Sophomore outside linebacker Michael Tuohy, a freshman All-American at defensive end last year, notched a pair of sacks blitzing off the corner. Senior cornerback Jerrell Malone had a strong afternoon as well, knocking away a pair of passes in coverage.
Ferguson got the offense back on track in the final possession of the day, ripping off a 43-yard run to set up a 16-yard touchdown run by Smith. Smith finished the day with 68 yards on six carries, including a long of 31, and caught four balls for 29 yards.
McKamey was efficient in limited action, completing 10 of 16 passes (63%) for 87 yards and no interceptions. Senior wide receiver Hank Baskett pulled in a pair of McKamey passes for 26 yards in his brief time on the field. Sophomore wide receiver Keith Griego, one of the biggest surprises of the spring season, had a game-high five catches for 31 yards and gained nine yards on three carries.
New Mexico opens the 2005 season at home on Sept. 3 in a key Mountain West Conference game against UNLV.
Garth Archibald 35-yard field goal
Eric garrison 42-yard field goal
John Sullivan 27-yard field goal
Rushing: Rodney Ferguson 13-88, Marcus Smith 6-68, Daniel Ramirez 6-35, Paul Baker 7-16, Travis Brown 2-11, Keith Griego 3-9, Adrian Byrd 2-4, Jonah Foutz 3-3, Matthew Quillen 2-3, Matt Peebles 1-(-2), Kole McKamey 3-(-7), Chris Nelson 2-(-10), Steve Harris 4-(-12), Bryan Clampitt 4-(-13).
Receiving: Keith Griego 5-31, Marcus Smith 4-29, Matt Peebles 3-12, Hank Baskett 2-26, Daniel Ramirez 2-20, John Mulchrone 2-8, Anthony Carter 1-10, Jonathan Brooks 1-10, Adrian Byrd 1-9, Travis Brown 1-5, Paul Baker 1-5, Chris Mark 1-4.
Missed Field Goals: Kenny Byrd 44, 57.
Tackles: Yimin Bauman 6, Quincy Black 6, Cody Kase 6, Wesley Beck 5, DeAndre Wright 4, Ben Wysong 4, Marcus Parker 3, Evroy Thompson 3, Derek Craft 3, Mike Powdrell 3, Herbert Felder 3, Othellus Swift 3, Joe Selander 3, Charles Brown 2, Tyson Ditmore 2, Juamar Hall 2, Gabriel Fulbright 2, Aleem Harris 2, Blake Ligon 2, Beau Hightower 2, Daniel Wysong 2, George Carter 2, Jeremiah Lovato 2, Ryan Boyd 2, Tyler Donaldson 2, Stephen Hutchison 2, Michael Tuohy 2, Jake Bowe 2, Kevin Balogun 2, Mike Mohoric 1, Ken West 1, Darvin Peterson 1, Daniel Lowney 1, Luke Higgins 1, Billy Brittain 1, Mario Hidalgo 1, Adam Garday 1.
Fumbles Forced: Yimin Bauman 1.
Fumbles Recovered: Charles Brown 1-10.