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Stevens: Lobos Plan To Put On A Show Of Intrigue & Explosions
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/15/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 15, 2011

Spring Football Position Breakdown

  • Lobo Football Ticket Information
  • 2011 New Mexico Spring Depth Chart
  • 2011 New Mexico Spring Roster

    Lobo Cherry-Silver Spring Game -- 2 p.m., Saturday, University Stadium

    By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

    Really, there is almost too much to see, too many new faces to evaluate, too much change and excitement as Mike Locksley's Lobos finally have the depth in talent to be a force on both sides of the football.

    "We're going to put on a show. I promise you that," said Jaymar Latchison, a senior defensive end. "There will be some serious hitting this time out."

    Said wide receiver Deon Long: "You'll get to see explosive big plays. We're going to air it out."

    The serious hitting -- the show -- hits University Stadium at 2 p.m. Saturday for New Mexico's annual Cherry-Silver Spring Game. It's a time for all healthy Lobos to showcase their talents, impress coaches, and pad their resumes for eventual fall evaluations for starting spots.

    The changes and the depth of talent hook into this new crop of Lobos at every position. You almost wish it were Colorado State stepping into University Stadium on Saturday rather than Lobos in Cherry vs. Lobos in Silver.

    Still, there are so many intriguing aspects of this 2011 Lobo team to check out on a warm -- and free -- day in Saturday's sun. Lobo fans should be teetering on the edge of their seats. Here are just a few highlighted areas to watch on Saturday:

  • The Young Quarterbacks: B.R. Holbrook is sidelined for spring ball giving sophomores-to-be Tarean Austin and Stump Godfrey extra snaps and time to close the gap between them and Holbrook -- and maybe form a gap between themselves. "You have to look at every opportunity as a valuable time to prove yourself," said Godfrey. A key to the proving Saturday will be consistency, decision-making -- and getting the ball into the hands of UNM's "hands" people

  • The Lobo Hands People: The depth and talent that UNM possesses with its wide outs and tight ends is enough to satisfy two teams. After you take a look at the speed UNM's sends out to the edges, you might have trouble deciding which Lobo should be called "Flash."

    "We have an explosive group of guys," said Lamaar Thomas. "Guys who can catch a short pass and turn it into long gains." OK, Thomas is the Lobos' "Flash," -- an Ohio State transfer who qualified for the NCAA 100-meter finals last June. "He's the real deal," said Lobo track coach Joe Franklin, commenting on Thomas as a sprinter.

  • The Dashing DBs: OK, there are question marks galore here, but no question about the depth and dash of talent. The Lobos have a new secondary coach in Mike Woodford and lots of Lobos new to the program or Lobos simply looking to finally crack the starting lineup. This is a puzzle that Woodford needs to, well, puzzle together. A couple of first-year Lobos/JC transfers are worth taking a close look at: DeShon Marman and Destry Berry.
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    Fan Facts

  • Free admission
  • Free Parking
  • Free Tailgating
  • West Stands Open
  • NW Gate Open
  • NW Concessions Open
  • Merchandise Available
  • Season Tickets Available
  • Post Game Autographs
  • GameTracker on GoLobos.com
  • Live (fee) streaming on GoLobos.com
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  • The Hybrid Lobo: The Lobos switched to a 4-2-5 defense which isn't that big a deal because UNM used the "nickel" defense quite a bit last season. However, the change from the 4-3 front creates the "Lobo" position and it's a fun player to watch. He has decisions to make.

    You usually find this hybrid defender (half linebacker/half DB) by finding the strong side of the offensive line. The "Lobo" has to quickly decide whether he is going to provide run support or pass support. If he makes a mistake, well ... Sophomore Carmeiris Stewart has looked impressive in this spot once held down by the famous Brian Urlacher. Check out Stewart. He's No. 33.

  • The Attack Mentality: The change here doesn't come from flipping the defensive look from 4-3-4 to 4-2-5. This is a change in philosophy and probably a much-needed change. Check out if linebackers such as Carmen Messina, Joe Stoner and Javarie Johnson are making tackles that impact down-and-yardage, or are making tackles down the field.

    Check out the D-line, too. The Lobos aren't huge up front, but they are strong, quick and athletic. In 2011, they no longer have to hold blocks, read, and react. Now, they get to attack. Now, guys like Latchison, Joe Harris, Ugo Uzodinma and Reggie Ellis get to get into people`s faces. "Now, we get to run past all those big linemen," said Latchison.

  • All Those Big Linemen: So, do you want Latchison and company to run past all the big UNM linemen or do you want to see some pancake blocks? That's the Catch-22 dilemma that comes with a scrimmage.

    The UNM offensive line is a huge key for UNM in 2011. If the Lobos want to get the ball to all those game-breaking "hands," they have to give the quarterback time to pass the ball. And if they don't want defensive linemen and linebackers to be targeting Lobo quarterbacks, the Lobos have to run the ball. For sure, the Lobo Hitmen will be tested by the talent and the depth that comes from Latchison and company.

  • Can The Lobos Run The Ball? The real test comes with the real tests of 2011 -- the games. But so far in spring ball, James Wright, Kasey Carrier, Demarcus Rogers and Chris Biren have looked more than good. You give these guys credit for hitting holes fast and running hard. But also -- there are holes! The Lobos have one 12-game starter back on the line from 2010, but maybe the biggest addition here is first-year Lobo line coach Ron Hudson. This guy has taken the line to a new level of intensity.

    OK, those are but a few things to check out Saturday when Lobos battle Lobos. Come join the fun. Come check out the show. The Lobos really have seven games scheduled for University Stadium in 2011. This is the first one -- and it's the free one!

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