Stevens: Lobos' Running Game Shines In Saturday's Scrimmage
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/02/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 2, 2011

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    Lobo Football --- Saturday Scrimmage at University Stadium.

    By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

    The Catch-22 aspect of a football team's scrimmage - us vs. us - is impossible to avoid and that's the way it was for Lobo Coach Mike Locksley Saturday afternoon at University Stadium.

    Some Lobos looked good, which means other Lobos didn't look so good. The defense looked good at times, which means the offense didn't look so good at times. And vice versa.

    "Early on, the defense had the momentum, and as the offense started making plays, we didn't respond (defensively)," said Locksley. "That is concerning. "

    Said Lobo senior safety, Bubba Forrest: "We had good effort, but we aren't at our best level yet. I wouldn't say today was a great day for us."

    The inherent nature of a scrimmage is that a good block by a lineman usually means a defender was, well, blocked. A good run by a running back usually means there was a hole in the Lobo defense created by the Lobo offense. That's good and bad.

    "At first, we started out sluggish, but once our coaches got on us, then the O-line stepped it up," said tailback Demarcus Rogers. "And it starts with the O-line. As soon as the O-line steps it up, that's when the skill positions step it up."

    Rogers stepped it up pretty much every time he touched the football. He found lots of holes to run into and hit them hard and fast. The 5-foot-1l sophomore ran for 105 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns.

    Rogers says he likes the intensity and game-like pressure of a scrimmage, because the production level is measured the real way.




    "During the week, the defense will says, "Oh, well, we couldn't tackle you right there,'" said Rogers. "Out here and now, you can see if they actually are going to make the tackle or not.

    "I was very happy today. I made a few plays. I like to have the ball in my hands."

    The "real" numbers produced by the UNM running backs were impressive. James Wright had 87 yards on 15 carries and scored a single touchdown. Kasey Carrier had 57 yards on six runs.

    "I was pleased to see us move the ball offensively, running the ball," said Locksley. "I think our running backs did a great job and obviously when they do a great job that means the guys up front took care of business."

    The spring quarterback duel produced some nice numbers, too. Sophomore Tarean Austin completed 12 of 15 passes for 165 yards and one score. Sophomore Stump Godfrey went 6-of-14 for 97 yards and a score. Godfrey also ran for 44 yards on 12 carries or scrambles. Junior QB B.R. Holbrook, the starter going into the 2010 season, is not involved in contract drills while recovering from knee surgery.

    The Lobos had nine receivers haul in passes with Deon Long leading the pace with five grabs for 90 yards. Michael Scarlett, Lucas Reed, Martize Barr, Lamaar Thomas and Andrew Aho hauled in two receptions each. Thomas and Aho caught the two TD passes.

    Scrimmages are always an exciting time for a player as they get to play the game at full speed with full contact.

    "It's the full-out aspect that's fun," said Forrest. "It's the closest thing to a game you can get."

    Said Deon Long: "I like the intensity. The bullets are flying and it gets you prepared for the game. You have to think on your toes and you have to know what you are doing. The more reps you get like this, the better you are in a game."

    Coach Locksley said one thing he was looking for with his young team is how they reacted at game speed. "Now, we go watch the tape and see what they really know."

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