Q & A With Zach Rupp
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/28/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 28, 2003


Senior Zach Rupp is a returning letterwinner at defensive end who has played a big role in the Lobo defense in 2003. Rupp has had an excellent start to the season and has been very active in every game. He emerged throughout the 2002 season as a real impact player and was strong off the bench starting the final two games of 2002. A talented athlete who runs well and plays with a high motor. Rupp excels in the pass rush, but is working to improve his run defense as well. A 2003 Beefmaster Award Winner in the weightroom, has added 15 pounds since coming to UNM. He transferred from Dixie College in St. George, Utah in January of 2002. In 2003 Rupp has 23 tackles (16 solo), good for second among UNM defensive linemen, including 6.5 tackles for a loss of 15 yards, and 1.5 sacks in seven starts. He also has broken up three passes, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Against San Diego State, Rupp had three solo tackles, including a 5-yard sack of Adam Hall and a QB hurry. In the Utah State game he had just one tackle, but had several key plays, including a recovered fumble on the Aggies' first play from scrimmage, then later, in the second quarter, deflected a pass on 3rd-and-1 to force a USU punt. Against New Mexico State he had five tackles (2 solo), including two for a loss in 70 snaps on the night and helped secure the UNM victory late in the game when he jarred the ball loose from Aggie QB Paul Dombrowski, allowing teammate Billy Strother to recover. Rupp had five tackles and had a QB hurry to help the Lobo defensive front limit Washington State to 87 rushing yards, 95.3 under their season average, and force five sacks in an impressive performance against a giant offensive line. Against BYU he had four solo stop, including two for loss and a pass break up in 48 snaps. Rupp led all D linemen with four tackles (2 TFL), including a two-yard sack and had a pass deflection against Texas Tech. In 2002, he played in all 14 games with three starts. Rupp had 14 tackles on the year, including five for a loss of 30 yards, and 2.5 sacks.

Question: What are your personal goals on the field for the rest of the 2003 season?

Zach Rupp: "To continue playing Lobo defense injury free and win the Mountain West Conference Championship."

Q: What is the toughest challenge in playing on the defensive line?

ZR: "Beating double teams."

Q: Which part of your game do you feel you need to continue to work on to become a more complete player?

ZR: "My footwork."

Q: What non-football talents or hobbies do you have? Which hobbies would you like to pick-up or improve off the field?

ZR: "Working on cars. Off the field I would like to continue lifting."

Q: Where's the toughest place you've had to play on the road and why?

ZR: "Texas Tech, because of their intense crowd."

Q: What's the best class you've taken at UNM and why?

ZR: "Motor Learning, because you learn how muscles and nerves work together."

Q: What is the best part of Rocky Long's defense?

ZR: "The physical nature and intensity."

Q: What made you choose UNM? What impressed you?

ZR: "I really liked the coaches and players. The defense was something I thought would be a fun challenge and the strength program is top notch."

Q: What is your routine in the weight room that allows you to become a Beefmaster Award winner?

ZR: "I follow the workout Coach Paulsen gives us and I do as much weight as possible. I also stay after practice and lift on my own. Sleeping and eating right is also very important."