April 11, 2012
It was a curve ball that University of New Mexico baseball coach Ray Birmingham would've appreciated.
Lobo football coach Bob Davie watched his team shuffle onto the field Wednesday night, the first practice in five days. The layoff seemed to have an effect on the players, who went quietly about their business during warmups - a little too quiet for Davie's taste.
So the coach made the first 10 minutes live contact, offense vs. defense.
"It was kind of unscripted there in the beginning," Davie said afterward. "I think sometimes players think coaches need to provide all the energy. Players need to provide energy.
"You come out here and put that helmet on, and it's time to go. Next time if we're not ready before we stretch, we won't even stretch. We'll just put the ball down and scrimmage. But I think they got the message."
The offense appeared to get the message a bit quicker. Running back Emmanuel Fatokun's 60-yard touchdown run highlighted an early rushing surge. Quarterbacks B.R. Holbrook and Cole Gautsche and running back Kasey Carrier also broke for 20-yard-plus runs, Offensive guard Calvin McDowney also served up a pancake block that put a defender on his back.
Outside linebacker Joe Harris finally got a sack at the end of the early, 10-minute session, to get the defense into the flow of practice as well.
After the practice, Davie talked to his team about coming ready to play as soon as the players step on the field.
"If you come out here and you don't have the tempo, you have to manage the environment," he said. "The only way I know how to get the tempo better is to say it's full speed and let's go tackle. If we continue to let them ooze around, they're going to ooze around for 2½ hours out here."
The Lobos will return for their ninth practice of the 15-practice spring on Saturday morning.
YOUTH EXPERIENCE UPDATE: The Lobo Football Youth Experience, which will take place Saturday, now is scheduled to run from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The team will shorten its practice and finish at 11:20 a.m., so that the players and coaches can interact with the kids.
The Lobo Coaches Clinic also will take place on Saturday.