April 16, 2011
Lobo Cherry-Silver Spring Game - Saturday at University Stadium
Lobo Silver 41 - Lobo Cherry 0
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
In a way, there was a silver lining in what went down Saturday in the Lobos' Cherry-Silver Spring game at University Stadium - if you happened to be wearing a silver jersey.
To put it another way, if you were wearing Lobo silver in this scrimmage almost everything you did turned to gold in the Silver team's convincing 41-0 romp over the Lobos in cherry. Consider a few facts:
It gets worse:
"The defense went out there and flew around, got to the ball, and got turnovers," said Stoner. "The Silver offense definitely stepped up. That was considered the two offense, but they stepped up."
"The unity of this team is amazing. That's the biggest thing that I've seen. These guys are playing together. They are really caring about each other. We are one team."
Lobo Coach Mike Locksley
The depth chart for the 2011 season still has a lot of juggling to do leading up to UNM's Sept. 3 opener in University Stadium with Colorado State. Still, the Silver team looked a little top heavy with front line defenders and the Cherry team had a slight edge in offensive talent.
On Saturday, it was a Silver day. The Silver Team looked cherry.
"A lot of the guys we will be depending on were on the Silver team," said George Barlow, UNM's defensive coordinator. "They got after it today.
"I thought we continued to show passion and energy and we continued to fly around and get to the ball. We are emphasizing making plays and getting turnovers and we went out to do that today. We played hard and we played physical."
Matt Raymer (DB), Joe Harris (DE) and Carmen Messina (LB) led the Silver team with five tackles each. DeShon Marman (Lobo) had four. The Cherry defense had ten more plays in which to make tackles with Toby Ball (LB) leading the pack with eight tackles. The Cherry also got six tackles apiece from Destry Berry (DB), Dallas Bollema (LB) and Ugo Uzodinma (DT).
As much as anything, Saturday's scrimmage showed the increased depth in talent that UNM will need to take to the field in 2011 against another tough schedule.
"I think what you saw out there was the athleticism of our team has increased and the knowledge of our system has increased," said Mike Locksley, UNM's head coach. "The athleticism is all over the field. You can tell by the speed in which plays are being executed.
"I think our players feel the culture shift here. The unity of this team is amazing. That's the biggest thing that I've seen. These guys are playing together. They are really caring about each other. We are one team."
Two Lobos who made moves to new positions this season had impacts on Saturday's game. McPhearson moved from the defensive secondary to the join a pack of talented receivers and he hauled in seven passes for 112 yards. That's no big surprise since McPhearson was an All-State and All-Conference receiver at DeMatha High in Columbia, Md. "He's a lot more productive for us as a receiver," said Locksley.
Harris was moved from a linebacker spot to a defensive end spot to fill a hole left by the injured Johnathan Rainey. "We hope that Joe can give us what we got out of Johnathan in terms of pass rush and athleticism. They are very similar players. I've been very pleased with Joe's move."
The energy on Saturday was good. James Wright had 72 yards and a TD for the Silver team off his 19 carries. Demarcus Rogers ran for 62 yards on eight totes. Kasey Carrier paced the Cherry team on the ground with 58 yards on 14 carries.
The first score of the scrimmage went to a Lobo named Aho and the final score went to a Lobo named Aho, but they have different first names. James Aho booted a 54-yard field goal to produce the Silver team's final points. His brother, Andrew Aho, first cracked the scoreboard with a 35-yard TD pass that came off Austin's arm. Rogers also had a 36-yard TD run for the Silver.
The end of spring ball hits the pause button on the QB battle between Austin and Godfrey. That battle will heat up again in the fall, but Locksley is hoping that a third Lobo will be healthy and able to throw his talents into the fray.
"We need to get B.R. Holbrook healthy and throw him into the mix," said Locksley.
Said Austin of the upcoming QB battle: "It's a motivation thing. It's stay on your job and get better."
Which is exactly the attitude all Lobos need to take into the off-season and bring back to fall ball. "Everything now is geared toward September 3rd and Colorado State," said Locksley.