April 18, 2012
The University of New Mexico football team held its first practice of the spring on Wednesday night.
Or so first-year coach Bob Davie believes.
During his post-practice interviews on Wednesday night, Davie told the media that he thinks the coaching staff now has a good enough handle on the players to conduct practices based on more than just rudimentary evaluations of the team.
"I told the players this Sunday after the scrimmage," Davie said. "After looking at the tape - today was practice No. 11, but really it was practice No. 1 for us. I think we finally saw some true emotion, saw some guys proving to me that they really care. We now know who our real guys are, we know the guys we need to push to turn into real guys.
"There's just a bit of a familiarity that I feel we're just starting. Tonight, I really feel was just practice No. 1. We can quit tiptoeing around; we kind of know where we are, and we know what specific guys need to do better."
The team had 35 plays of full offense vs. full defense in live situations. The sides battled to a standstill, marking the first time that the defense didn't give up the big plays and was able to keep the offensive players from scoring.
Cornerback Devonta Tabannah contributed a big hit on a wide receiver that prevented a first down. Running back Kasey Carrier had another nice run during the scrimmage, netting 15 yards. Wide receiver Lamaar Thomas caught the long pass of the day for 20-plus yards
Davie reiterated his appreciation for getting back into what he calls "the daily grind of coaching" in watching his football team grow.
"It's been a day-to-day process that I've enjoyed," he said. "You kind of forget how much you miss it, seeing all the guys improve and seeing the pieces of the puzzle start coming together that nobody else will see."
120 IS THE LONLIEST NUMBER: The media asked Davie about a series of reports currently being published in the Orlando Sentinel that ranks the Football Bowl Subdivision programs from No. 120 to No. 1. The Sentinel lists UNM at No. 120.
"That's really a non-issue," Davie said. "I don't know even know where I'd rank us. Whoever wrote it may be absolutely right. We've done nothing to change anyone's opinion, if you look at what the record has been. If you look at our roster and things like that, we've got no argument with that."