Aug. 13, 2011
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
RUIDOSO, N.M. - It was unanimous. The Lobo defense got the edge on the New Mexico offense Saturday night in a scrimmage held on the Ruidoso High's home turf.
"It was not a good day for our offense," said Lobo Coach Mike Locksley.
Of course, the flip side of that is the UNM defense played well. "Our defense was really good today, the emotion, the energy," said Locksley. "They didn't have a lot of mistakes, didn't give up many big plays and created turnovers. They came up big."
Merritt's pick came off a good read and a good cut to the ball. His responsibility on the play was the third target coming out of the backfield. He shadowed his man closely and then stepped in for the interception.
"I was on the third man out and I saw the quarterback looking at him and I got a good break on the ball and got it," said Merritt, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior. "I got tripped up right after I caught it. "
Merritt said he would have liked to have shown some of his running skills after his grab. Mills did get to dance a bit on the cool Ruidoso grass and ran his pick back 33 yards.
"I have lost some of my moves, but for the most part they were there," Mills said through a smile. "It's nice to get an interception. I was thinking if the ball came over to my side, I would try to make a play.
"I think the defense played awesome tonight. There was a lot of intensity and we had our assignments down pat. We lacked intensity and passion last year and if we can get that passion as a whole unit, we can win a lot of games. We made a lot of plays tonight, made more tackles and had fewer misses." The Catch-22 aspects of a scrimmage were obvious Saturday night when the offensive units and the defensive units huddled up at the end.
David Reaves, UNM's offensive coordinator did a little chewing on his offense.
"The defense outplayed us today," he said. "They came out ready to play and we came out a little flat. We have to learn from it, stay positive and keep getting better.
"We're going to get them in the meeting rooms (on Monday) and we're going to learn from this. The guys who want to play on Sept. 3 are the ones who know their assignments and can carry them out."
The UNM defense had the two interceptions, but also broke up six passes. Defensive lineman Jaymar Latchison forced a fumble while DB Matt Raymer, LB Joe Harris and DB Jayson Gurule each recovered a single fumble.
Jake Carr (DE) led the defense in tackles with seven while Joe Stoner (LB), Martize Barr (DB), Latchison, Mills, Harris and Dallas Bollema (LB) each totaled five tackles. Jacori Greer (DE) and Latchison each had two sacks.
"I think we performed the way coach expects us to," said Merritt. "We made plays and didn't have too many mistakes. We are tackling a lot lower and it cuts down on missed tackles and helps create turnovers.
"It's good for the defense that we played well because there have been other scrimmages when it's been the other way around."
Holbrook went 9-of-20 for 103 yards and had one interception. Austin went 7-of-25 through the air for 85 yards and one pick - his first pass of the scrimmage. Probably the most dynamic play coming from a quarterback was Detchauz Wray scoring untouched on a QB keeper around the left end.
"I thought when things started going bad (on offense), I didn't see leadership on that side of the ball," said Locksley. "We didn't put the ball in the end zone very often. I didn't think the (O-line) played very well at all.
"I saw leadership come from within on the defensive side and we need some guys on the offensive side to step up, too."
The Lobos will scrimmage this coming Saturday in University Stadium during Fan Photo Day. The Lobos open the season Sept. 3 at home when Colorado State visits for the Mountain West door buster.
Totals 19-48, 209 yards, 2 INT
Rushing: 4 Demarcus Rogers 11-4, 2 TD 7 Lamaar Thomas 2-2 13 James Wright 9-45 21 Kasey Carrier 11-15 22 Crusoe Gongbay 24-74, 2 TD 12 B.R. Holbrook 5-13 8 Tarean Austin 5-3-(-12) 16 Detchauz Wray 5-15, 1 TD
Receiving: 2 Em. McPhearson 1-6 4 Demarcus Rogers 2-18 7 Lamaar Thomas 4-48 9 Michael Scarlett 2-25 20 Deon Long 3-56 21 Kasey Carrier 1-7 22 Crusoe Gongbay 2-19 35 Kevin Atkins 1-9 82 Michael Wilkinson 1-9 83 Nathan Struck 1-4 84 Ty Kirk 1-8
Special Teams: Punting 35 Ben Skaer 40, 41, 40
Kickoff Returns: 7 Lamaar Thomas 21
Defensive Stats -- Tackles: Jake Carr 7-0, Joe Stoner 5-0, Martize Barr 5-0, Jaymar Latchison 5-0, DeShawn Mills 4-1, Joseph Harris 3-2, Dallas Bollema 3-2, Matt Raymer 4-0, Reggie Ellis 4-0, Javarie Johnson 3-1, Ugo Uzodinma 1-3, Toby Ball 3-0, Jacori Greer 3-0, Bubba Forrest 2-1, Destry Berry 1-2, Jayson Gurule 2-0, DeShon Marman 2-0, Anthony Hooks 2-0, Fatu Ulale 2-0, Jamarr Lyles 1-1, Zach Daugherty 1-1, Freddy Young 0-2, Carmen Messina 0-2, Spencer Merritt 1-0, A.J. Butler 1-0, Emmanuel Fatokun 1-0, Carmeiris Stewart 1-0, Rod Davis 1-0, Dante Caro 1-0, Jamal Merritt 1-0, Brandon Branch 1-0, Tevin Newman 1-0, Meiko Locksley 0-1, Chase Clayton 0-1
Forced Fumbles: Jaymar Latchison 1