Photos by R.Stevens
Photos by R.Stevens
Stevens: Davie Condenses Practices Not Intensity
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/13/2014

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

In Camp Ruidoso, Lobo Coach Bob Davie is putting the squeeze on his Lobos – time wise.

New Mexico’s head man isn’t making practice any easier on his team and if anything the intensity is building as the Lobos approach the season opener August 30 vs. UTEP on Branch Field.

However, Davie said practices will be condensed for a good reason which means some positional drills might be skipped in order to bring the team together for more game-like scenarios.

“We got into all of our team stuff right off the bat (on Wednesday) just to change the tempo a little bit just to get them out there and get them moving,” said Davie. "I think the later you get into camp, a little more fatigue sets in and you have to spend less time on the field because you are getting into the danger zone with guys wearing down."

“We’re cutting back particularly time wise and just trying to be as efficient as we can be as we wrap this up.”

Davie said his Lobos probably won’t take to the field in full gear on Thursday as he gives them a light day heading into the final Camp Ruidoso scrimmage on Friday.  “As realistic as it is every day for us, nothing is as realistic as when you truly tackle and go all the way with it,” Davie said of the importance of a scrimmage in evaluating personnel.

The Lobos are schedule for a team walk-through Saturday at University Stadium when they return to their facilities in Albuquerque.  That Saturday walk-through represents the two-week point prior to UTEP’s visit.

The Lobos taking to the field on Thursday not wearing full armor will make senior running back Crusoe Gongbay and senior defensive back SaQwan Edwards feel more at home.  The two Lobos rejoined the team this week, but Davie said they have to go through a five-day acclimation period before they can partake in full contact.

Davie said because both Lobos are seniors he expects them to quickly catch up to the rest of the team.  However, Davie said they still have to claw their way back up the depth chart and “earn” their playing time.

“They have had a lot of reps (as Lobos),” said Davie.  “Both of them realize they have a lot of competition as well.  Nothing is going to be given (to them).  The best guys will play.  I won’t hold anything against them nor will I give them any favors.”

It will be interesting when UTEP visits how much Davie and Bob DeBesse, UNM’s offensive coordinator, will favor the option attack over UNM’s revamped passing attack.

Bob Davie's Lobos will hold a scrimmage Friday in Ruidoso and then break camp to return to Albuquerque. UNM opens the season Aug. 30 vs. UTEP.

OK, the Lobos’ bread-and-butter is still the option attack fueled at the quarterback position by the powerful Cole Gautsche and fleet footed Clayton Mitchem.  If UTEP can’t stop that option (UNM ran for 395 yards last year in El Paso), there is no reason to expect UNM to put on a heavy aerial display.

Still, the improvement in the passing game is obvious – in practice.  UNM also would like to incorporate more passing into that Pistol offense to keep defenses from stacking the front line.

 “I hope we can carry that over when it’s real,” said Davie of the improvements in UNM’s passing game. “Again, it’s practice.

“As much as you think you can simulate a game, there is nothing like walking in there when there are people in the stands and it’s for real.  But I’m encouraged. We’ll find out when El Paso comes to town.”

Editor's Note: Richard Stevens is a former national award-winning Sports Columnist and Associate Sports Editor at The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at rstevens50@comcast.net.