Photo by R.Stevens
Photo by R.Stevens
Stevens: Lobo Defense Gets Into Ruidoso Hot Water
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/15/2014

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

There was kind of a twist Friday in Ruidoso.  The New Mexico defense was hoping to do enough things on the scrimmage field to get enough points from Bob Davie to get into hot water.

And  Lobos’ offense was trying to get into hot water, too.

Hot water was on the line Friday as UNM scrimmaged on its final day at Camp Ruidoso. The Lobos then bolted back for a quick shower leading up to a three-hour bus trip back to Albuquerque.

The victor didn’t get the spoils, but it did get the first shot at the showers in The Lodge at Sierra Blanca.  When 100-plus football players hit the showers at the same time, there is a chance that not all the showers will be hot – or maybe even warm.

Since the Lobo defense squeaked out a 39-36 victory, the defenders get the first shot at the hot water.

“I would love to get hot water, but we took the “L” so we have to take the cold water, I guess,” said Lamar Jordan, a redshirt freshman quarterback.

Lobos' single-game tickets go on sale Saturday, August 16, exclusively online at www.unmtickets.com

To put the Lobo offense’s “L” into perspective, you have to note that Cole Gautsche and Clayton Mitchem – UNM’s dual-threat quarterback combo – did not partake in Friday’s scrimmage.

Which gave Jordan another chance to impress the New Mexico coaches.  Which he has been doing throughout the fall sessions.

“Lamar Jordan has had as good a camp as anyone out here,” said Davie. “He’s very explosive. He’s as quick as a cat. He can throw the football.”

The Lobos got Jordan via Arkansas which had a verbal commitment from Jordan to play, most likely, in the defensive secondary.  Arkansas had a shift in coaching and Jordan decided to come to New Mexico.

“In the back of my mind, I wanted to play QB my whole life so I guess it was a sign,” said the  5-10 Jordan, who looks good throwing and running the football.

Jordan, a two-year starter at quarterback in high school, also shows some savvy for a player looking to see his first competition at the D-I level.  He knows who to stroke:  the big guys in front of him keeping other big guys at bay.

“I thank my O-line because without them I wouldn’t be the player I am,” said Jordan.

Jordan also is smart enough to take advantage of the talent and knowledge that surrounds him at the quarterback position.

“I’ve been learning every day from watching Cole (Gautsche), from watching Clayton (Mitchem) even watching Q (Quinton McCown) and Jajuan (Larson),” said Jordan.  “I feel like every single guy on this team will build me up.”

Coach Davie said having the luxury of holding out Gautsche and Mitchem from the scrimmage reflects the growth in his program.

“A couple of years ago we couldn’t have gone (scrimmaged) if we kept two quarterbacks out,” said Davie.  “We’ve come a long way just on that (quarterback) piece.

“It was good to see a lot of guys get a chance to play.  They were able to keep their enthusiasm and got more enthusiastic as the day went along which was the same thing that happened the last time we scrimmaged.”

One reason the enthusiasm builds is because of the scoreboard.  The offense wants to win. The defense wants to win.

There was hot water on the line.

“Everybody kind of complains about it a little,” Davie said of his scoring system that takes into account a lot of aspects of the game such as first downs, defensive stops, tackles for a loss, scores, penalties and turnovers.

Davie said both the offense and defense have complaints about his point system, “but it always ends up being pretty close. The players respond to it.”

And the scrimmages always are hotly contested, too.

“We have a football team that has a lot of personality,” said Davie. “We are young and we are immature, but we have some juice (fire/passion/pride).”

The Lobos return to University Stadium on Saturday as Davie and his staff will go over the Game Day routine mostly for the benefit of the first-year Lobos.

He said the 2014 Camp Ruidoso was the best yet especially “the overall efficiency.”  Davie explained that a lot of the efficiency comes from more talent, better team depth and being in the third year of a program.

 “We have a few more players now and we have a lot more carryover in stability in the program,” said Davie.

Said Jordan: “I think there was big progress, mostly on the defensive side.  I remember last year the offense used to go down there and we’d kill them, 15, 20 yards a play.   Now, we have to step it up and make a play. It’s not just going to come to us.”

What is coming to the Lobos – on both sides of the ball – is a revenge-minded team from UTEP. The Lobos open their 2014 season on August 30 on Branch Field vs. the Miners.  Single-game tickets go on sale Saturday online and in person on Monday.

Note: The NBA schedule release means that game times have been set for the final two games of the season.  The game at Colorado State on November 22 will kick-off at 11:30 a.m., and the Wyoming game on November 29 at Branch Field at University Stadium will kick-off at 1:30 p.m.  Both games are being broadcast on ROOT Sports, which also broadcasts NBA games, hence why the release of the schedule was needed before the times were set.