Stevens: Lobos' Feel-Good 66-21 Romp Looked Pretty Good, Too
Sept. 1, 2012
New Mexico Lobos 66, Southern University 21 - Saturday, University Stadium
Up Next: 6 p.m. (MT) Saturday, Lobos at Texas Longhorns
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
It was a feel-good win against a team supposed to provide a feel-good win and any Lobo fan who saw this 66-21 romp had to feel good, too.
The Lobos were impressive, precise -- "clean," as Coach Bob Davie put it.
OK, it's also fair put some perspective the win that made Davie undefeated as a Lobo and the 2012 Lobos undefeated at 1-0. It was Southern University. The Lobos have yet to win a game at the FCS level. That challenge is on the way.
"It's on to the next game," said Davie looking ahead to next Saturday's visit with the Texas Longhorns. "But we are going to enjoy this one tonight."
Still, there is a lot of other perspective to throw into this mashing of Jaguars that reflect a New Mexico team that already is making steps to change a culture and a scoreboard. This was a dominant win.
The Lobos scored on a pass, on a run, on defense, on special teams and in the kicking game. That's balance.
The Lobos went deep into the second quarter before they committed a penalty only had one for five yards in the entire game.
"No self-inflicted mistakes," said Davie at the postgame news conference.
The Lobos executed at a high level and it was Jaguars who shot themselves in the foot - not Lobos. Southern had ten penalties to one for UNM. Southern had four turnovers to zero for UNM.
The Lobos were well-oiled, well-coached and playing with focused purpose.
UNM had a modest 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and rolled into halftime with a 45-6 lead. The Lobos almost played a flawless first half with the biggest mistake allowing a Jag receiver to slip behind the secondary to set up the Jags' only score in the half.
"That's a pretty good first half of football," said Davie. "I don't care who it's against."
The Lobos got first-half scores from Jhurell Pressley, Ty Kirk, Joseph Harris, Cole Gautsche, Chase Clayton and kicker Justus Adams. Gautsche, Cranston Jones and Carlos Wiggins scored in the second half.
Harris returned a fumble for touchdown, Clayton ran back a kickoff 98 yards for a TD and Jones ran an interception back for a score.
"This smile comes from a lot of hard work and it also comes from a lot of disappointment in the past," said linebacker Joe Stoner. "I feel it changing. You can sense it on the sidelines."
"No mistakes. That's one of our keys to victory."
The Jags did not play well. They lost 60 yards in penalties, dropped numerous passes and forced passes into coverage. They play football on a different classification as the Lobos and you could see that difference - like you should - on Saturday.
Really, the Lobos found a play toy on Branch Field and had a good time with it.
Coach Davie joked in his weekly news conference on Tuesday that, "We'll find out how good DeBesse is, right?"
The Bob DeBesse offense looked sharp. It scored touchdowns on its first six possessions, scored on its first eight possessions and scored on 10 of 11 possessions.
UNM amassed 417 total yards, 70 passing and a gigantic 347 yards on the ground. The UNM offense was so efficient on the ground and out of the option that senior quarterback B.R. Holbrook only had to pass eight times, completing six for a modest 57 yards and didn't play much.
"It's how you drew the script up," said Davie. "He didn't have to play a whole lot of plays. We were able to get Cole (Gautsche) in there."
The Lobos got a 100-yard rusher behind the UNM "Hitmen" and probably could have added a few more, if not for the liberal UNM subbing.
"It was great," Gautsche said of his first game at the collegiate level. "The speed is way more. It's so much faster. Since I got in here in spring, I was able to cope with that a little bit, but it's still a lot faster (than high school)."
"One game (and win) is nice, but there are many more to come," said Stoner.
Davie said he told his Lobos to enjoy the win and come back Monday with their eyes wide open. He said things would look differently in Austin looking at the opposition wearing the orange jerseys.
Southern got a lot of yardage - and points - late when UNM was leaning heavily on its bench. The Jags had 320 total yards, 242 passing yards and a measly 78 yards on the ground.
"I know it was a tough week for Southern," said Davie referring to the Jags' practice being disrupted by a hurricane sweeping through Louisiana.
The highlight for Southern fans had to be the dazzling performance of the "Human Jukebox," - the nickname for Southern University's high-stepping, high-energy band.
There were few Lobo fans that left their seats with the Jag band was doing its thing.
You almost hoped that when the Southern team tried to retake the field, that the band would refuse to yield. The Southern football team might have been thinking the same thing. On this day in Albuquerque, the Lobos were on another level.