Lobo Football's Simulation Saturday Produces Energy, Emerging Players
Aug. 25, 2012
By Greg Archuleta
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico football team conducted a game-day simulation on Saturday, going through pregame drills and finishing with a no-tackle scrimmage on Branch Field at University Stadium. The team is getting ready for the season opener against Southern (La.) University at 3 p.m. one week from today.
While coach Bob Davie held out some key players - quarterback B.R. Holbrook, running back Kasey Carrier, defensive linemen Reggie Ellis and Ugo Uzodinma - as a precaution, he let the rest of the players make one last impression before the Lobos begin preparations specifically for the Jaguars from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Edwards, a sophomore transfer from Blinn College, was the offensive playmaker of the scrimmage, making a leaping catch in the back of the end zone and getting both feet in bounds on a pass from quarterback Quinton McCown. He had several impressive catches.
Anaya, a true freshman walk-on running back out of Roswell High School, continued his strong fall camp.
"SaQwan Edwards was the guy (that was impressive)," Davie said after Saturday's simulation. "He had about four plays that put him in the running to be on that field - he's going to play some, but he's a guy that you see we have to get the ball to. He made some outstanding plays.
"The guy that continues to impress us (at running back) is David Anaya. He's come out and proven it every day so David Anaya is going to play."
Davie also noted that redshirt freshman running back Jhurrell Pressley, sophomore strong safety Jamal Merritt and true freshman cornerback Cranston Jones have made pushes to see a lot of the field next week.
What made Davie happier was the focus and intensity the team showed on Branch Field, especially after the team went through what Davie said he considered was a listless practice in the stadium.
"The first thing was setting the game day (experience), exactly what the atmosphere would be like," Davie said. "The second thing was eliminating self-inflicted mistakes, but the third thing was just having some personality. Thursday, they were like robots out there.
"I'm very excited about the way they just responded. I think everybody understands the urgency and understands how we try to do things. That's what I feel good about."
INJURY UPDATE: Speaking of feeling good, Holbrook had another symptom-free day from the chest inflammation he suffered in Ruidoso a week and a half ago. Davie said he's hopeful Holbrook will participate in practice Monday - pending a doctor's approval.
Carrier, a junior running back who's fall camp has been limited because of a hamstring injury, has not made a complete recovery. In fact, Davie reported that Carrier had a minor setback Friday, and his status remains day to day.