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There were explosions on both sides of the football Sunday afternoon in New Mexico’s full-contact — minus quarterbacks — scrimmage held at Ruidoso Middle School.There also was a well-deserved eruption from the Lobos’ silver jerseys (defense) at the end of the scrimmage thanks to a scoreboard that read 54-44 in the defense’s favor.
A couple of Lobo defenders raced over and threw their arms around Kevin Cosgrove, UNM’s defensive coordinator, prior to the defense and the offense gathering for some final words from head coach Bob Davie.
“It (the win) feels pretty good especially coming off last year,” said sophomore linebacker Donnie White, who helped put points on the defensive side of the scoreboard with a fumble recovery. “We were just trying to make a statement. I think I’m 100 times better (this season), just knowing the defense. This year I can just hit it running. I’m more comfortable now.”
The Lobo defense definitely did a good job knocking the football to the ground and also added points to the scoreboard with some big stops.
But the Lobo offense had some big moments, too.
David Anaya, a 5-foot-9 running back out of Roswell Goddard, got open deep to put some points on the board for the offense.
UNM‘s offense also got scores from Dameon Gamblin and Tyler Duncan.
Gamblin slipped loose behind the Lobo defense for his score on a well-timed jump.
“We have to make plays,” said Gamblin. “When our number is called, we have to make the play. We (offense) had a pretty good day, but at the same time we did lose.”
Duncan, meanwhile, had to go up between a triangle of Lobo defenders, almost lost the ball in midair, but managed to secure the ball as he came down.
That triangle of defenders got a quick chewing out by Cosgrove for not knocking the ball away.
Chris Davis, a 5-foot-6 speedster, continues to have an impressive camp and made some nice plays out of the slot position. “There is no chance he is redshirting, Chris Davis is playing,” said Davie. “He is just what we thought he would be. He’s a good little football player and mature beyond his years.”
The Lobo offense had trouble running up the middle most of the day, but did better on quarterback keepers around the end or on pitches to a trailing running back.
“We have some big D-linemen up front this year to stop the run,” said White, a 227-pound sophomore. “That’s a big help.”
The defense did manage to put more points on the board, but both units made solid plays throughout the afternoon.
The offense did not play receiver Carlos Wiggins or running back Teriyon Gipson and fellow running back Jhurell Pressley only saw a few snaps. The defense also was not allowed to tackle the quarterbacks.
“The offense had a couple of big plays early, scored a couple of touchdowns right off the bat,” said Davie. “But I thought it was pretty even back and forth with big plays and explosive plays on both sides of the ball.
“They maintained their energy though out the whole thing. We have some personality on this team. We have a lot of guys who really like to play. But right now, it’s probably even between our biggest strength and our biggest weakness because we are immature.”