Monday, August 4, 2008

University of New Mexico Football

Before returning to Las Cruces, I stopped by the University of New Mexico football media day on Monday at noon.

The Lobos and Aggies hook up on Sept. 27 in Las Cruces.

New Mexico is coming off a 9-4 mark and a New Mexico Bowl win. The team returns 38 letterwinners and 12 starters. The Lobos were picked to finish No. 4 in the MWC by the league's media.

The Lobos have big shoes to fill at receiver, on the offensive line and at linebacker. The Lobos are also engaging in what has to be arguably the school's toughest and best non-conference schedule, particularly at home.

New Mexico plays Texas A&M and Arizona at home and on the road at Tulsa and New Mexico State. In addition, the Lobos start at home this season with a Mountain West contest against a very good Texas Christian squad on Aug. 30.

New Mexico head coach Rocky Long believes he has good talent, enough to compete for MWC title and do well in non-league games. But he also knows that he has some young players that must grow early and be ready to compete on Aug. 30 in what will be a big game because of league standing ramifications.

Long noted that he really likes this year's schedule in that it can do wonders for the program's fan base and because he believes it will help his team get ready for league play.

I also talked to former Mayfield wide receiver Chris Hernandez, who will be battling for playing time this year after playing mostly on special teams a year ago.

Hernandez said he felt more comfortable in offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin's offense. Baldwin is in his second year as the program's OC. Baldwin said Hernandez has big-play ability and more confidence this year. He said Hernandez was a bit insecure last year in adapting to the new offense and in reading defenses. But he said Hernandez has made strides in that regard this year.

I will have more on Hernandez in the coming days.

- Felix


Anonymous said...

The game is in Las Cruces this year!

Anonymous said...

I hate the Lobos but gotta admit, they got a nice tough schedule.

This is the year we beat them!!!

Go Aggies!

Anonymous said...

We have gotten so close to beating them year in and year out. I as well feel as though we will come out on top this year. Neither UTEP or UNM have been able to stop our offense since Mumme has arrived it has been our defense that has let us down. With Joe Lee Dunn on the defensive side of the ball hopefully we can change that. We have to start out good against our rivals to have fans come out to all games and make it to a bowl game this year. Can't wait for football season. No season like football season.

IC said...

I think an interesting question for Aggie fans would be who's schedule would they rather have? I love UNM's schedule, particularly because they got two big home games in A&M and Arizona. Neither one of those schools has had much success lately but they come from big name conferences, with good history, so a win against one of them goes a long way. Although they are still top tier conference's so they always have talent. Could the Aggies compete against those two programs? What did UNM have to do to get those schools to go to Abq.? What a way to bolster ticket sales without utep and a road game at NMSU. As much as I hate to admit this, good job by the unm athletic dept.

Anonymous said...

How did UNM get A&M?
Former Lobo and former A&M Coach, Dennis Franchione.

UNM have a little rivalry from the Border Confenrence was re-started last year after a 5 year hiatus.

It pays to hae good relationships.

Anonymous said...