The Red Menace bids farewell to 20 seniors as the Lobos defeat Wyoming 16-9 Saturday afternoon. Its funny, but all season the long with the exception of the NMSU game the Lobos have "won ugly" and you know what, I like it!
Today was another one of those ugly victories where the offense just didn't seem to be playing well and the "Fire Dan Dodd" crowd was out and being very vocal. Why? Who knows I guess many Lobo fans just miss those old WAC days of Mike Sheppard days. Me, I'll take the victories and records that this football team is shattering. Records like no Lobo football team has ever gone to 3 consecutive bowl games, the first time the UNM football team has won 5 conference games in a row since the 1970 season, and my personal favorite; the first 4 year seniors to go through their 4 years of eligibility without a losing record. Now that's football, winning football!
A little bit of a bittersweet day today as The Red Menace seniors played their last game at Rocky Long stadium and prior to the game they had their names read out to all.
(CLICK HERE FOR OUR PHOTOS OF THE SENIORS) As the guys and Katie came up to say hello to everyone it was just… Aww heck I can't put it into words! These players have been great to us and have helped us build tradition so they are very special to The Red Menace fans.
Like I said the start of today's game was one of those that had the "Fire Dan Dodd" guys were going crazy as the Lobo offense really did nothing in the 1st half. In fact QB Kole Mc Kamey didn't do much with his arm all day finishing the game 5 of 15 for 40 yards and 1 int. Early in the game it was obvious that Wyoming wasn't going to allow DonTrell Moore to beat them as they jammed everyone up to the line of scrimmage to force UNM to try and throw. I'm sure that Coach Dodd and the other thousand offensive coordinators liked seeing Hank Baskett being covered one-on-one on a regular basis during the game, and Mc Kamey did go to him, but unfortunately they just couldn't match the same magic they had up in Provo the week before.
The defense on the other hand provided UNM with their only scoring as LB Nick Speegle, safety Charles Brown, and a host of Lobo defenders converged on Wyoming QB Casey Bramlet in the end zone forcing him into throwing a ball away. Of course when you do that in your own end zone that is a no-no that results in the referee raising his hands and giving a PHOTO OF A SAFETY CALL
The fans were hot and it looked like UNM had some momentum on their side as they get the ball back on the free kick. Unfortunately, (don't you hate that word?) the Lobos went 3 and out and Tyler Gaus' punt was nearly returned back for a touchdown forcing the Lobo defense to work once again. When asked to go to work this defense works hard as Lobo DB Brandon Payne picks off his team leading 6th interception thwarting the Cowboys at the 7-yard line.
The rest of the first half was watching the Lobo offense bumble, stumble, and fumble while the Lobo defense surrendered 2 field goals in the 2nd quarter.
End of the half and like I said the "Fire Dan Dodd" peeps were having a field day. (Where did I leave that T-shirt shooter? I'd load it up and blast someone in the mouth with it!)
2nd half began with the Cowboys getting a nice run back, a first down and then a field goal attempt. Well as we all know, this is the 3rd quarter, and one thing UNM doesn't do in the 3rd quarter is give up points. The Cowboy kicker Deric Yaussi missed to the left and UNM had the ball. A quick Kole Mc Kamey interception and Wyoming is quickly lining up for yet another field goal attempt that Yaussi promptly missed. The Lobos dodge another bullet and still find themselves within striking distance.
The teams trade a couple of punts and UNM with 1st and 10 on their own 20 with Wyoming crowding the line calls an option play that Kole Mc Kamey keeps and runs 80 yards for the Lobos first offensive score. Once again is big mo finally on our side? Can we put these pesky Cowboys away? The answer of course would be…
Kole looks good on TV running for the TD!
NO. Wyoming takes their next drive deep into Lobo territory where Yaussi kicks his 3rd field goal tying the game up at 9.
Like most times this year this Lobo team responds and today was no different as the Lobos go on a nice 8 play 80-yard drive on the legs of DonTrell Moore and Kole Mc Kamey and the backs of The Hitmen! The holes that weren't there in between the tackles were humungous with the option play. Later on his post game radio show The Rock said something to the effect that when a defense loads 8 men in the box you can attack them with the option play and it worked to perfection in the second half.
One last game highlight was Tyler Gaus' last punt of the evening as he pinned Wyoming on their ½ yard line. Right in front of The Red Menace and the noise was deafening and my voice is still paying the price as I write this. What a shot by Gaus who has become the king of the coffin corner kick burying the opposition deep; way to go Undertaker!
The Lobos gave up a couple of first downs and eventually got the ball back and ran out the clock!
We all know what time it is when a game ends and the Lobos win, it is Lobo Leap time and how great was it to see all the seniors come jump up and the underclassmen as well. Tradition that the 2004 seniors built will live on. I still find it hard to write how it felt like to haul big Kyle Coulter up into The Red Menace for possibly the last time. This guy was the first dude I ever interviewed for our website and he along with his classmates have been such an integral part in all we do here and what we will do in the future. I know we aren't supposed to get emotional being football and all, but their was definitely heavy emotions with the fans and players. Seeing Kevin Walton, Big C, Melvin Foster, Demerest, Nick Speegle, The L-Train Landrick Brody, The Baz (Josh Bazinet), and I don't even know who else I either caught or saw hauled up today it was just awesome! While we will most certainly miss those guys here at The Red Menace, we thank you for all your support and everything that you have helped us create for the future! We will either be seeing you in Vegas or San Francisco either way it will be a blast!
Nick Speegle injured and all hangs out with The Red Menace!
Things I liked about today's game
Wyoming did not taste the end zone!
Brandon Payne moves into the #1 spot nationally for passes broken up (16) and passes defended (21) while adding another interception to tie him for second nationally with Gabriel Fulbright (5)
The Undertaker Tyler Gaus buries yet another team deep behind the 20 yard line. As I understand it The Undertaker does it 3 times this week.
UNM's rushing offense once Dodd committed to it was a thing of beauty as both Mc Kamey and Moore go over 150 yards and a touchdown.
One of the greatest Lobo Leaps of all time!
Things I didn't like
Offense was offensive in the 1st half.
Lobos defense gave up to many long drives especially through the air.
When pinned at their own ½ yard line the Lobo D allowed Wyoming to escape
Wyoming's pants… ewww! (Sorry my daughter told me to put that. My oldest that is!)
Offensive player of the game
#12 Kole Mc Kamey
#12 Kole Mc Kamey
Kole's 80 yard touchdown was nails as he just turned on his jets and ran like the wind. While he passing numbers weren't great, the rushing numbers 15 carries 152 yards and 1TD were just what Rocky Long's team needed
Defensive Player of the game
Three way split here! I just can't choose between the 3 as these seniors have meant a lot to this team and were responsible for today's victory.
#89 Nick Speegle
Mr. Lobo Nick Speegle separated his shoulder in the 1st quarter. Now a lesser man would have called it a night, but not Speegs. Nick taped it up and went back out. How big was Speegle? 9 tackles 2 for loss, and 1 sack. Jeez, imagine if both his shoulders were working?
#33 Fola Fashola
Fola went about his business and like the song says, Killing QB's is my business, and business is good! Fola Fashola ends his Lobo home career with his no doubt best game as a Lobo. 10 solo tackles 3 for losses and toss in 3 sacks!
#28 Brandon Payne
Payne has been money all year long snuffing out receivers while picking off quarterbacks seemingly at will. Finals stats tonight for Payne? 8 tackles, 1 INT, and 1 pass break up to put him as #1 nationally.
TheRedMenace.com ‘s John Salazar was bouncing around on the sidelines during today's game and came up on 6-6 320lb. Jacob Thornbrue of Moore HS, Oklahoma City who is in town to visit UNM.
Once again we stow away our tents, put up our BBQ grills and tell our good friends that we have tailgated with all season long, if you don't go to Vegas or SF, we will see you next September. There is really a camaraderie that has been built in that north end zone one where we feel we could have an effect on the final score and we would like nothing better but to fast forward the next few months when we can get back at it again. For you seniors that just played their last game in Rocky Long Stadium we say thank you. Thank you for helping us build tradition. We will miss you guys and good luck on your future plans!