Rocky mentioned that UNLV closed practices after their 2nd practice so that they really don't know for sure what UNLV is going to throw at them offensively and that they have to really work hard on adjustments in the 1st quarter. He feels his team is mature enough to make wholesale changes as the game goes on and hopes they don't have to wait till half time to figure things out.
He mentioned that UNM lacks experience big time at the safety position this year and that the chances for UNLV to have some serious mismatches early will happen.
Rocky said that according to the depth chart of UNLV they are running a 3-3-5 defense but he has heard through the coaching rumor mill that they will run a 4-2-5 defense. Mike Sanford (UNLV's Coach) tried to hire Bronco Mendenhall and Osia Lewis, as he wants to run Rocky's defense.
Def. Coordinator Osia Lewis
"We hope that they run what Utah ran last year, but we are going into this week's game completely blind," says Long. "We are one of the few teams that game plans. We don't run the same defense every week." Coach Long adds, "We are going into this game with a very simple un-aggressive plan to start with until we figure out what they are trying to do."
Rocky does feel that UNM switching offenses to more a spread offense is an advantage that the Lobos have but if it isn't working he will put in the 2 tight ends and play smash mouth football (The Rock did mention that saying smash mouth is no longer politically correct.) Neither is The Red Menace. SO SMASH THEM IN THE MOUTH ROCKY!
Rocky mentioned that Rodney Ferguson did real well during camp, Adrian Byrd carried the ball more than any other camp and looks really good, Paul Baker has had trouble through injuries during camp but he looks pretty good. Martelius Epps is the one with the most quickness and best chance for a big play but he has fought injury problems during spring.
"Matthew Quillen…" The Rock said, "is the best blocking fullback he has had here at UNM."
When asked what Rocky felt DonTrell looked like… "He looks like DonTrell," responded The Rock. "I think the first hit he (DonTrell) takes and he gets up and is fine he won't think about it ever again. I'm sure in his mind he is ready to go… but there is always a little question mark in your mind until the first time you get hit."
When asked about the crowd "I think our players thrive on the crowd and the last few years because of our crowd have played well at home." The Rock said, it is hard to win on the road when you're in front of a raunchy crowd. So if our crowd is wild and raunchy it is hard for other teams to play here to… and you should have a home field advantage, "says Long. "Five or six years ago it wasn't an advantage to play here at home. Now it is an advantage to play at home!
Rocky I can guarantee you one thing! The Red Menace KNOWS Wild and RAUNCHY!
Don't forget Red Menace fans we will be tailgating in The Pit parking lot right on the corner of Avenida Cesar Chavez and University starting at 6:00am in the corner look for the signs. Bring some food and drinks with you to share with your fellow fans. All are welcomed