Bummer To End The Summer

The first game of the 2009 does not go according to plan!

There are a few things that you should never do. Never feed a baby chile; never ascend Mount Everest without proper equipment and never, NEVER start your head coaching tenure at UNM by playing ANY team in the State of Texas!

 All three seem difficult but the last one seems, at least for now, impossible. UNM walked into a viper's nest 73,000 strong in College Station Saturday night and the outcome was never in doubt.


Coach Mike Locksley

 The A&M Aggies had been waiting for fresh meat ever since finishing 4-8 last year. A bummer for A&M but it apparently had the intended effect of motivating the Aggies to come out and play with much more intensity. That intensity produced 14 penalties for A&M but they were able to easily overcome those mistakes while UNM was flagged for only three miscues but never produced a game changing play on either side of the ball. The only real bright spot was the special teams with James Aho nailing a 48 yard field goal into a muggy night head wind.

UNM didn't do as bad as the final score indicates, but at the same time no one in the Cherry and Silver can feel good about the result.  The strength of the team in the past, the running game, was noticeably absent and produced less than 2 yards per carry. Meanwhile, A&M ran roughshod over a porous D line and UNM gave up a staggering 245 yards on the ground. Donovan Porterie was accurate with the ball to a point. A couple of times it seemed that if he could have hit the receivers in stride, the goal line would not have been as elusive as it turned out to be. Nevertheless 29 for40 is something that the O can build upon.

Roland Bruno /photo by The Chronicle

The Texas Fightin' Aggies, as the announcer repeatedly screamed, were ready willing and able to put the clamps on the young wolf pups under the control of first year, first time head coach Mike Locksley. UNM has now dropped 10 straight football contests in the Lone Star State the last win coming in 1997 against a TCU Horned Frog team that lacked the same ingredients UNM did last night. Bummer.

 It was a failure to stop A&M and it's top guns that lead to A&M marching out to a 7-0 lead and never looking back. The times UNM could move the football only resulted in two field goals and two red zone mistakes, a fumble, and, a failure to keep the ball by Donovan Porterie, who instead, inexplicably handed the rock to freshman Demond Dennis who was double teamed and stopped short of the goal line. I looked like DP could have eaten a sandwich and strolled into the end zone had he kept the ball. The fumble was the result of DP pressing to make a play and not having two hands on the prize. UNM should have scored 4 TD's and the failure to get 6 and settle for 3 was the biggest factor in UNM getting handed a humbling loss.


Demond Dennis stuffed at the goal line /photo Chronicle

 

The normally stout UNM defense spent entirely too much time on the field in the first half, failed to pursue the ball and failed to force a turnover. Most of the time the D was just trying to line up and figure out how to give the corners help. A&M did what all teams will do this year until the corners get some experience and savvy; look to pass the Lobos silly by working on the corners. The defense also failed to wrap up the QB, Jerrod Johnson, who found plenty of green whenever he wanted.


Jarod Johnson scores  photo Chronicle

 

UNM also appeared to suffer more bad news when the only guy playing with emotion, or at least so it seemed, Ian Clark, left the field with what appeared to be another dislocated left shoulder. Bummer. Ivan Hernandez and Pete Gardner also had to leave the field with help and their status was unknown to this writer. Bummer.

 If the result wasn't sobering enough, UNM goes from the frying pan to the fire for Coach Locksley's first home game this Saturday when the Tulsa Golden Hurricane invade The Den. The Lobos have a little time to lick their wounds and no time to feel sorry for themselves. If they want to make this first go round a success, the tentative, shaky Lobos must transform into a confident, offensive juggernaught, and, a head hunting, turnover producing D. Stay tuned for more! 


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