(Returning starters: 6 | Offense: Prefer to run, some option)
Sophomore Kole McKamey (6-2, 208) had a tough game against Washington State two weeks ago in his first career start as he threw three second-half interceptions. Last week against Texas Tech McKamey grew up as he orchestrated a 55-yard drive with 1:47 left in the game that setup a 43-yard field goal by Wes Zunker that won the game as time expired. McKamey finished the Red Raider contest 12 of 24 for 273 yards and three touchdowns, one through the air and two on the ground, and zero interceptions.
|McKamey is threat on the ground and through the air.|
He improved as the game progressed starting out 1 of 5 for eight yards in the first quarter but finishing 11 of 19 for 168 yards. His performance against Texas Tech earned him Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors.
McKamey is currently 28 of 53 for 402 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. On the ground he is second on the team with 93 yards on 23 carries and a team leading two touchdowns.
For the third consecutive week the Beavers will be facing a quarterback that is dangerous on the ground. Boise State’s Jared Zabransky hurt the Beavers both on the ground and through the air and McKamey could do the same. In fact, both have similar playing styles in that each is agile and fast while also possessing a strong arm. The Lobos often run the option and the Beavers will have to get good penetration and force him into a decision early to disrupt the UNM game plan.
McKamey has seen the Beaver defense before as he tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass in the Las Vegas Bowl during the fourth quarter. He finished 4 of 9 with one interception and one touchdown.
Senior Tali Ena (6-5, 253) sits behind McKamey on the depth chart after competing with him for the starting quarterback duties in spring and fall camps. The former Washington State University recruit is a pocket quarterback with good size and strength.
The Mountain West Conference’s current and career rushing leader, Doak Walker, and Walker Camp candidate DonTrell Moore (5-10, 208) leads the Red Menace’s ground attack. Moore became the conference’s leading rusher after his 76 yards against Texas Tech last weekend. He is shifty, quick and rarely brought down by the first defender.
Moore is fifteenth in the nation in rushing with a 121.2 yards per game average and his 242 season yards is 100 more than Oregon State’s team total. The all-conference player was almost unstoppable against Washington State as he racked up 167 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown, on 24 carries. His 76 yards against the Red Raiders is not as impressive but 30 of them came on four carries on the last drive of the game to help setup the game winning field goal. His impressive running at the end of the game can be directly attributed to his dedication to training during the week.
|Moore is the MWC's career leading rusher.|
Moore is also a fine blocker and pass receiver. He is second on the team with seven receptions for 69 yards. Basically, Moore is your everything back. He is explosive in the open field and can run, block, and catch. Moore had 12 yards on 10 carries against the Beavers in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Former Oklahoma State transfer and senior D.D. Cox (6-3, 213) is an excellent complement to Moore. While Moore possesses an array of moves to make defenders miss, Cox prefers to lower his head and bowl opponents over. The coaches like Moore and Cox and feel either one of them can carry the offensive load at tailback. Cox has just 16 yards on eight carries this season.
Similar to Boise State’s offense the fullbacks at New Mexico are primarily used to lead and pass block. Junior Adrian Byrd (6-1, 233) is improving with every game after having a strong off-season in the weight room. Byrd is used in short yardage and goal line situations when the Lobos need just a couple of yards. He has four carries for 10 yards and one touchdown.
Splitting time with Byrd is senior Landrick Brody (5-11, 246) who is smaller and bigger than Byrd. Brody has one carry for five yards. The UNM coaches have confidence in both of their fullbacks and rotate them in and out regularly.
The similarities to Boise State keep on coming as New Mexico has built a strong tradition of talented offensive linemen just like their counterparts in Idaho. “The Hitmen” as the unit is called have been responsible for demolishing opponents and school records the last few seasons.
Last year the Lobos had three of their offensive lineman named to the all-MWC first team and this year will be no different even with all the new faces on the line. The unit is big, averaging 330 pounds per starter, and talented as several players on are award watch lists.
Lombardi Award candidate and senior Claude Terrell (6-3, 338) is the most experienced player on the offensive line after starting 39 straight games while knocking down over 350 defenders in his career. He almost went early to the NFL but decided to stick around for his senior season.
|Terrell is a preseason All-America selection.|
Terrell moved from right guard to right tackle during spring camp and excelled in his new position. He is a dominating pass blocker, but is still refining his passing blocking technique. “Big C” had 19 pancake blocks against TTU and is a preseason All-America selection by Athlon magazine.
It seems that the Beavers play a Rimington Award candidate every week and this week is no different as junior Ryan Cook (6-7, 316) lines up at the center position for UNM. Cook was a Rimington Award candidate last year as a sophomore and is only better as a junior. The former walk-on has started 23 straight games and is in the running for all-MWC honors.
Coaches think that sophomore right guard Robert Turner (6-4, 328) is next standout in the long line of talented offensive linemen in Albuquerque. Turner has started 15 consecutive games and is growing into one of the more dominant linemen in the country.
The left side of the line is less experienced as sophomore Fred Tucker (6-4, 339) and junior Terrance Pennington (6-7, 329) have a combined for just eight starts with four of them being this year. Tucker beat out junior college transfer Bo Greer (6-3, 318) for the starting left guard position after getting his academics in order. The coaches are excited about this young talent and see big things ahead for him.
Pennington rounds out the offensive line at left tackle after beating out the considerably smaller, but experienced senior Bryan Humphreys (6-3, 293).
Senior Mike Augustyniak (6-5, 255) is used primarily as a blocker when he is on the field, but the staff is looking to get him more involved in the passing game. He has one catch for 18 yards.
Junior college All-American Logan Hall (6-5, 257) provides the Lobos with a versatile player who can pass and block. The staff is excited about his ability and are looking to get him more involved in the offense. He has two catches for 14 yards on the season.
|Baskett leads the team in receptions with 18 grabs.|
Junior Hank Baskett (6-4, 220), the team’s third leading receiver in 2003, is now the Lobo’s go to guy in 2004. He torched Washington State for 165 yards on nine catches and followed up with a nine catch 99-yard, one touchdown performance against Texas Tech. Baskett is a disciplined player with outstanding leaping ability. At 6-foot-4 he is a large target and requires the constant attention of one if not two players when on the field.
Redshirt freshman Marcus Smith (6-3, 202) made the switch from running back to wide receiver during spring camp and has impressed coaches since his change. Smith is a little raw around the edges, but provides the Lobos with a deep threat. With more playing time and experience Smith will become a consistent, deadly threat. He is the third leading receiver with two catches for 28 yards.
A pair of junior college transfers rotate time with Baskett and Smith. Junior Chris Brawley (6-3, 200) has a lot of raw talent, but is still refining his technique while junior Anthony Carter (6-0, 180) is working hard to receive more playing time. Carter has one catch for nine yards, Brawley has not caught a pass this season.
Notes on the offense:
- UNM is 14-1 since 2001 when scoring first and 23-10 under Rocky Long when