(Returning starters: 4 | Defense: Aggressive, lots of blitzes)
|Coulter has 10 tackles and one sack in two games.|
The Lobo’s defensive line’s job is to take up space and clog the middle of the field while the linebackers and safeties make plays. Left end Kyle Coulter (6-0, 240) and senior nose tackle Marcus Parker (6-2, 269) lead the three man group.
Coulter is one of the stronger defensive linemen on the team. He has 10 tackles and one sack. Parker has a good combination of strength and speed and is one of the leaders of the defense. He has 10 tackles, three for loss, and a co-team high two sacks.
Right end Adam Garday (6-2, 253) rounds up the boys up front. He has tabbed five tackles. Junior Enroy Thompson (6-0, 247) and sophomore Billy Brittain (6-2, 257) also see playing time on the line.
The Lobos return just one starter to their four linebacker defensive set. Senior Nick Speegle (6-6, 250) has started 33 straight games and is one of the better linebackers in the conference. He is a two-time all-MWC selection and can be compared to Oregon State’s Trent Bray as he lets his play do the talking.
Speegle is the team’s fifth leading tackler with 13 stops, including two for loss and one sack. He needs just six more tackles to move into the top-20 all-time at UNM.
Senior Fola Fashola (5-11, 209) received a medical redshirt in 2003 and is playing like an experienced player. He is currently co-leading the team in tackles with 18, including a team and conference high four for loss. The outside linebacker is an emotional, vocal leader who is very active on the field. Fashola has also added two sacks and three quarterback hurries.
Junior Mike Mohoric (6-3, 240) received valuable playing time in a backup role last year and is performing well in a starting role. He has good lateral movement and shots the gaps well. Mohoric has grabbed 11 tackles, two for loss and two sacks. He also has a team high seven quarterback hurries.
Senior Chrishone Harris (6-1, 231) rounds out the starting linebackers. Harris has four tackles, including two for loss.
The Lobos return both cornerbacks from a year ago in senior Brandon Payne (6-0, 183) and junior Gabriel Fulbright (5-10, 161), but only one is starting. Payne starts at left cornerback with Fulbright rotating in.
|Malone is the fastest player on the team.|
Payne is a physical player with good football instincts. He has 11 tackles and a team leading three interceptions, two coming against WSU, and a team and conference leading seven pass breakups. Fulbright earned second team all-MWC honors a year ago and is one of the more talented players on the team. Despite his talent he has a hard time focusing off the field, which moved him down the depth chart. He has six tackles and one interception.
Junior Jerrell Malone (6-1, 180) starts at right cornerback after working in the film and weight room during the off-season. The athletic player has five tackles and is the fastest player on the team.
Senior right safety Josh Bazinet (5-11, 202) has been outstanding this year co-leading the team with 18 tackles, including two for loss. He has also added on sack, two breakups, three quarterback hurries, and one recovered fumble. The former walk-on rarely misses a tackle and tracks the ball well.
Junior Art Haynes (6-3, 199) starts at left safety and has also been solid in his first two games as a starter. The imposing player is the team’s third leading tackler with 14 tackles. Juniors Charles Brown (6-0, 203) and Ken West (5-11, 180) provide the Lobos with needed subs without a drop in talent
Brown is an intense player with a superb work ethic while West, who rated on the top junior college safety prospects in the country, brings a lot of athleticism and speed to the safety position. Brown has 11 tackles, West has 10 tackles.
Notes on the defense:
- New Mexico is just one of five schools to finish in the top-30 in total
defense each of the past four seasons.
The Lobos have led the MWC in sacks each of the last four years.
- UNM gave up 44-pass completion to TTU’s Sonny Cumbie.
- The Red Menace are first in their conference and fourth nationally in rushing defense allowing just 38.5 yards per game.
- New Mexico leads the MWC in sacks with seven.