Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Mexico Lobos 2010 Review

New Mexico Lobos
2010 Record: 1-11 (1-7), Tied 8th Mountain West
2010 Bowl Game: None

     The Lobos are a mess, and nothing seems to be getting any better. The hire of head coach Mike Locksley now looks like a total disaster, and the only thing keeping the UNM administration from firing him last season was a budget crunch...they could not afford the buyout. They even apparently had Mike Leach on the hook to come and take over the program as early as mid-season. It's pretty sad when support is so low for a program, that not even your boosters and alumni will cough up the money for change, and that is what is going on here.
     The QB position was full of youth and inexperience last season, and nobody played well. The Lobos used four different QBs to some degree, and none of the stood out. BR Holbrook was the default leader, but he was nothing short of awful. Holbrook played in only 7 games, and was limited to passing for 619 yards with 2 TDs and 6 picks. He was followed by Stump Godfrey, who was outclassed immediately, passing for 553 yards, but at least he had 5 TDs to 3 picks, but he also only played in 7 games. Tarean Austin also played in just 7 games, and passed for 398 yards with 2/4 ratio. The 4th QB to play was junior Brad Gruner, but he onnly played in 5 games, completing only 28/58 passes for 322 yards and 2/2. Not one of these QBs managed to complete 60% of their passes, and two of them (Austin and Gruner) completed less than 50%.
     The run game was just as bad. Remember that Locksley was supposed to be some kind of offensive mastermind coming off of Ron Zook's staff at Illinois when he was hired. I think not. Kasey Carrier was the leader, but that meant nothing, as he finishd with just 373 yards rushing and 2 TDs. Stump Godfrey was the best option as far as running QBs was concerned for the Lobos, as he rushed for 4 TDs. Godfrey was the most productive runner on the team, which was horrible when you consider that he only rushed for 41 yards per game in his 7 appearances.
     How the Lobos ended up with 5 receivers catching 20 passes or more makes me scratch my head, but they did. Ty Kirk was the leader, posting 38-477-2. He was followed by TE Lucas Reed (33-459-5), Bryant Williams (24-298-3), Chris Hernandez (35-246-0), and Carrier (21-121-0). Only four Lobo receivers caught TD passes last season, as the Lobos only scored 13 times through the air, in contrast with the 25 scoring passes that the secondary gave up.
     Speaking of the defense, it was heinous. The Lobos gave up 30 or more points in 11 of 12 games last fall, and gave up 50 or more points 4 times, including each of their 3 opening losses to Oregon, Texas Tech, and Utah. The only time that the Lobos held an opponent under 30, was against rival New Mexico State, and the Lobos lost that game, too.
     The Lobos spent a ton of time chasing people around, so they did end up with 5 defenders who averaged at least 5 tackles per game, but that was almost by default as well. Two defenders finished with 100 tackles or more on the season in Carmen Messina (115) and Bubba Forrest (100). They were followed by Joe Stoner (67), Spencer Merritt (65), and AJ Butler (51). Butler missed 4 games last season.
     The Lobos positively sucked when it came to applying pressure up front, as nobody had more than 6.5 TFLs last fall (Merritt). UNM only collected 55 TFLs all season, one of the worst totals in the country, and the allowed 250.7 yards rushing per game. The Lobos also only collected 11 sacks as a team last fall, not even averaging 1 per game. With the lack of pressure, opposing QBs averaged 218 yards per game passing.
     Merritt, a LB, was the only defender adept at defending the pass last season, as he defended 7 passes to lead the team. UNM was absolutely feable in stopping the pass, and only intercepted 4 passes all season as a team.
     One really good note was that PK James Aho was as stable as they come in 2010. Aho had limited opportunities due to the horrible offense, but he made the most of it, nailing 8 of his 9 FG attempts on the season. Aho also didn't miss on PATs, hitting all 22 of his tries. Punter Ben Skaer was a freshman last fall, and did an adequate job. He averaged 40.49 yards per punt, and was used a whopping 7 times per game on average. He punted 11 times in a loss to UNLV, and then was used 10 times in a loss to TCU. His leg did not fall off. Emmanual McPherson was solid on kick returns, having averaged 24.34 yards per return, while racking up 852 yards on the season. Freshman Myles Daughtry added to the action with a return for a score amongst his 14 tries. The punt return game was putrid at best.
Final Notes
     It's all semantics now, as we wait for the school to raise enough money to get rid of the embarrassment that is Locksley. Locksley has been a bane to the school since arriving, has caused scandal, and has proven that he can't coach his way out of a wet paper bag on a rainy day. Everyone knows that it's just a matter of time before he is gone, so recruiting will be next to impossible. What a long fall from the days of Rocky Long.

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