ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Saturday at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, before the New Mexico Lobos’ game against UTEP, UNM offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse will greet a former colleague. Scott Stoker, the Miners’ first-year defensive coordinator, worked with DeBesse at Sam Houston State from 2010-11.
Then, DeBesse and Stoker will retreat to their respective places and try to determine during the game who knows the other guy’s scheme better.
After Monday’s UNM practice, DeBesse said Stoker has an obvious advantage.
Stoker has 14 games of New Mexico game film to watch and determine how much DeBesse’s offensive scheme has changed since their two years together at Sam Houston State.
New Mexico (0-1) at UTEP (0-0), Sun Bowl, 6 p.m. TV: Fox College Sports, Radio: 770 AM
DeBesse, in contrast, is game-planning against a UTEP team that hasn’t played a game yet this season and that has a brand-new coaching staff. Stoker works for first-year Miners head coach Sean Kugler and with different personnel than he had at Sam Houston State.
“There’s an advantage on both sides,” DeBesse said, “because we worked together and went against each other in the spring. … He knows what our foundation is, what our base is, and we’re kind of the same way with him.
“Obviously, the advantage he has is that somehow, some way they’re gonna see what happened (last Saturday in the Lobos’ 21-13 loss to UTSA). And we really don’t know what we’re gonna be facing with him.
“But we do have a familiarity with him, sure.” DeBesse said he doesn’t plan to spend a lot of time thinking of new wrinkles to throw at Stoker and his UTEP defense. The emphasis, he said, will be to clean up the things that weren’t accomplished in the UTSA loss.
“I think we’ve got to careful that we don’t go outside the box too much,” he said. “… You always try to look at what you did and come up with a few new wrinkles, but I don’t know that it’s any more this week than any other week. It’s do what we do, and obviously we need to do it a lot better.”
GAUTSCHE RULED OUT: Sophomore quarterback Cole Gautsche definitely will not play against UTEP, coach Bob Davie said. Gautsche, UNM’s starter, left the UTSA game late in the fourth quarter with concussion symptoms.
“We sent him home (Monday),” Davie said. “Sunday (the prognosis) was pretty positive … But (Monday) he had, not a setback, but was a little more symptomatic.”
Clayton Mitchem, a junior college transfer, will start at quarterback on Saturday.
“We hope Cole is back for Pitt (the Lobos’ opponent on Sept. 14),” Davie said. “But I’m anxious to see (Mitchem) play.”
SKAER HONORED: Lobos punter Ben Skaer received honorable mention from College Football Performance Awards for his performance against UTSA.
Skaer, a senior from Waterloo, Ill., punted seven times for a 47-yard average. Two of his punts were downed at the UTSA 1-yard line. Another went out of bounds at the UTSA 10.
CARSON SURGERY: True freshman linebacker Kimmie Carson is scheduled for surgery Wednesday for the removal of a mass behind his knee.
Davie said during fall camp in Ruidoso that the mass, while not cancerous, hampered the Tulsa, Okla., product’s ability to practice. Carson will sit out the 2013 season as a redshirt.
Redshirt freshman tight end Christian Rebhun, who suffered a season-ending injury during fall camp in Ruidoso, also is scheduled for surgery this week.