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Thursday, September 6, 2007
Lobos May Be Missing Linebacker
By Greg Archuleta And Randy Harrison
Journal Staff Writers
University of New Mexico starting outside linebacker Major Mosley may not play Saturday against in-state rival New Mexico State at University Stadium because of sprained right ankle he suffered against Texas-El Paso.
Mosley, a 6-foot-3, 231-pound senior, hurt his ankle early in the game and played only 18 snaps.
"He won't start, for sure," Lobo coach Rocky Long said Wednesday. "He wants to play and will try, but he's not moving too well. He was walking around better today than he was yesterday."
If Mosley doesn't start, junior Herbert Felder will make his second career start on the left side. Senior Brett Madsen would be the backup if Mosley can't play.
Mosley starts on two special teams, and Long said he would start on those teams if he can play.
One player who will keep his starting spot is lobo back Clint McPeek.
The sophomore out of La Cueva High School got the nod over sophomore Ian Clark (Highland), who missed two weeks of fall camp with a dislocated shoulder.
Long said Clark still was not 100 percent, but McPeek's play against the Miners last weekend earned him a second consecutive start.
Both split the reps almost equally last week, however, and Long said he expects the same distribution on Saturday.
ALL WRIGHT: Cornerback DeAndre Wright was the only Lobo defender to play the entire game Saturday against the Miners.
Long said Jerome Jenkins, who moved to cornerback during the last week and a half of fall camp, spelled only Glover Quin because Quin is still not 100 percent recovered from a groin injury he suffered early in fall practice.
"We really only need three cornerbacks," Long said. "Jerome Jenkins seems to be catching on. Once Glover is fully recovered, we plan on rotating all three."
GOOD HANDS PERSON: Junior tight end Chris Mark, who came into the season opener with one career reception, had four catches for 34 yards against UTEP, including a great adjustment on an underthrown pass for 19 yards.
That was UNM's longest play from scrimmage.
"We were pleasantly surprised," Long said. "He made one really good catch, and hopefully he'll catch the ball like that all season."
Mark's performance makes the departure of sophomore Luke Walters, considered the best pass-catching TE the Lobos had, less significant.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE: The Lobos will alter their practice schedule today and next Thursday. The team will practice at 4:30 p.m., rather than the normal 6 a.m. practices.
Long said he made the change because he thought UNM had too much time between the end of its Thursday practice at 8 a.m. and the 8 p.m. start time in El Paso.
"I thought we lost a little bit of our edge with the extra time off," Long said.
The Lobos play the Aggies at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday and then at 8:05 p.m. Mountain Time in Arizona on Sept. 15.
DOWN AND OUT: NMSU backup strong safety Junior Fasavalu tore a knee ligament in last week's 35-14 win over Southeastern Louisiana and is out for the season.
His was the only injury of note, but any losses on defense hurt especially in the secondary. Already strong safety Cole Marton and cornerback Alex Bernard are starting at one position and backing up at free and strong safety, respectively.
Coach Hal Mumme expects to get a medical redshirt for the junior transfer from Long Beach (Calif.) City College.
WE HAVE CLEARANCE: Stephon Hatchett (Newport News, Va.) and Chris West (Devine, Texas), two Aggie freshman receivers who had to sit out last week, have since received NCAA Clearinghouse go-ahead and are eligible this week.
Hatchett, 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, was particularly impressive at preseason camp in Gallup and is listed No. 2 at 'X' receiver behind starter A.J. Harris.
IN THE LEAGUE: While the Aggies are hopeful to have their best season in some time, they also have their best NFL representation on opening day rosters in recent memory.
Courtney Bryan, a standout cornerback for last year's Aggies, went undrafted but has made the Miami Dolphins as a strong safety. He made eight solo tackles in the Dolphins' final exhibition game.
The other big surprise, and one that caught the attention of fantasy football players, is running back Kenton Keith hooking on with the Indianapolis Colts. He has managed to parlay success in the Canadian Football League to a backup position behind Joseph Addai.
Two other ex-Aggies in the league are offensive linemen Philadelphia's Nick Cole and San Francisco's Tony Wragge, who played at Bloomfield.
TICKET UPDATE: UNM sold 14,396 season tickets as of Wednesday afternoon and may fall short of last season's total of 15,525. The Lobo-Aggie game has sold 24,101 tickets.