There’s hearing, and there’s listening. Even if most of the whispers are of the electronic variety, Lamar Jordan hears them.
But no, he said, he’s not listening.
“You’ve just got to ignore that,” Jordan said Monday of those who express the opinion that he no longer should be the New Mexico Lobos’ starting quarterback.
Saturday, the Lobos’ fifth-year senior QB was pulled from the game against downstate rival New Mexico State after throwing his second interception early in the third quarter.
He was replaced by redshirt freshman Tevaka Tuioti, who threw two touchdown passes in bringing back the Lobos from a 25-point deficit to the brink of a historic comeback. The Lobos lost, 30-28.
Lobos coach Bob Davie said that night, and again at Monday’s news conference, that Jordan will start Thursday’s game at Boise State. The situation is not at the point, he added, where he’s considering a two-man quarterback rotation like UNM had the past two seasons with Jordan and Austin Apodaca.
Nonetheless, some folks on social media are calling for Davie to make Tuioti the starter.
Jordan knows the territory, having been on the other side of such discussions. Three years ago, he was the redshirt freshman being talked up as the starter, at the expense of then-junior Cole Gautsche.
He accepts it all as part of life and football.
“That comes with it,” he said, “when you have the results I had in the last game. I’m blessed enough to be able to come back out and play the game again.”
Saturday wasn’t the first time Jordan has been taken out of a game. Davie the past two seasons would on occasion switch to Apodaca, the better passer of the two, simply based on feel and the flow of the action.
The NMSU game was a bit different, perhaps, in that it was so purely based on performance.
Davie said he hasn’t felt the need to have a heart-to-heart talk with his senior quarterback.
“I’ve talked to him just a little bit, because I don’t want to complicate things,” Davie said. “It really comes down to just playing better.”
Just as Jordan was always supportive of Apodaca, Davie said, he handled the situation well on Saturday.
“He was good on the sidelines,” Davie said. “He was excited, almost too excited, when we scored that last touchdown to get within two. He ran out there on the field, and I was holding my breath that they wouldn’t call a penalty.”
Davie, while praising Tuioti’s play against NMSU, said he’s not ready to hand the keys to the redshirt freshman — not after all that Jordan has accomplished the past three seasons in UNM’s base triple-option offense.
Jordan displayed dramatic improvement as a passer in spring practice and fall camp. He completed his first nine passes in a season-opening victory over Abilene Christian but is 12-of-27 since then, with those two interceptions.
“He has a lot invested in this,” Davie said. “… He’s our quarterback. He just needs to play better, but he’s like we are as a team. We all need to play better.”
BRONCO QB PICTURE: Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said on Monday that senior graduate transfer Montell Cozart would start for the Broncos at quarterback if the game were to be played today. But he did not rule out the possibility that junior and incumbent starter Brett Rypien could be available by Thursday.
Rypien came out of Boise State’s eventual 47-44, triple-overtime loss at Washington State on Saturday after taking a hard hit late in the first quarter. He watched the rest of the game from the sideline in street clothes.
Harsin announced that junior wide receiver Akilian Butler is lost for the season after suffering a torn ACL in the Washington State game.
IRMA: Lobos running back Daryl Chestnut, a Miami native, said Monday morning that his family is without electricity but otherwise is OK in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
“Everybody’s all right,” he said. “A couple of trees down, a lot of leaks and stuff.
“I talk to them whenever they can get to a car to charge their phones.”
The Lobos have four players from Florida: Chestnut, strong safety Stanley Barnwell, nickel safety Kenneth Maxwell and linebacker Matt French.
TULSA TIME: The Lobos’ Sept. 23 game at Tulsa will kick off at 11:30 a.m. MDT, it was announced Monday. The game will not be televised but will be streamed on espn3.com.