Calvin Magee, New Mexico’s first-year offensive coordinator, has been a part of some great offenses with run-pass-option innovator Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona.
Magee sees great progress thus far with the Lobos, and that showed during Saturday’s practice that featured over 100 plays of live scrimmaging.
“We’ve probably got more in during the first year at this point than any other place I’ve been,” Magee said in response to how the Lobos are grasping the new offense. “It’s nice now to go back and keep (practicing) those same plays, and adding just a little bit to go with it. I’m very pleased with where we are.”
The UNM offense made big plays and did not commit any turnovers during the Lobos’ first practice in Dreamstyle Stadium of the summer, coach Bob Davie said. The first 30 minutes of practice, which did not include the live scrimmage, were open to the media.
“It was a really good day offensively,” said Davie, whose team opens the season against Incarnate Word at home on Sept. 1. “If you had to put a scoreboard on it, you would say the offense came out on top today. All three quarterbacks (Tevaka Tuioti, Coltin Gerhart and Sheriron Jones) and the freshman Trae Hall came in and did some (good) things.”
Tuioti, Gerhart and Jones are battling to become the Lobos’ starting quarterback. Jones was not able to finish Saturday after he came out due to a “bit of a hamstring (injury),” Davie said.
Safety A.J. Greeley, a junior transfer from College of the Sequoias, left practice with what appeared to be a right ankle injury.
“We’ll wait to say (until) we get everything evaluated,” Davie said in response to putting a definitive word on his team’s injuries.
Running back Ahmari Davis, a junior transfer from Laney College in Oakland, Calif., unleashed a long gain, Davie said. Freshman wide receiver Cedric Patterson III made an explosive play with a catch, Davie said. And junior wide receiver Elijah Lilly caught a long touchdown pass from Gerhart, Davie said.
Lilly will be the Lobos’ kickoff return specialist, too, Davie said.
“From looking at it live, I was very pleased with Elijah Lilly,” Magee said “He made some plays. I think he’s really going to help us on offense.”
As for special teams, and more specifically at place-kicker, Davie said the competition to be the starter is wide open. The Lobos are trying to find the next in line to follow Jason Sanders, who was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round.
“We don’t have one right now,” Davie said of a place-kicker. “Today was a very disappointing day from a productivity standpoint on field goals. It’s wide open.”
UNM defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove, who said the Lobos should have their best defense in this, his seventh season with Davie, did not view Saturday as a setback.
“We’re going to watch the film every play, and show the kids the film of the scrimmage and we’ll build on that,” Cosgrove said.
The Lobos will have today off before going back to practice Monday at 10 a.m.