ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Saturday Practice Open to Public
Good evening, Lobos; this is your 7:30 p.m. wake-up call.
When the University of New Mexico football team took the field Wednesday night for its eighth practice session of the spring, the Lobos had been off four days for the Easter holiday.
Coach Bob Davie thought his players looked, well, sleepy. Sluggish.
Hence, the wake-up call: a previously unscheduled scrimmage at the beginning of a two-hour practice.
“It’s not something we normally would do,” Davie said afterward. “But (when) you come out here and put that helmet on, it’s time to go.
“Next time, if we’re not ready, we won’t even stretch. We’ll just put the ball down and scrimmage. But I think they got the message.”
Not only was the message received, but appreciated — or so it appeared. The brief but spirited scrimmage produced positives on both sides of the ball.
Junior running back Emmanuel Fatokun, a defensive back last season, broke a 60-yard touchdown run.
Later, the defense answered. Senior cornerback DeShawn Mills picked off a B.R. Holbrook pass.
“I appreciate their effort,” Davie said. “They’re trying to please, but it’s just that we have so far to go.
“You have to manage the environment. The only way I know to get the tempo better is to say it’s full speed, and let’s go tackle.”
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Saturday’s practice, which is open to the public, has been shortened to about one hour, 20 minutes. The workout on UNM’s practice fields, just south of University Stadium, is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and to end at around 11:20.
Saturday’s Lobo Football Youth Experience clinic also has been shortened by an hour. It’s scheduled to start at 10:30 and conclude at 12:30.
The clinic is for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. It’s free, but parents are asked to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the football office at 925-5700.
TURF WARS: As reported earlier, UNM is planning to install synthetic turf — perhaps in time for the 2012 season — at University Stadium.
After Wednesday night’s practice, Davie was asked whether he thought playing on synthetic turf at home might created an advantage for the Lobos, since most Mountain West Conference teams play on grass.
“We’re just trying to make a first down,” Davie said. “Right now, it doesn’t matter if we play in quicksand or if we play on concrete, honestly.”
The Lobos often appeared to be playing in quicksand the past three seasons, but that’s what Davie’s trying to fix.
“That’s way down the road for me,” the first-year head coach said of the turf issue. “… That’ll be way down the list of things I ever worry about.”
— This article appeared on page D5 of the Albuquerque Journal