Lobo linebacker Marenco gets targeting call overturned; he can play vs. Boise State - Albuquerque Journal

Lobo linebacker Marenco gets targeting call overturned; he can play vs. Boise State

UNM linebacker Alec Marenco (18) was ejected from Saturday’s game after being called for targeting. On Monday, the penalty was overturned. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

University of New Mexico coach Danny Gonzales was the first to appeal a targeting call, and the Lobos became the first to have the penalty overturned in this first year of appealing targeting.

Sophomore linebacker Alec Marenco was flagged for targeting after his tackle on Maine running back John Gay with 3:30 left in Saturday’s game. Marenco was ejected and set to miss the first half Friday night against Boise State. Gonzales disagreed with the call and began the process to appeal on Sunday morning.

Alec Marenco (UNM photo)

He said he received news of the targeting being overturned during Monday’s practice in the morning.

“Give Alec Marenco credit for history,” Gonzales said after Monday’s practice. “He made a nice football play and they called targeting and ejected him from the last three minutes of the game.”

Marenco said it’s “fine” to be a part of history, but he said he wants to be a part of history for what he and the Lobos can accomplish in the Mountain West Conference instead, as in league titles.

“It’s a relief for me,” said Marenco, a Burges High graduate from El Paso. “Since I was a kid I just want to play ball. I don’t want to miss any games. I want to play every game that I can. It’s my college career. It doesn’t last forever. To be able to play one more half, that’s great.”

Marenco said he did his best to avoid crashing helmet to helmet with Gay and never intended to target or lead with his helmet. UNM beat up on FCS Maine, 41-0, and Marenco, who recorded three tackles, was part of a defense that unleashed some hard hits.

“It’s a violent game,” Marenco said. “You can go beat someone up basically in between the whistles and you can’t get thrown in jail for beating someone up like that. It’s just a violent game.”

Before the season opener, UNM linebackers coach Jake Rothschiller praised Marenco for his efforts in the weight room.

Marenco came to UNM last year as a 228-pound freshman, but he said he dropped to 205 pounds while trying to increase strength and speed. He credited new strength coach Derrick Baker for getting him up to 232 pounds. Marenco said he’s now at 224 pounds and he increased his strength in squat with 545 pounds – 45 more pounds than what he could squat as an incoming freshman – and 395 pounds on the bench, a 15-pound increase.

“When Coach Baker got here that was a real turnaround for the program,” he said.

PENALTIES: Gonzales was bothered by the Lobos’ penalties on Saturday. UNM gave away 90 yards on nine penalties, and the third-year coach was especially frustrated by the dead ball calls.

As an example, he said, the Lobos were called for unsportsmanlike conduct after freshman wide receiver Jah’Mar Sanders scored his first career touchdown on his first career carry, a 10-yard scoring run in the third quarter that gave UNM a 34-0 lead.

The officials called UNM tight end Trace Bruckler for coming off the sideline to celebrate with Sanders, but Bruckler was already in the game and in fact delivered a key block to get Sanders into the end zone.

Bruckler said the official just needed a name. Bruckler was told by offensive coordinator Derek Warehime that 22 players came off the sideline to celebrate with the freshman from Port Arthur, Texas.

Why was everyone so excited for Sanders?

“Because it was Jah’Mar,” Bruckler said of the wide receiver who is known for his speed, as well as his humor. “Guys like Luke (Wysong), because Jah’Mar is his backup, were excited for him. We were all excited for him.”

Bruckler said earlier, when his friend, Wysong, scored his first career touchdown reception in the second quarter, he came off the sideline to celebrate with Wysong in the end zone but was not flagged. Perhaps Bruckler’s name being called later for the penalty was a make-up call, some feel.

STARTING PITCHER: Gonzales will throw out the first pitch at Isotopes Park for the game between the Albuquerque Isotopes and El Paso Chihuahuas Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. Gonzales continues to encourage the community to fill up the stadium for the Lobos game against Boise State, which will be a red-out (everyone wearing red) on Friday night.

Home » From the newspaper » Lobo linebacker Marenco gets targeting call overturned; he can play vs. Boise State


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Emptying the Notebook: House showing growth
ABQnews Seeker
More notes, quotes, stats and analysis ... More notes, quotes, stats and analysis from Saturday's Lobo game, including how Jaelen House's game continues to grow this season.
2
Pretty or not, Lobos improve to 5-0
ABQnews Seeker
UNM's defense was on point Saturday ... UNM's defense was on point Saturday night and a strong second half led the Lobos to their first 5-0 start since the 2012-13 season. ...
3
Artesia earns 31st state football title; Bloomfield and Ruidoso ...
Featured Sports
Make it 31 state titles for ... Make it 31 state titles for the Artesia Bulldogs. Class 5A's top-seeded football team — and New Mexico's most decorated program — took another ...
4
Cleveland tops La Cueva in outrageously high-scoring 6A football ...
Featured Sports
Storm ends a 10-game La Cueva ... Storm ends a 10-game La Cueva winning streak and, in the process, wins the state title for the third consecutive full season
5
Lobos top North Dakota State, improve to 5-0
College
The University of New Mexico men's ... The University of New Mexico men's baksetball team defeated North Dakota State 76-55 Saturday during the second day of the Lobo Classic tournament at ...
6
Analysis: If UNM football is to improve, it begins ...
College
No quarterback operates in a vacuum, ... No quarterback operates in a vacuum, OK?There are four other position groups – ...
7
Days after Hall of Fame induction, boxing icon Murphy ...
Boxing/MMA
knowing when to jab, when to ... knowing when to jab, when to throw a power punch, when to be aggressive, when not to be, seeing the opening and exploiting it. ...
8
Reus stars, Lobo women hold off stubborn Texas A&M ...
College
It won't be remembered as a ... It won't be remembered as a complete performance, but the Lobos showed up at closing time. Paula Reus swished three consecutive 3 pointers early ...
9
Pavia stars as New Mexico State stuns Liberty, and ...
College
Diego Pavia passed for three touchdowns ... Diego Pavia passed for three touchdowns and ran for three more as 24.5-point underdog New Mexico State handed Liberty its third straight loss 49-14 ...