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Coach Bob Davie said the team has done little game preparation for the Aug. 30 opener against UTEP thus far.
“I’m much more worried about our team, to be quite honest, than UTEP’s team,” he said. “But now we’ll probably start to focus a little more on them.”
Davie wasn’t particularly happy with Wednesday’s scrimmage, the last full-contact work the team will have before the opener. If either unit had an edge, he said, it was the offense.
“Some big plays throwing the ball,” he said. “Also the young running back, Tyrone Owens, broke off a long run or two.”
Cole Gautsche and Clayton Mitchem, the Lobos’ No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks, did not scrimmage. Redshirt freshman Lamar Jordan and junior Quinton McCown scrimmaged but were not tackled to the ground. But true freshman QBs JaJuan Lawson and Patrick Reed saw live action and played well.
“Both those guys are young, talented quarterbacks,” Davie said.
Davie said running back Crusoe Gongbay, cornerback SaQwan Edwards and offensive guard Jamal Price, who missed practice time because of issues with the legal system, have made rapid progress.
“They are older players,” he said. “They get back into the flow pretty quickly.”
Gongbay had a couple of good runs during Wednesday’s scrimmage, Davie said. Edwards was beaten deep once, but McMillian said he likes the work ethic he’s seeing from the senior cornerback.
Edwards had lost his starting spot early last spring, McMillian said, before criminal charges (since dismissed) led to his suspension.
“SaQwan got demoted to the second team because his ‘A to B’ wasn’t good, and I was gonna play guys that had great effort,” McMillian said. “By him being out, he sees that (other cornerbacks) have progressed and he can see how we are better than what we have been.”
As McMillian spoke, Edwards was one of a handful of players still working on the field after practice had ended.
“He’s out here working by himself because he wants to be better,” McMillian said. “He has NFL qualities, and this is only his second year playing corner.
What I’m teaching is what I’ve taught always. I can get him there, but he has to (do his part).”
Of the secondary, Davie said, “I think we’re better. But we’ll find out. .. We’re not real big at receiver other than (Marquis) Bundy, so once we start matching up against big receivers — UTEP has some big strong guys — we’ll see.”