New Mexico Wraps Spring Football With Sizable Crowd
Buzz is building heading into Year 2 of Danny Gonzales
Get caught up with what happened this spring?
The New Mexico Lobo football team finished its spring practice Saturday in front of one of the largest crowds in the last ten years on April 3, with over 4,769 fans attending the game.
This is substantial as most scrimmages in the past might have gotten maybe 200-300 lobo fans for a Lobo football scrimmage, the die-hards.
There were many big plays for the attending Lobo fans on a beautiful day in Albuquerque, the city that gets on average 284 days of sunshine a year.
So with sunscreen, social distancing, and masks, the fans got a good show watching the Cherry & Silver game, a game won by the Silver 21-0.
The entire parking lot was filled with tailgaters with the smell of brats, burgers, and green chile in the air, and fans were very excited about cheering on their Lobos.
The Lobos last played at University Stadium on November 30, 2019. UNM will open the 2021 season with a unique Thursday night opener against Houston Baptist before hosting rival New Mexico State on September 11
Consider this: UNM drew 9 out of the top 10 largest home crowds in program history, with former Lobo head coach Rocky Long leading the pack and then assistant Danny Gonzales on staff as well at the time.
The Lobos went 7-3 in those highly attended games with wins over Texas Tech, NMSU, Utep, and UNLV and drew over 40,000 plus fans on five occasions from 2001-2007.
So with Danny Gonzales at the helm, UNM expects some large crowds for the fall for this football program, and the spring games showed a glimpse of how excited Lobo fans are for their hometown team.
Stop, Drop, shut 'em down, open up shop! pic.twitter.com/VcnQwj6DuS
— New Mexico Football (@UNMLoboFB) April 14, 2021
The Silver squad got a pair of long touchdown runs, one by Bobby Cole in the second quarter and one by Chad Alexander in the third quarter, on the way to a 21-0 win.
Bobby Cole showed his speed as he went for 76 yards in the middle of the second quarter, and Alexanders were early in the third quarter, going for 70.
The other score came from a newcomer from El Paso, Aaron Dumas, scoring on an 11-yard run. The Lobos are loaded at the running back position.
The Lobo running game looked solid, with Chad Alexander leading with 135 yards on ten carries and Bobby Cole not far behind him with 104 yards on 11 carries.
Aaron Dumas had 73 yards with 13 rushes and looks like he will have a solid career as a Lobo with his speed.
Lobo fans will get to know this young running from El Paso, Texas, and if you look at his numbers in high school, they are eye-popping.
Dumas, a 3-star recruit, ran for 3,184 yards, 36 touchdowns, caught seven passes for 80 yards in leading Americas High School to a school-best ten wins and district 6A title in 2019.
Mannie Logan-Greene had five catches, and CJay Boone led all receivers with 62 yards on four grabs.
Danny Gonzales said on the spring progress:
“I am excited about the progress we have made in the spring and the expectation here, and you see all the people out here is outstanding.
“I thought we made a lot of progress with a team getting better fundamentally, but today we dropped way too many balls; I thought the first secondary played a lot better than we did last season.
“I thought Trae Hall played well putting the ball into the hands of the receivers, and they were not completing the play, and now the Quarterback room is going to be a great competition as we have Terry Wilson coming (Kentucky Wildcats transfer quarterback).
“The most important thing for us is to get bigger, faster, and stronger. We get five weeks to have finals and then get eight straight weeks before fall camp, so this is the most important time for our program.”
Offensive Coordinator Derek Warehime was very blunt in his assessment of the Lobo offense; “We have to continue to a good job at coaching and developing. We are young at a lot of different positions.”
“This spring having Kyle Stapley out at center (ACL surgery) a couple of different faces there at Center, Radison Jang came back, and the first time we saw him play football since we have been here, guy weighs 240 Lbs, he has some skill and toughness, but we must develop him.”
We have to develop “Leke” (Leke Asenuga) He is as talented that we have here, but we have to develop him; he is not mature enough to be a consistent championship-level football player.”
Its same thing with Jer’Marques Bailey and the exact same thing with Greg Brown, so those young guys can help us in big way, but they have to help us now.”
“Based on what we have seen this spring, what you will hear over and over from me about our offense is inconstant; we are either really good or we are below average, not a whole lot of in-between right now.”
You’re going to have a hard time beating anybody or even air if you’re inconsistent; we have to grow up at receiver; Andrew Erickson has to play to win on every snap. He has a chance to be an elite wide receiver in the Mountain West.
So the Lobos look to get bigger, faster, stronger, and develop the young players that have come into the program and build on the strength they currently have to be a force in the fall in the Mountain West Conference.
Development of players was very successful under Rocky Long, his ability to take players that were overlooked and make them highly competitive. Some went next-level NFL.
Look for the same successful recipe under a Gonzales-led team coming into his second year as the head coach for the Cherry and Silver.