Three Keys to a Lobo Victory
- THE OFFENSIVE LINE MUST PLAY THEIR MOST PHYSICAL GAME TO DATE
Its no secret that the game of football is won in the trenches, and the offensive line must establish that it’s no intimated and play a very physical game, not giving up sacks.
They must not allow Tiger defensive line to stop the Lobo offense in its tracks by being in the backfield after every ball snap.
The Lobos have some very talented wide recievers and running backs. Offensive Coordinators (Derek Warehime) can help game plan, but at some point, the players have to execute and make plays to keep the chains moving to give the lobos a fighting chance to score.
They must allow time for Quarterback Miles Kendrick to have time to throw and run this Lobo offense to move the chains.
This offense has improved from last year and has shown signs of life in some games, but in other games, they would start strong and not finish strong; they must play strong all four quarters to give them a chance to compete
- DEFENSIVE EFFORT TO LIMIT BIG PLAYS AND CAUSE TURNOVERS
There is a reason that the name Rocky Long is well known in college football circles. Urban Meyer once told a former Athletic Director that preparing for this unorthodox defense was a nightmare as you never knew what angles or pressure was coming at you.
Last week the Tigers got a taste of this defense while playing Mississippi State, as former Lobo player and former Defensive Coordinator Zach Arnett runs the same defense. He comes from the Rocky Long coaching tree.
Last week the Tigers were trailing 16-10 going into the final period before scoring 21 points in the fourth to win 31-16; that being said, this same defense did well for three quarters; it’s just a tough defense when run correctly.
This Lobo defense made huge improvements last year in 2021, ranking 44th in total defense, a 57-sport improvement from 2020 for the Lobos.
Head Lobo Coach Danny Gonzales has stated unapologetically that Long is the best DC in America; the numbers don’t lie as far as the massive improvements the Lobos have made in the last few years.
That being said, this Lobo defense must contain this explosive offense from going off and having scoring runs and running the score up; after all, the spread is 35 favoring LSU.
LSU is not ranked in the top 20, but it’s still an SEC team that plays the best of the best and can be dangerous for the Lobos if momentum starts to take over on the road.
So without a massive defensive effort, this could get ugly if the Tigers do what they did last week in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 points against Mississippi State.
- PLAY SMART FOOTBALL
Good football teams don’t make mistakes or very good at not beating themselves. The Lobo team generally cannot be intimidated by the 112K fans at the game and stay composed and not make many mistakes.
They must play very smart football in all aspects to get a good night’s rest, pre-game meals, stay focused and take care of business.
One has to remember that we are still talking about young men who are easily distracted by all around them, and they must remember they are there to take care of business.
Teams that are heavy underdogs have one huge advantage, and that’s the other team tends to overlook them as not being a severe threat.
There is something about underdogs that go on the road; if there is a missed assignment, a blocked punt, or an interception, it just changes the momentum for the home team.
The Lobos’ entire team must be focused on their individual and group assignments, not allowing the large crowd, the atmosphere, and all the negative talk to get in their heads.
Be smart, play smart, and leave it all on the field as you have no regrets is the must-have attitude.
I think the Lobos play hard, and just like last week against Mississippi State Defense, the defense can force a few three-and-outs for most of the first half to give the ball to the offense.
I think the offense will struggle with this very physical team and have a few plays that will stand out, but in the end, the Tigers win.
The Lobo offensive line has yet to show me they can match the physicalness of more oversized defensive fronts, which will be tough to overcome. The Tigers go on to victory but not without a fight from a scrappy New Mexico Lobo team.
That being said, this will be the perfect kind of team to make this Danny Gonzales team much stronger in competing against Mountain West opponents this year.
Playing strong teams can show you how much you need to work on and where some of your strengths are.
LSU 37-New Mexico 17