Seeds of a Passing Attack Being Sown on Branch Field

April 6, 2013

By Greg Archuleta
UNM Assistant Director of Communications 

The University of New Mexico football team unveiled a passing attack during the second half of practice on Saturday.

The team moved to Branch Field at University Stadium, and all four quarterbacks (sophomore Cole Gautsche, junior Quinton McCown, junior Clayton Mitchem and junior David Vega) were able to move the ball through the air with some accurate passes. Developing a passing attack has been one of the keys of spring practice this season.

Head coach Bob Davie and offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse lauded the offensive play, especially considering that the unit did not turn the ball over and had just one penalty during team situations.

"It's hard when the offense calls a pass on first down and then runs option on third-and-7," Davie told his defense. "Sometimes you don't know what defense to call."

Davie later acknowledged that the offense is a bit ahead of the defense after six spring practices.

The defense, however, is extremely thin on the line and at the outside linebacker position. Defensive coordinator Jeff Mills told his unit that it has to create turnovers and limit big plays. The Lobos struggled with limiting big plays during the 2012 season.

Several high school coaches attended Saturday's session, and Davie said he received feedback that the coaches noticed the Lobos are much farther along on both sides of the ball than they were at this point last season.

"Our practices have a lot more efficient look," Davie said.

DeBesse noted that the emphasis during last year's spring practice was on effort and attitude. This year, UNM has been able to concentrate more on its offensive and defensive schemes.

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT: Davie reiterated that junior quarterback Quinton McCown has made great strides, both physically and schematically, and added that outside linebacker Tevin Newman also has shown improvement from a year ago, when an injury sidelined him for the bulk of the spring.

Junior college transfer Brett Bowers has moved to defensive end, and redshirt freshman walk-on Kenya Donaldson has moved to outside linebacker to help with depth. Donaldson and junior walk-on outside linebacker Jayson Gurule have seen more playing time so far in the spring.