Lobo Football Fall Practice Off to Hot Start

Aug. 2, 2012

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Day one of University of New Mexico football training camp was long. And hot. Just the way coach Bob Davie likes it.

The Lobos practiced for two-plus hours Thursday as they start to get ready for the 2012 season, and specifically the opener against Southern (La.) University at Branch Field at University Stadium on Sept. 1.

The team had 104 players out on the first day, 74 of them scholarship players.

“We’re going to practice longer,” Davie said during Thursday’s news conference after practice. “That will help us get the newcomers more reps. I know some coaches like to split up the teams in preseason, but I don’t like doing that. We’re all one team. There are no divisions.”

Davie said he felt good by the number of players available for the fall, which is about 25 more than the team had for the spring.

“We’re fortunate to have some really good walk-ons,” Davie said. “Our scholarship numbers are down, but that doesn’t matter. … We’re not in a position to redshirt anyone.”

That being said, Davie reiterated that his main concern is for the seniors, who have endured a tough stretch of Lobo lore.

“For the seniors, I want this year to be the best experience they’ve ever had. They’ve been through a lot,” Davie said. “The word, ‘rebuilding’ means nothing to me. I’m never going to play a younger guy simply for the sake of preparing him for the time down the line. It’s all about the seniors.”

The team practices in just their jerseys, helmets and shorts, the first of two such sessions. On Saturday and Sunday, the team will be able to dress in shoulder pads. Monday, the first day in Ruidoso, the team will be in full uniform.

Going into fall camp, Davie said depth on the offensive line is still an issue. The unit had only seven eligible players practice in the spring. The unit has 14 linemen to start fall camp; five are true freshmen.

“We’re going to have to count on some young guys playing,” he said. “(The line) is probably my biggest concern.”

Davie was asked what kind of team fans can expect the Lobos to be on Sept. 1, and he provided a frank answer.

“I don’t know, yet,” Davie said with a smile. “We’ll find out Sept. 1. Let me put it this way. One of our main goals this season is that the Lobos don’t beat the Lobos.”

The Lobos had a far-from-perfect practice Thursday, but they still have 30 days to go before they’ll show whether they’re a team that doesn’t beat itself.