Stevens: Lenzmeier Looks To Go 10-1 in Lobo-Aggie Series

Sept. 20, 2012

New Mexico Lobos at New Mexico State

When/Where: 6 p.m., Saturday - Las Cruces - Aggie Memorial Field
On The Air: 770 KKOB-AM, Lobo Radio Network GameTracker, Game Story, Stats

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

Go Lobos. Go Aggies. Go Lobos - again.

You could say that Jason Lenzmeier's career on the football field has taken a few interesting turns - and one major detour.

Lenz, one of New Mexico's more heralded offensive linemen ever, was a New Mexico State Aggie a year ago. He was on DeWayne Walker's NMSU staff for three years after being cut loose from the New Mexico staff by ex-Lobo coach Mike Locksley.

"Life is crazy and you never know where it will take you," said Lenzmeier, now the O-line coach for UNM's Bob Davie. "It took me to New Mexico State.

"I had a great experience down there. Coach Walker was good to me. He gave me a job and that was huge for me. He gave me a shot down there."

You could say that Lenzmeier is good about picking which side to be on.

As an Aggie coach, he is 3-0 vs. the Lobos.

As a Lobo, his is 6-1 vs. the Aggies either as a player, a graduate assistant or a Lobo coach.

The Lobos might be hoping Lenzmeier actually is a factor in determining which team wins as UNM trots down to Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday for a 6 p.m., kickoff with the Aggies.

O-linemen Calvin McDowney (61) and Darryl Johnson work on technique

The Lobos are trying to end a three-game skid. Lenzmeier is looking to go 10-1 in the series.

There is no question where Lenzmeier heart lies and what colors run through his coaching veins.

"I'm a Lobo," said the only offensive player in the history of the Mountain West to earn an Offensive Player of The Week award. "To be back here is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.

"I'm a Lobo and my wife is from here and I love the city of Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico."

Still, there are a few twists in the Lenzmeier family tree. Lenz graduated and played for UNM but also coached at NMSU. His wife, Kelsey, graduated from La Cueva High and from UNM, but got a post-graduate degree at NMSU. Kelsey's parents went to NMSU.

"But they cheer for the Lobos now," said Lenzmeier of his in-laws.

In Cruces Saturday, Lenzmeier will be going against some of his former pupils. You might recall those Aggie pupils - the NMSU O-line -- helped the Aggies roll out 538 total yards in NMSU's 42-28 win over Lobos last year in University Stadium. The Aggies had 242 yards on the ground with a 5.0 average per carry.

Really, it was domination by the Aggies. They rolled to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and were up 35-7 with 6:30 to go in the third quarter. Those Aggies will be using some of the things that Lenzmeier taught them and turning them against the Lobos.

For sure, it was a strange twist for Lenzmeier to take off his Lobo colors and put on Aggie colors for three seasons.

"It was different at first," said Lenzmeier. "You are coaching players who used to be your rival. But you have a job to do and you have good kids around you who are working to achieve a common goal and that make you bond as teammates.

"I recruited a lot of those kids at New Mexico State. That's athletics. Coaches come and go."

Lenzmeier always brings a lot of fire to Lobo practice, but maybe this week the flames are higher. "I do not want to lose this game," he shouted at his Lobo "Hitmen" on Wednesday.

The Lobo O-linemen obviously will be a key. They need to create some holes for the Lobo running game and they need to keep the Aggie defensive charge away from quarterbacks B.R. Holbrook and Cole Gautsche.

For sure, Lenzmeier would like to raise his Lobo-Aggie record to 10-1 because that would mean the Lobos are 1-0 in 2012 vs. Aggies.

"It's a big game and the rivalry part puts sugar on the top. That's extra," said Lenzmeier. "Rivalry games are fun. I'm excited."