Keys to the Game: New Mexico

Matt Warden

The New Mexico Lobos put on an exciting performance in Bob Davie’s debut as head coach, putting up 66 points against Southern in a game that had all the makings of a track meet.

The only two meetings between the Longhorns and the Lobos have ended with the Longhorns winning both games 47-0, but if the Longhorns want to extend their streak to 3 games they need to follow a simple game plan.

1. Don’t give up big plays

In week one New Mexico accounted for 347 yards on the ground, with four players amassing 65 yards apiece. Freshman quarterback Cole Gautsche put himself on everyone’s radar after his eight- rush, 88-yard performance against Southern, proving that his athletic ability could make him a player to watch throughout the season. While Texas should have no problem dispatching the Lobos, the Longhorns should beware of New Mexico’s big play ability.

2. Force the pass

The New Mexico quarterbacks threw for 70 yards and one touchdown on seven of 10 completions as a unit last Saturday. Senior quarterback B.R. Holbrook hasn’t shown much in his four years with the Lobos. His stats last season weren’t anything to brag about, as he completed only 59 percent of his passes, throwing four touchdowns to seven interceptions. In short, the Longhorns need to force the Lobos to pass the football. If the score gets too ugly, or Holbrook is forced into compromising situations by pressure, expect to see freshman quarterback Cole Gautsche get a bit of playing time in New Mexico’s new option offense. When Holbrook and Gautsche realize they aren’t getting around Jeffcoat or Okafor and have to make throws from a small window in the pocket, expect a slew of turnovers to come the Longhorns’ way. If Texas can force the Lobos to throw the football, good things will likely happen.

3. Keep Running

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In week one the Longhorns followed the game plan and totaled 280 yards on the ground, with David Ash completing 74 percent of his throws. Sophomore backs Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown did exactly what was expected of them against Wyoming, each eclipsing 100 yards rushing. The Lobos gave up 500 points to only 144 scored last season. The Longhorns need to carry the football and carry it often to wear the Lobos down. This will undoubtedly open up the passing game for Ash to build upon his solid week one performance. The main plan for the offense should be to run fast and often against a New Mexico team that is outmatched.