In his first year as New Mexico head coach, Bob Davie is looking forward to facing a familiar rival in Texas. New Mexico is the second Mountain West opponent for the Longhorns in as many games.
Davie, who was an assistant coach at Texas A&M from 1985 to 1993 is 10-1 all-time against the Longhorns as a coach. While at A&M, David built up an 8-1 record against Texas as an assistant coach and then went 2-0 at Notre Dame as defensive coordinator and interim head coach.
The Lobos opened this season with a 66-21 victory over FCS Southern at home, an impressive start for the first-year coach and the first season-opening victory for the Lobos in seven years.
No. 17 Texas holds a 2-0 series lead over the Lobos, with the last meeting coming in 1988. The Lobos also have a 13-game losing streak in the state of Texas.
“This isn’t the first time for the guys that have been here playing against this caliber of team,” Davie said.
A third of the New Mexico roster is composed of true and redshirt freshmen. The game in Austin should be an eye opener for the young team.
“For our younger guys they’re probably so naive, they probably don’ realize that it is different.... Obviously the results, things aren’t going to look like they did Saturday, but we still can improve,” Davie said.
Against Southern, junior running back rushed for 103 yards, becoming the Lobos’ first 100-yard rusher since Desmond Dennis in 2009.
In 2011, New Mexico rushed for 1,358 yards and had a 56.6 completion percentage on its passes.
The Texas defense, which had a little trouble at first containing Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith, should have an easier time with New Mexico’s option-style offense.
While the Texas offense seems shaky to most Longhorn fans, New Mexico is concerned about the weapons Texas will field in quarterback David Ash, senior running back/wide receiver D.J. Monroe, and sophomore receiver Jaxon Shipley.
“[Ash’s] weapons. What concerns me is he’s a guy who’s smart, he executes, he’s big, strong, and athletic, but he gets the ball to those weapons, and they have a lot of them,” Davie said. “They have a lot of speed at receiver...those guys are like world-class sprinters...Shipley’s a heck of a player.”
On defense, the Lobos forced four turnovers, converting two into touchdowns in their opening game. They held Southern to 83 yards on the ground and 242 yards in the air. New Mexico will face a better rushing offense with Texas backs Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron, and Johnathan Gray this weekend.
This weekend Davie is anticipating a more active Longhorn passing game then was seen against Wyoming last weekend. At A&M, Davie was known for his “Wrecking Crew” defense while employed as defensive coordinator. He hopes to use his prior experience and knowledge of the Longhorns’ style of play (he covered many Texas games as an ABC analyst, including the game against UCLA last season) to give his overmatched team a leg up.
“Texas didn’t try to throw the ball down the field a lot,” Davie said. “I expect them to try and launch it on us and get some big plays. What they did was just line up and ran the ball mostly and pounded Wyoming.”