Mike Locksley is replacing Rocky Long, who was with New Mexico football for years as a player and a coach. Locksley is a coaching veteran and most recently was the offensive coordinator at Illinois.
The Lobo spring game wrapped up on April 18th. The emphasis was on both sides of the ball. The first emphasis was the offense, since Locksley ran a spread option attack with the Illini and also the defense. The defense under Long was a gimmicky defense with a 3-3-5. And now New Mexico is moving back to a more traditional defense.
The new offense is a no-huddle offense that had mixed reviews in the Cherry-Silver game. But the bright spot is the returning quarterback Donovan Porterie, who completed 15-of-24 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns. Porterie is coming off an injury in 2008, is a very good quarterback, and as a freshman in 2006, was on some freshman All-American lists. So, the talent is there.
The running game had a surprise with A.J. Butler, who ran 19 times for 119 yards. He looks to continue the tradition of good running backs in New Mexico's history, Rodney Ferguson and Dontrell Moore being the most recent.
The no-huddle offense can catch teams off guard and could give the Lobos the advantage by wearing down the opposing defense. If the offense can work at all, the Lobos might be able to sneak out an extra win or two.
The defense adjusted well in the spring game to their scheme by switching from the 3-3-5 to the 4-3 scheme. But that can be credited to the offense learning a new system and not being fully comfortable.
"We're into our summer and preseason workouts phase of our program. Coaches aren't allowed to be around. Things aren't mandatory, per se. It's where your leadership has to come out and step up."
"There's a lot of work that has to be done, and you often times hear that it's what you do when people aren't watching where you make your biggest strides and gains."
The 2009 season will depend on how well each side of the ball is able to pick up the new system, and it also depends on QB Donovan Porterie's knee who is recovering from a serious knee injury.