The Lobo offense made big steps toward improvement Saturday, but it was all for naught as special teams breakdowns and a slew of penalties led to a 52-17 rout.
Lobo quarterback B.R. Holbrook threw for 323 yards, the offense gained 97 yards on the ground, and UNM won the time-of-possession war by hanging on to the ball for 33:41.
This is all great news, except that at the end of the night, the score was Texas Tech 52, UNM 17.
What happened? For a second week in a row, special teams execution was a mess. The 16 penalties on top of that pretty much gave the game to Texas Tech.
Who is to blame? Head coach Mike Locksley took some responsibility, but he made darn sure to blame players for not playing smart and he indicated that he might start replacing some of them.
Maybe Locksley is right, and the players just aren't responding to his coaching. But ultimately, the coach is responsible for the performance of the team. The coach is responsible for training the players and shaping them into a disciplined unit that knows what to do on every play. The coach can't just throw up his hands after a blow-out loss and complain about the players not playing smart.
It seems to me that penalties and special teams breakdowns are a direct reflection on the coaching, and the coaching staff should take full responsibility for these problems.
If some players just aren't getting it, we fans don't need to hear the coach complaining about it.
We need the coach to take control of the situation and get these young men properly taught, trained, and disciplined.