Pack looking to tackle Lobos Saturday night
Special to The R-C
NEVADA WOLF PACK at NEW MEXICO LOBOS
When: Saturday, 7:21 p.m.
Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M.
Radio: 630-AM, 94.5-FM
Team records: Nevada (3-5, 1-3); New Mexico (5-3, 3-1)
Bob Davie has a score to settle with the Nevada Wolf Pack.
“What happened last year in Reno, Nevada was personal,” the New Mexico Lobos football coach said this week. “They whipped us. When you get whipped like we got whipped last year, nothing else matters other than playing this game this week.”
Davie and the Lobos (5-3 overall, 3-1 in the Mountain West) hope to get revenge against the Wolf Pack (3-5, 1-3) Saturday night (7:21 p.m., ESPNU) at University Stadium in Albuquerque.
“They soundly, soundly beat us up last year in Reno,” Davie said. “The score (35-17 Wolf Pack) was not an indication of how badly they beat us. They dominated us. They decisively beat us up there.”
Both programs, though, have gone in opposite directions since that game at Mackay Stadium a year ago. The Pack has gone 6-8 in the regular season since beating the Lobos last year while the Lobos have gone 9-5. New Mexico will bring a three-game win streak into Saturday’s game. The Pack have lost four of their last five games.
“Things haven’t been going well,” Wolf Pack guard Jeremy Macauley said. “But you just can’t call it quits when things get tough. You have to keep fighting and believe you will turn it around. You have to have the same confidence for every game, knowing that you are 100 per cent prepared. If not, it’s going to be a long Saturday.”
The Lobos have the potential to make it a very long and frustrating night for the Wolf Pack. The Lobos lead the nation in rushing at 357 yards a game and also lead the Mountain West in scoring with 38.5 points a game. The Pack defense is 11th in the Mountain West, allowing 268.2 rushing yards a game.
The Lobos feature an option-style, run-heavy offense with running backs Tyrone Owens (821 yards), Teriyon Gipson (696) and Richard McQuarley (358 yards, 11 touchdowns) as well as dual-threat quarterbacks Austin Apodaca (124 yards rushing) and Lamar Jordan (345).
“They are the No. 1 rushing team in the country,” Wolf Pack coach Brian Polian said. “Clearly, for us, stopping the run is something that gives us problems and it is the single biggest point of emphasis on defense this week.”
The Wolf Pack defense will get a boost this week with the return of linebacker Alex Bertrando. Bertrando, who leads the Wolf Pack with 67 tackles, missed the Wyoming game with a concussion.
The Wolf Pack will head to Albuquerque with a new starting quarterback. Sophomore Ty Gangi came off the bench against Wyoming because of a season-ending shoulder injury to Stewart and completed 27-of-43 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown. Wyoming beat the Wolf Pack 42-34 two weeks ago at Mackay Stadium.
“He’s our guy,” Macauley said. “He has to lead us now. I am real excited to see what else he has in store for us because I know (what he did against Wyoming) that’s not all he has.”