September 15, 2011
What should Texas Tech fans expect from the New Mexico defense? The Lobos are in their third season under head coach Mike Locksley, and the Red Raiders should be plenty familiar with the Lobos after facing them in each of the past two seasons.
In the Trenches: The Lobos will be loaded with veterans on the defensive line when Tech comes to town on Saturday. The starter at left end is a bit of a mystery, because senior 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive end Jaymar Latchison missed his first start in 25 games last week. He has two solo tackles and four total tackles after the first two games. At tackle, 6-foot-4, 280-pound junior Ugo Uzodinma gets the nod. Uzodinma has been the most productive player on the line thus far with three solo tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, and six total tackles. 6-foot, 300-pound junior Rod Davis, a former Texas A&M Aggie, will start at nose tackle. Davis has assisted on three tackles so far. Finally, 6-foot-2, 222-pound junior Joseph Harris will hold down the right end spot. He has three solo tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss, and a forced fumble through two games in 2011.
New Mexico gave up over 3,000 yards on the ground in 2010. Against Colorado State, the Lobos only allowed 91 yards rushing, but they surrendered 259 yards in Fayetteville last weekend. Tech may get the running game going early behind Eric Stephens and Ronnie Daniels, so look for the Red Raiders to roll if they do.
Linebackers: Behind the line, New Mexico will start 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore Dallas Bollema at weakside linebacker and 6-foot-2, 236-pound senior Carmen Messina at middle. Messina has been pulling has weight on the defense, accumulating five solo tackles, one interception, one sack, and three tackles for a loss. The younger Bollema leads the Mountain West in tackles with nine solo and 12 assisted tackles so far. The most productive backup linebacker has been 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior Spencer Merritt; he has four solo tackles and eight total tackles for the Lobos.
The Secondary: New Mexico runs the 4-2-5 like Texas Tech and will operate with three safeties and two corners. Holding down the two corner spots are 5-foot-9, 177-pound junior Destry Berry and 5-foot-11, 177-pound senior Anthony Hooks. Hooks has five solo tackles and two assists so far in 2011, while Berry has seven solo tackles, four assists, one tackle for a loss, and three pass break ups.
In centerfield, 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior A.J. Butler will be starting at the Lobos' Wolf safety spot. At strong safety, 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior Freddy Young will get the nod. Finally, 5-foot-11, 195-pound freshman Martize Barr will hold up the Lobo safety position.
Former Lobos In The NFL: Carolina OL Byron Bell, Tampa Bay LB Quincy Black, Washington OL Erik Cook, Miami OL Ryan Cook, Houston S Glover Quin, New York OL Robert Turner, Chicago LB Brian Urlacher.