When you've lost 37 of your last 40 games as a program, it's understandable that you might face a couple of questions going into a new season.

The University of New Mexico has done everything it could the last eight months to distance itself from the Mike Locksley era, in which the Lobos produced three consecutive 1-11 seasons. In 2012, the Lobos were ranked 120th among 120 FBS programs in scoring offense; they were 119th in scoring defense.

The school plucked Bob Davie from the broadcast booth and put him in charge of a massive rebuilding project. Whereas Locksley was a nationally renowned recruiter and offensive coach, Davie is an old-school throwback with a defensive background.

Locksley tried to win with talent, but Davie's message Air Max 95 is reminiscent of the Rocky Long era at UNM, in which the program went to five bowl games in six years from 2002-07.

"We're about to embark on a tremendous challenge," Davie said during the Mountain West Media Days event in Las Vegas. "In my 10 years away from coaching, what I've seen with the good teams is you have to have an identity. Ours is pretty simple; it's going to be outwork, out-hit, out-discipline. And that has to be in alignment with the university you're at, it has to be in alignment with the state you're in, so it can be sustained."

The Lobos will use the pistol formation on offense and use a heavy dose of option to control the clock and shorten the game. On defense, they will be an attacking 3-4 scheme. Besides the change in culture, New Mexico could be short 10 or 11 scholarships when the 2012 season starts. Combine that with a 13-game schedule without a bye week, and the Lobos' health becomes the key to their survival this season.

UNM, picked a near-unanimous last place in the Mountain West preseason poll, opens with a winnable game against FCS foe Southern, but then faces a brutal four-week stretch with games at Texas, Texas Tech and in-state rival New Mexico State, and a home game against Boise State.

If the Lobos can come out of that month of games relatively healthy, they could compete for a few wins in conference play. If not, the program faces another long season.

"We have to be smart about the way we prepare our team this season, no question," Davie said.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply.