ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The first act in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl played out Wednesday.
University of New Mexico coach Bob Davie and University of Texas San Antonio coach Frank Wilson addressed the media.
Some football fans have criticized the matchup between the clubs, thinking it didn’t have enough sizzle.
Coach Davie is not interested in any of that kind of talk.
“You know, don’t complain about who we are playing and this is our second year here and it’s a letdown,” said Davie. “This is New Mexico’s Bowl. You have a Bowl game in Albuquerque. So come out and support it and appreciate it.”
The Lobos are hoping to pack the house on game day. Regular season attendance was down during 2016. Lobo fans wanted wins; the Lobos gave them that with an 8-4 season.
That still did not equal more numbers.
“I just think that everybody wants to blame somebody else for why there are not people in the stands,” said Davie. “Maybe that’s just what the market is moving forward and I don’t know if that makes us all that different than other Mountain West Conference teams.”
Davie and Wilson talked about their appreciation for being in a game that kicks off the bowl season because it is one that will have a lot of eyes on it.
Players on each team will also be free to spend Christmas with their respective families with the game already settled.
“We wanted this Bowl because we like the pairing with a Mountain West team,” said Wilson. In the spirit of be careful what you wish for, UTSA will face the number one rushing team in the country when they play against the Lobos.
The Lobos also, for the first time in school history, have 2,000 yard rushers in a single season.
Wilson is well aware of that fact and expects his team to be assignment sound on defense when they see the Lobos triple option attack for the first time.
“If someone else gets a little nosey and wants to get the quarterback and not the dive, not the pitch, then we can put ourselves in trouble,” said Wilson. “So repetition is our greatest asset right now and practice will do that for us.”
UTSA has a defense- that coach Davie described as very athletic- to try and slow the Lobos. Just like UTSA, the Lobos will be tested defensively against a balanced and potent offense.
UTSA has two 700 yard rushers and a quarterback very capable of getting the ball down the field.
The Gildan New Mexico Bowl has a noon kickoff December 17 and will be televised on ESPN.