ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – University of New Mexico first year Head Coach Danny Gonzales said he saw improvement during the Lobo football team scrimmage Saturday. Gonzales also said the team has a long way to go in two weeks, to be ready for a season-opening game at Colorado State October 24.
Gonzales wants his team to not play tentatively if they aren’t sure about a play. “Guys will make a mistake and their first reaction is, ‘well, I thought it was going to be this,'” said Gonzales. “That ain’t your job. Your job isn’t to think what it’s going to be. Your job is to do your assignment and if all 11 guys do their assignment, then we’re going to be good because we got guys that are supposed to do certain responsibility on both sides of the ball. If they do their job then as a group, as a whole, we’ll be better.”
Gonzales would also like to see more toughness in his team. “I don’t think we are near as physical or as mean,” said Gonzales. “I don’t think we are anywhere near the style that we want to play.” That tough style was the norm from 1998 to 2008, when Gonzales was an assistant under, then head coach, Rocky Long.
Long is now Gonzales’ defensive coordinator. He has the job of making the defense, that could not stop anyone in the last few years, more competitive. “The trick is to get them to play hard enough,” said Long. “There’s enough skill out there. There’s enough talent out there for us to be pretty decent on defense if they learn how to play hard. They don’t know how to play hard. They’ve never been made to play hard and right now it’s a battle between coaches and players. We keep telling them they’re not playing hard enough and they think they’re playing as hard as they can.” The Lobos have a 15-game Mountain West Conference losing streak that came under the former coaching staff.
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