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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Locksley still making empty promises

Week in, week out, the media continues to put a quarter in that old Locks’ jukebox.
And why not, when it plays such lyrical prose, such melodic, sweet-sounding music?
If the head coaching gig doesn’t work out, Mike Locksley should consider becoming a motivational speaker.

To his credit, if there’s one thing Locksley and his players have learned how to do over the course of this season, it’s to linguistically sweeten the tart.

So much so, in fact, that should the Lobos go 0-12, Locksley, please mull over giving the eulogy at UNM’s season-ending memorial service.

Figuratively, Locksley was planning on winning a game this year. Realistically, he’s 0-10 overall and 0-6 in the Mountain West Conference.

Nevertheless, that could change come Saturday, though it’s unlikely. The Lobos have a chance to triumph when they face Colorado State (3-7 overall and 0-6 in the MWC) at University Stadium.

“We’ve made some strides here the last four, five weeks, but we’re going to face a team, much like us, that’s playing for pride,” Locksley said.

Giving it the good ol’ college try, Lobo wide receiver Chris Hernandez said that if the Lobos play like they did against BYU last week, they stand a good chance.

“Each week we’ve been building on the last week,” he said.

Yeah, of course they have.

Yet, nobody disclosed that the Lobos were taking another shot at constructing the Tower of Babel. Instead, Lobo fans and media members got the Tower of Babble — Locksley’s promise of a light-up-the-scoreboard offense and revamped program.

Largely, though, the Lobos have failed to build a structure “with its tops in the heavens.”

On that note, the Lobos have spoken fluently — and in unison — the same language, the vernacular of the bereaved.

All season long, Locksley has bantered about “getting a win.” Through and through, it’s turned out to be nothing more than jibber-jabber.

But this week’s game (which, consensus is, the Lobos don’t have a chance in heck when they close the season at No. 4 TCU) will likely determine whether 17 seniors on this roster go winless, which hasn’t happened to UNM since 1987.

With that said, ladies and gentlemen, won’t it be hard to forget your 2009-10 Lobos?
Hernandez said UNM is going to do everything in its power this Saturday against the Rams to help its senior class avoid that infamous label.

“We need to get them a win,” he said.

For the betterment of the Lobos and their fan base, hopefully that’s not just cheap talk.

Consistently, UNM has squandered opportunities to win, all the while finding brand-spanking new ways to lose.

First it was the blowouts.

Four games in, UNM was losing by an average 24 points per game.

When fans tired of those lopsided affairs, Locksley and Co. turned to a new strategy: Keep it close until halftime, only to get steamrolled upon entering the third quarter.

Three times the Lobos were within 10 or less at the half — chronologically against Texas Tech, Wyoming and Utah.

Then, the beating commenced.

On the occasion that UNM played an entire game, the Lobos, like that unfortunate soul Job, have befallen tragedy, specifically against NMSU and last week against BYU.

For example, James Aho, just one year removed from being a reliable, All-American kicker, clanked three kicks — two of them field goals — off the uprights against the Cougars last week, resulting in a gut-wrenching 24-19 loss.

Unlike Job, though, UNM has seemed content licking its wounds — and downplaying the bad and the ugly.

The Lobos can, Hernandez said, seek refuge in this:
“Athletically and talent-wise,” he said, “I think we’re pretty evenly matched (with CSU).”

Hopefully, Hernandez said, the Lobos are building up to this week.

Or, at the very least, building toward an imperfect season.