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Running back James Wright runs for a first down in the season opener against Colorado State at University Stadium. The Lobos host Texas Tech on Saturday in an attempt to get their first win of the season.

Defense key to stop Texas Tech

It hasn’t been an easy two weeks for the UNM football team. Last week the Lobos played No. 13 Arkansas, and this weekend they will play Big 12 powerhouse Texas Tech at University Stadium.

The Red Raiders are coming off a 50-10 win over Texas State. The Lobos are coming off a big 52-3 loss to Arkansas.

“We’re excited about playing a BCS caliber team,” head coach Mike Locksley said.

Locksley said that he is not worried as much about Texas Tech as he is about his own football team.

“The first people we have to worry about are ourselves more than our opponents,” Locksley said. “We have another great opportunity here at home against a very talented team.”

Last season the Red Raiders scored a total of 527 points — no fewer than 24 points in a game. Texas Tech beat the Lobos 52-17 last year.

In the team’s first game of the 2011 season, Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege threw for 326 yards and had three touchdowns against the Bobcats.

Senior defensive end Jaymar Latchison said he knows how important it is for the defense to put pressure on Texas Tech’s dynamic offense.

“We’re going to try to shut down the run and make them pass,” Latchison said. “We feel like we have some good things that they might not be able to pick up. We’ve had two great days of practice on the defensive side of the ball so we want to keep this momentum going into Saturday.”

Safety A.J. Butler said the secondary has its work cut out for it and needs to correct its mistakes from last week in order to come out with a win.

“We’re trying to cover every guy and not have as much missed tackles as we had in the last game,” Butler said. “We have a good secondary, and I know we can get the job done.”

Last week against Arkansas, the Lobos had their share of mistakes.

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The defense allowed 259 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns and 373 passing yards. Special teams allowed the Razorbacks to return a kickoff for a touchdown.

Linebacker Dallas Bollema said in the future, the defense shouldn’t give up extra yards after contact.

“We just have to tackle in the open field,” he said. “Last week, that hurt us a little bit. We know their wide receivers are going to be fast. We have to stop those guys and get them down when they have the ball.”

Bollema leads the Lobos in tackles this season.

This will be the 43rd meeting between the two schools. The Lobos hold a 34-6-2 all-time record against the Red Raiders. The Red Raiders have defeated the Lobos in every game since 2004.

This is the first in a three-game home stand for the Lobos.

Up Next
Football vs. Texas Tech
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
University Stadium

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