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Junior running back Demarcus Rogers catches a ball during practice with wide recievers coach Taylor Stubblefield on Wednesday evening.

Spring ends with optimism

Spring practices are over, but there is still a lot of work to do.
The football team completed its 15th and final spring practice on Wednesday and head coach Bob Davie said he has seen some improvement in the past month.

“I’m encouraged,” he said. “We took our first small step to try and get this thing back to being stabilized and moving forward.”

The team began practice March 25 with no pads and eventually worked its way up to full-team scrimmages. There was no annual Cherry-Silver game this season due to the low number of players.

Davie said even though the team has improved, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to avoid a fourth straight 1-11 season.

Davie said ensuring none of the players on his team are academically ineligible due to poor grades is key, and said he meets with the players once a week to make sure they are keeping up in school.

“We just finished up spring practice and that’s certainly one step,” he said. “We are already transitioning to the next step and to what’s important now. What’s more important now is academics.”

Junior offensive lineman Dillon Farrell said that since Davie took over, practices and work out sessions are more intense.

“The guys are so much more disciplined than they were before,” Farrell said. “Coach Davie came in here with a plan to get us better and discipline was a big factor of that, and it has really changed our culture as a team.”

Senior defensive end Joe Jarris said freshmen and seniors alike are on the same page, because everyone is learning the same new plays and techniques.

“It (spring practice) went very well,” he said. “We had new coaches, new schemes and new plays.”

Next season, Davie will have just two quarterbacks and two tight ends on scholarship and just seven eligible offensive linemen.

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Davie said fans shouldn’t wait for the team to start winning games before they support it. Support from the community now will facilitate success, he said.

“I know we can get it done here, but I also know we need everybody to buy in to this right now,” he said. “It’s going to take everyone united for it to move forward. I look at this University and the facilities and there is no reason why we can’t do it.”

Last season, UNM turned the ball over 21 times. Davie said playing smart and limiting turnovers will be the first step to becoming a successful team this season.

“Eventually we can be a team that doesn’t beat ourselves,” he said. “We cannot have self-inflicted mistakes and we have to be a disciplined team.”

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