By Dave Wagner, Freedom New Mexico
BLACKWATER DRAW — Kyle Wilson figures with the Eastern New Mexico University offense converting to a spread attack this spring, the defense is getting an early taste of what it’s likely to see in the fall.
ENMU conducted its second spring scrimmage on Saturday morning at Greyhound Stadium, and coach Mark Ribaudo emphasized pace with the offense.
“We wanted to make it as game-like as possible,” Ribaudo said of the 2 1/2-hour scrimmage. “We went with ones against ones, and that’s tough on our offense.”
Wilson, a second-team All-Lone Star Conference South defensive end last season who will be a fifth-year senior in the fall, said his platoon deserves a little love, too.
“I think it’s designed to get us tired,” he said.
The Greyhounds went with a lot of no-huddle plays in the scrimmage, but Wilson said it’s helping the defense get ready for the season.
“I know WT (West Texas A&M) runs a hurry-up offense to get us tired,” he said. “A lot of teams are going to that.”
It’s something that usually leads to higher scores.
“There’s no defense being played because you’re so tired,” Wilson said. “People are just scoring like crazy.”
The Hounds will cap the fourth and final week of spring drills with their 4:30 p.m. alumni game on Saturday at the stadium.
All in all, the defense played reasonably well in the scrimmage, defensive co-ordinator Todd Wallis said.
Staring nose guard Quinnin Roberson (illness) and starting inside linebacker Nathan Uland (hamstring) missed the scrimmage, but Wallis said backups Isaiah Yandall and Dustin Bohannon stepped in and played well.
“It was a little hectic on our side trying to get the signals in,” Wallis said. “We have some advantage because we’ve worked against (this offensive in practice), but we got a lot of calls in late.
“It got our guys pretty tired.”
Wallis agrees that facing a spread attack now bodes well when the season rolls around.
“We’re definitely going to be a little more prepared, playing against our offense,” he said. “Going against the option as a defensive guy, it’s tough to get ready for an opponent. But if we can stop these guys, we’ll have a leg up.”
Wilson said except for a touchdown run by transfer running back Joseph Banyard, the defense held up pretty well.
“I think we did really good,” he said. “We had the one mess-up on a running play. We just need to fill the alleys right.”