The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Mission for Hounds: Regroup


September 25, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Eastern New Mexico senior Paul Terry applies a stiff-arm to Breon Michel in their Sept. 7 season opener, won by the host Greyhounds 35-28. The Green and Silver are home for the first time since then, with Texas A&M-Kingsville coming Saturday.

PORTALES - So Eastern New Mexico's football team wasn't able to beat the nation's 12th-ranked Division II team on Saturday, wasn't able to avoid its first loss of the season.

Monday, the Greyhounds were back home practicing, working to quickly put that 45-27 loss at Texas A&M-Commerce behind them.

"I think the attitude was good," ENMU head coach Kelley Lee said. "They realize there are definitely things we need to work on, and there was a concerted effort to address them."

Lee had specifics in mind when referring to those 'things' needing to be addressed.

"We've got to clean up some of the errors we've had on our special teams. We haven't played real clean on special teams," he said. "And we need to take advantage of our opportunities. (A&M-Commerce) scored on our turnovers; we've got to capitalize on (theirs)."

A&M-Kingsville, like Eastern, is trying to recover from a loss last Saturday night. In the case of the Javelinas, though, it was a much worse loss (44-7 at home) to Angelo State (3-0).

Unlike Eastern, last Saturday's loss was not Kingsville's first of the season. The Javs dropped their opener 35-14 to Saginaw Valley State before blasting Sul Ross State 72-0 the following week.

Despite Kingsville's sub-.500 record, Lee takes nothing for granted. In fact, he knows just how dangerous a sub-.500 team can be, especially this one.

"A storied program," he said. "They're off to probably not the start they want, 1-2. So their backs are against the wall; they're going to give us all they've got."

Which entails an offense that has averaged 31 points per game, a passing attack that has rung up 284.3 yards per contest. That's largely thanks to quarterbacks Cade Dyal and Koy Detmer Jr., each of whom has played in all three Javelina games so far. The redshirt junior Dyal has completed 54-of-90 (60 percent) for 548 yards and three touchdowns; the senior Detmer (son of the former NFL quarterback and nephew of 1990 Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer) has completed 32-of-58 (55.2 percent) for 254 yards and one touchdown.

The Greyhounds, meanwhile, throw much more sparingly. Redshirt senior quarterback Wyatt Strand has completed 14-of-33 passes for 206 yards in Eastern's three games combined, less than Dyal had last week alone (211).

The Javelinas don't run the ball as much as Eastern. Greyhounds senior Paul Terry has topped 100 rushing yards in every game so far this season, and has already rushed for 483 yards in just three games. And Strand is coming off a 103-yard, two-touchdown rushing effort against Commerce, giving him 271 yards and a team-high five rushing scores so far.

On the other hand, redshirt senior Luis Lopez is Kingsville's leading ground gainer with 191 yards combined through three games, though he has made his opportunities count with five rushing touchdowns.

Defensively, Eastern may have some of those opportunities Lee mentioned against either of Kingsville's quarterbacks. Last week against Angelo State, Dyal threw two interceptions, with Detmer getting picked once. Dyal already has four interceptions through three games, Detmer three. And that could be good news for the Greyhounds' secondary, especially junior Vicen'te Walker, who already has two interceptions this season, including a game-saver against Missouri S&T on Sept. 7.

Good news for all the Hounds is that they'll be playing at the cozy confines of Greyhound Stadium for the first time since that Missouri S&T game. After visiting Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction on Sept. 14, and Commerce, Texas last week, it will definitely be a home-sweet-home situation for ENMU.

"Oh, it's going to be nice after two really long road trips," Lee said. "Homecoming, I'm sure it'll be a great crowd. And we're going to be fired up."


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