Mallory speaks on New Mexico

I just finished my story for tomorrow’s paper on Doug Mallory and Mike Ekeler. Much is discussed, including talk of scheme (likely a 4-3 defense similar to Bo Pelini’s scheme at Nebraska), Mallory’s return home and the coaches’ thoughts on co-coordinating.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the space to mention Mallory’s explanation for what went wrong in New Mexico, which is clearly something that needs to be discussed.

The Lobos went 1-11 this season, and it was thanks in large part to a porous defense. They allowed a Mountain West Conference worst 44.3 points per game and 469.0 yards per outing. The scoring number is the worst in the Football Bowl Subdivision and the yardage number is 119th out of 120 teams.

When asked, Mallory stressed that he didn’t want to make excuses and that the defense should’ve been better than it was, but pointed out that there were extenuating circumstances. The Lobos were on NCAA probation for academic fraud that occurred under former coach Rocky Long’s administration. New Mexico can only use 20 new scholarships per year as opposed to the typical NCAA limit of 25. According to Mallory, the Lobos only had 68 players on scholarship this year due to attrition.

That didn’t help them make the switch from the 3-3-5 scheme they used under Long to Mallory’s traditional 4-3.

“ We came into a tough situation out there.,” he said. “We changed systems. Coach Long had had some success in his 13 years, but what they ran defensively was a little different. They did a 3-3-5, and we were short on defensive lineman. We didn’t have a whole lot of size up front. We had to recruit to the system and we also lost two real good corners, so we were a little bit limited in the back end. But I think the direction is going in the right way. We were able to recruit well in our two years here. I just think any time you go through a transition some times it’s a little bit slower process. But I feel good about where they’re headed.”

Still, Mallory admitted this year’s numbers weren’t acceptable.

“We didn’t have success on defense like I wanted to,” he said. “But I feel good about the future here.”

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  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    “The Lobos went 1-11 this season, and it was thanks in large part to a porous defense.” PaLease. The large part was the inept offense run by new(in 09) HC/OC turned thug/playboy, what a PR mess he is.

    Offensive output for 2010

    16 points a game
    10 rush TD, 11 pass TD w/15 int
    Rush yards 1740 w/444 rush yards lost
    31 Fumbles
    3rd down conv. 33%
    Red Zone opportunities 21
    Reminds me of Junior High.

    With that kind of offensive waste of time I am surprised DM could get enough D bodies to show up and take the field. The defense must of wore out several pairs of shoes in working overtime compared to their counterparts while the HC was harassing or assaulting every critic and female in Albuquerque. What a goon. There lies the 1-11 problem. I doubt DM is any less gentleman than his Father and would not lay blame to anyone other than to himself.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Add 266 total yards a game offensively.

  • Cooper says:

    when your team is ranked dead last gives up 44 a game and 469 a game, its a large part of the problem it doesn’t matter how good/bad the offense is.

    Regardless, no one will care what happened at NM, if he gets results at IU.

    Nice article, though I do wonder why he went there from LSU.

  • Mike P. says:

    What I like is he lays out all the issues he faced, but STRESSED he doesn’t want to make excuses. If you have followed IU football at all then it should make you feel good about a coach who takes responsibility for poor performance.

  • Bleeding Crimson says:

    Dustin. Do they call you Dusty?
    Of course I haven’t read your piece yet and I don’t want to “ditto” anything. I’m glad you touched on this due to the nay sayers that will come out. This is reason for concern but I think when you take a glimpse at the overall picture it’s not that damaging. Actually when you take into consideration that you typically have over 100 players to pull from then injuries, scholy’s, etc he COULD be given a pass, time will tell.

    Having said that, I don’t think Wilson is just banking on Mallory. He does have a huge co-partner in Ekeler. His resume is pretty solid. I assUme you touched on it but to name a few.
    +Nebraska’s D ranks 10th in the nation.
    +Neb pass eff 5th.
    +Neb passing 7th.
    +Neb Scoring 8th.

    +Asst D at LSU:
    Def 3rd Nationally.
    This is just to name a few.
    Add that with Coach Wilson, pretty Solid. Now all we need is some talent.

    I was actually concern at first when the annoucements came out of Coach and the Asst but after I did the research it actually looks pretty impressive. I do know one thing, D is something we didn’t have this year.

  • Jubilee says:

    Coaches don’t win games…..if you don’t have the players, you are in trouble

    Don’t know if he is a good coach or not, but it does help if you have good players

  • Hoosier Clarion says:


    It has everything to do with the offense when they do nothing to keep the D off the field. Hell even John Henry got tired driven steel without getting a rest.

  • Speedway says:

    Agreed that a coach needs talent to succeed…with a guy coaching in a less successful program, however, you want to see him coach up those lesser talents to respectability (which UNM didn’t show). I think THAT is why some of us (including yours truly) are approaching the Mallory hire with some trepidation.

  • iam4iufb says:

    You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t. Mallory is a solid hire. It is crazy to question him based on a couple of years at Mew Mexico which has even less of a tradition of success than IU. All he needs to do is recruit betteer players.

  • Mike P. says:

    I have to wonder if all the people who want to prop up Ekeler so high over Mallory realize they were both at LSU during the same time frame.

    Who was the coordinator they were both coaching under? Bo Pelini.

    Ekeler followed Pelini to Nebraska in 2008 to coach linebackers, Mallroy went on the become the co-coordinator at LSU then on to a coordinators position at New Mexico. Ekeler had good recruits in a winning program to work with, Mallory, not so much. However, Mallory’s resume and pedigree is far better than that of Mike Ekeler at this time.

  • Mass.Hoosier says:

    Mallory has the experience factor for sure.
    Ekeler is the staying with the times/up and comer.
    Seems like a good mix.
    And people, it’s not gonna be that hard to see a difference in how we play defense and offense next year.
    These two gentlemen, and lets not forget Hagen, are a definate upgrade. They are gonna push kids to achieve.

  • Jim says:

    I guess we will find out what type of coaches we have next fall. But in my opinion the mark of a great coach is one who can take a team of average players, get them to play as a team and get 100% from each of those players. A great coach can teach players in a way to use what abilities they have to their advandtage and come away with an exciting team capable of pulling off upsets. Bobby Knight did it in basketball a lot. But it is true to a certain extent that you have to have the players as I have seen some mention in their posts here. For example, one of IU’s problems last season, especially on defense was the lack of speed, speed is something you can’t teach but a great coach will know how to get the players to use what they have as a team in such a way that they will be productive most of the time.

  • Rick says:

    Mallory’s defense sucked here at UNM. His players were undisciplined and were constantly out of position. They also were poor tacklers. Fundamentally, they were bad. Yes, the bad offense forced the defense to play a lot. But his defense was very poor. You don’t become the worst defense in Division 1 because you lose a couple of cornerbacks.

    Just wanted you guys to know what you’re getting. I hope he has better success out there. There is no one out here shedding any tears that he’s leaving.

  • Phil says:

    Not just good 2 corners, 2 NFL drafted corners (4th and 6th round). That type of talent at a school like NM is going to make a huge impact. I also thought that NM lost 5 or 6 other starters. Its possible that the talent at NM was so bad, that it didn’t have the potential to be coached up

    My guess is that NM defensive problems go way beyond Mallory, but he’s a convenient scapegoat for NM.

  • Phil says:

    Just looked at NM recruiting classes the last couple of years. About 2/3rds of the recruits are on the offensive side the of the ball. For a team with a depleted roster, that likely means that Mallory had absolutely nothing to work and potentially had to play walkons or there were a lot of position switches. Playing players that don’t have experience on that side of the ball may be the reason they were out of position and didn’t tackle well. Position switches can succeed, but if your going to make a habit of it, it’ll take more than 2 years to get those guys ready

  • J Pat says:

    Rick, you come on here and bag on Mallory but do you have any idea what we just got rid of here at IU? Mallory is an upgrade, trust me! If he was only at NM for 2 years, he barely had the time to make it his own and you blame him, come on. It goes much deeper… You can barely put 15,000 fans in the stands and I thought IU was bad at 30-35,000.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    In adding to the comments of Mike P., Coach Wilson clearly is displaying to us what IU will look like. With DM and ME both graduates of the Pelini Bros. school of defense, the IU D is going to start the progression toward being Husker aggressive. That is obviously the D his offensive mind has the most respect for. I am sure nobody doubts his offense will look like anything other than OU. Something else I almost forgot, during his PC he said he had been recruited to OU to establish an offense for a running QB for which an injury rendered dormant. There are headlines ahead for DK and EWB.

    Does anyone one know if any members of the team have left the program since the change?

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Oh and Rick we as IU fans are much happier with our gain than Lobo fans are not using handkerchiefs. But keep those hankies handy as you still have Locksley the Thug as a HC.

  • cln says:

    Yeah…NM ranked 106th and 107th in passing and rushing offense last year. Damn hard to do anything on the defensive side of the ball if your offense can’t hold onto the ball long enough to get to the sidelines. Seems like there is a causation / correlation confusion here for the UNM fans.

  • Mike P. says:


    You actually are on the same page as I am on the 2 hires.

    Nebraska has had the best D in the Big 12 the last couple years, both of these guys have had major success under Pelini and run the same basic defensive package.

    Even though I still don’t like the co- designation. Personal preference, I’ll never like it, no matter what team runs it.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Mike P.,

    Agreed. On the business side it may also have been what it took to get them both to Bloomington. ME might not take a lateral and DM would not want to back-up.

  • Mike P. says:


    I actually contemplated that to get both guys that Wilson had to go with the co-coordinator designation. Still doesn’t mean I like it, but at least I understand it. 🙂

  • podunker says:

    The fact that DD felt the need to address Mallory’s record at NM tells us that Mallory’s recent past is an issue. It’s good that he’s getting out in front of it with these stories.

    No matter how much you support Doug Mallory, Wilson is taking a risk bringing in the defensive coordinator who coached the worst defense in the country. If IU’s defensive performance does not improve quickly, Mallory will be an easy target and the means by which critics will attack Wilson. I’m sure Wilson understood that before making the hire, so his decision to hire Mallory, regardless of the NM record, sais that he has confidence in the man’s abilities.

    Few if any of us are qualified to judge Mallory’s qualifications as a coach. But as a perception issue, and knowing how bad IU’s defense has been the last few years, Wilson took a risk hiring Mallory. Mallory’s got to know that and should now be extremely grateful that Wilson rescued him from coaching hell(NM). Hopefully that will prove to be a source of renewed energy and passion for Mallory.

    But the real issue to me is recruiting. Can these two guys recruit superior athletes to play defense? I don’t care how good a field coach you are, if you can’t get a lot of big, fast, strong athletes to join your team, you’re not going to win Big Ten games. Significantly improved recruiting of defensive talent will be the key to IU’s football future (we seem to do O.K. for offensive talent). Mallory and Ekeler are going to find out very soon that recruiting for IU is a lot more difficult than recruiting for Nebraska and LSU. They can begin showing their recruiting prowess by convincing the two or three defectors to renew their committment to IU or replace them with better recruits.

  • J Pat says:

    podunk, when you say DD are you speaking of Dan Dak? I would not put any weight into his comments on football at all. I agree with what you say as far as being an easy target. I will trust Wilson for now.

    I was talking to my dad about recruiting and I agree they will find out it is much harder to recruit to IU but I have a funny feeling that this is the first coaching staff IU has had..ever..that will go after many more 4 and 5 star athletes. I truly believe that Wilson and his staff will go all out and try to prove that IU can win big on the field. Not saying other coaches have not done this, but I get a different feeling now and the pay will justify it all, finally! In a nutshell I think there will be a totally different mentality when recruiting. Hope I am right!

  • Mike P. says:

    He is referring to Dustin, not Dak, and I’m sure the paragraphs wrote about his record at UNM by podunker helped prompt those questions, especially since podunker basically called them to task on it in an earlier post.

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