vs. Air Force
Jason Lenzmeier is in his fourth year of his second tour of duty as offensive line coach of the Lobos. His unit has become one of the most dominant run-game units in the Mountain West. The Lobos have ranked fourth, fourth and fifth nationally in rushing the last three seasons (2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively).
The anchor of that line was four-year starter LaMar Bratton, who was a team captain, the center, and a first team All-Mountain West selection in 2014. Bratton started 49 consecutive games. Lenzmeier’s offensive line paved the way for UNM to finish third in the NCAA in yards per carry, averaging 6.4 yards per tote.
New Mexico averaged 308.8 rushing yards per game in 2013 to rank fourth in the country. The total also was the best in the Mountain West and ended Air Force’s monopoly on the team rushing crown. The Falcons had been MW rushing champions every season since the Mountain West’s inception in 1999.
The Lobos’ 40 rushing touchdowns ranked eighth in the NCAA in 2013 and were the second most in UNM history.
UNM has had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of Lenzmeier’s five seasons as offensive line coach (2007-08, 2012-14).
He made an immediate impact during his return to New Mexico in 2012. The Lobos rushed for 301.5 yards per game, which ranked fifth in the nation and was the most by a New Mexico team since 1971 rushed for 384.3 yards per game.
UNM set a school record with 10 300-yard rushing games in 2012, tying the 1971 team with nine straight games of 300 yards. Its 34 rushing touchdowns in ‘12 rank as the second most in school history.
Under Lenzmeier, the Lobos surrendered just 12 sacks in 2012 after allowing 30 sacks in 2011.
Lenzmeier, who began his coaching career at UNM in 2006, spent three seasons at rival New Mexico State (2009-11) prior to returning to the Lobos in 2012.
In 2011, sophomore Davonte Wallace earned second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors under Lenzmeier’s tutelage.
In his first season with New Mexico State, Lenzmeier guided the offensive line as it allowed just 23 sacks on the year, a 21-sack improvement from the 44 sacks given up by the Aggies in 2008. The Aggies’ offensive line also helped running back Seth Smith become the first Aggie since 2000 to rush for a 1,000 yards in a season. The Aggies ranked No. 66 in the nation in rushing offense. In 2010, the line allowed just 19 sacks on the season.
A former University of New Mexico all-conference offensive lineman, Lenzmeier spent three seasons with the Lobos, two as the offensive line coach and one as UNM’s graduate assistant on offense. He helped the Lobo offense rush for 208 yards a game in 2008 and 135 yards a game in 2007.
Entering the 2007 season at the age of 26, Lenzmeier was New Mexico’s youngest full-time assistant coach in 23 years, since Greg Azar, then 24, coached the Lobo defensive line in 1984.
Natali was also an Academic All-American. In 2008, Lenzmeier guided center Erik Cook to a second-team All-MWC selection. Cook went on to play in the NFL with the Washington Redskins.
Lenzmeier signed free agent contracts with the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams in 2004 before returning to Albuquerque in 2005. He graduated from UNM in the summer of 2005.
The Lenzmeier File
Hometown: Frisco, Texas
Bowl games: 2002 Las Vegas Bowl; 2003 Las Vegas Bowl
Bowl games: 2007 New Mexico Bowl; 2006 New Mexico Bowl