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Tuesday , August 20 2019
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Home | Tag Archives: utep football

Tag Archives: utep football

UTEP announces new Student Tailgating Experience atop the Sun Bowl Parking garage

UTEP students will have an exclusive tailgating area atop the Sun Bowl parking garage and the student ticketing process has been simplified for the 2019 Miner football season, Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Tuesday.

“One of our primary goals for this year was to make it much easier for our students to get to the games,” Senter said.  “The sports lottery system that was used in the past caused confusion and now students merely need to swipe their Miner Gold Card to gain access to Sun Bowl Stadium.  We need to increase our attendance numbers this fall and having a solid student representation is a big part of that.  The new ticketing process, coupled with a dedicated tailgating area, will go a long way towards providing the best possible gameday experience for all our students this fall.  We’re excited about the Orange Revival and invite all our students to come out and support an improved football team in 2019.”

The UTEP Football Student Tailgate Zone, atop the Sun Bowl parking garage, will be open from noon until 6 p.m. for each of the Miners’ first four football home games, which all kick off at 6.

Tailgate zone hours for the last two home games, which kick off at 1 p.m., will be announced at a later date.

“We want to invite all students to come out and tailgate with us! It is going to be so much fun!” Jessica Martinez, President of the UTEP Student Government Association said.  “We will be providing free food, a DJ, and lots of giveaways throughout the tailgate. Afterwards, we will all march into the game and continue the party at the student section as we cheer on our team.”

For the first four home games, students with special permits (tailgate experience or tailgate parking permit) will be required to arrive at the Sun Bowl parking garage between 10 and 11:30 a.m. in order to be allowed in their designated space.  A tailgate experience permit provides a reserved space, while students with a tailgate parking permit will be allowed to park in any non-reserved spot.

Parking passes are valid for the Sun Bowl parking garage only.  UTEP Football Student Tailgate Zone participants will receive a wristband with proof of active Miner Gold Card or football ticket that acts as a fast pass into the Sun Bowl Stadium.

Wristbands will be available on the top level of the Sun Bowl parking garage.

Students with a tailgate experience permit are allowed to bring their own propane grill or pre-prepared outside food.  Food and beverage will also be sold in the UTEP Football Student Tailgate Zone.

For more information on the UTEP Football Student Tailgate Zone, please visit the website.

An active Miner Gold Card will serve as a student ticket to enter through any gate at the Sun Bowl Stadium. 

Derron Gatewood is the Center of Attention for the Miners

The 2018 season wasn’t much fun for UTEP’s Derron Gatewood.

It began with tremendous promise, as he earned a spot on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the nation’s top center. But before he could play a single down in a game, he tore his ACL and MCL, bringing his senior year to a screeching halt.

A negative experience to be sure, but Gatewood found some positives in it.

“I learned a lot more about the offense,” he said. “I got to really see what was going on and helped break down the defensive films for the players. But the biggest positive I took out of it was that I realized how much I missed playing. My love for the game grew even more from sitting out for so long, as opposed to taking it for granted.”

Now he’s back on the Rimington Trophy list, eager to make up for lost time and on a mission to close out his Miner career on a high note.

“I’m excited to get back out there and have a big senior year,” he said.

Gatewood grew up in an athletic family.

“My mom [Denisa Gatewood] played softball and basketball in high school,” he said. “My dad [Kevin Gatewood] played football and baseball. He went on to Cisco Junior College and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He won a national championship there.”

So it was only natural that Gatewood would follow in his parents’ footsteps. He first picked up a football when he was about five years old.

“My dad put me in flag football,” he said. “I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I started liking it. And then I loved it, and I never wanted to stop playing.”

Originally a quarterback in flag football, Gatewood moved to the defensive line in third grade as he got bigger and stronger. Then he went back and forth between the defensive line and the offensive line for several years, before playing exclusively on the O-line as a junior and senior in high school.

Gatewood attended Permian High School in Odessa, Texas, made famous by the motion picture “Friday Night Lights.”

“It was awesome playing there,” he said. “I wear my mojo shirt everywhere and everybody is like, ‘Oh, you went to Permian!’ People came from everywhere to see our school.”

Gatewood made the varsity team as a sophomore, at the age of 14. He watched college recruiters come through the program scouting his junior and senior teammates, while he longed to play at the next level.

“I told my dad, ‘This is what I want to do. I want to play college football,’” he said. “I grew up watching the game. It was my dream.”

Gatewood earned a spot on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team as a senior, and was an honorable mention All-State honoree. He drew interest from Abilene Christian, Angelo State, Arizona State, Navy, Texas Tech and West Texas A&M, but UTEP’s recruiting pitch made the biggest impression.

“UTEP was the only school I made an official visit to,” he said. “I came here and just fell in love with the place.”

The excitement of joining a Division I program was soon replaced by the stark reality that he wasn’t ready to contribute immediately.

“I actually came here as a guard, and the day before camp [then-offensive line coach] Spencer Leftwich called me and said I was getting moved to center,” Gatewood said. “I said ‘Coach, I’ve never snapped in my life.’ He said ‘We’ll teach you.’ I went to camp in Alpine and I struggled my first year. I redshirted on the scout team. I didn’t like it. I was nervous. I felt like I couldn’t do it. The next year, I had Eric Lee in front of me at center. He showed me the ropes and taught me everything. I just started slowly getting better and better at the position.”

Gatewood’s confidence continued to grow, and he was a staple in the starting lineup in 2016 and 2017 prior to getting hurt.

“Every time I went into a game, I got to feel out different teams and how they did things,” he said. “I have a lot of experience under my belt, I’ve seen it all and I’ve gone against a lot of guys.”

Two years ago, he had the added benefit of playing alongside future NFL second round draft pick Will Hernandez.

“Man, was he physical and tough,” he said. “He taught me how to push myself. He would always yell at me in the weight room and say, ‘Go up a weight.’ He taught me different techniques that he used, and basically how to be physical on the field. It worked out perfectly, us playing together. I knew that if something happened and I got beat, he was going to be right there next to me.”

Gatewood is looking to put together a consistent senior season.

“Every game, I’ve got to play my best,” he said. “This is it. This is my last year. This is my last chance. I’ve got 12 games. I’ve got to take it one game at a time, make them count and play to the best of my ability.”

Gatewood received his Kinesiology degree in May, 2018 and is working on his Masters in Leadership Studies this fall. And while he dreams of following his former teammate Hernandez to the NFL, he fully plans to complete that degree.

“My motto has always been that when you start something, you’ve got to finish it,” he said.

As he works to make all his dreams come true, Gatewood will continue to lean on his wife, Rylee Jones, for support.

“She was actually my high school sweetheart,” he said. “I was getting ready to go to UTEP, and she was going to Texas Tech for PT school. That was her dream. Of course we didn’t want to be separated, so she talked to [UTEP Director of Sports Medicine] Dawn Hearn and she got a scholarship to be an athletic trainer here. So we’ve been together at UTEP. I proposed to her on Christmas Eve [2018] and we got married in February.”

Gatewood found it difficult to manage family life, football and school when he first arrived at UTEP, but he has a handle on it now.

“It’s all about being committed and knowing you’ve got to get things done,” he said. “The first two years, I was in the MAC [Miner Athlete Academic Center] so they helped with tutoring and keeping me on track. And after that, Rylee helped me. We were in the same major, so we kind of had the same classes. If I was taking classes in the fall, she may have taken those classes already.”

So this is it, Gatewood’s final go-round in the classroom and on the field, and he’s excited about the Miners’ prospects on the cusp of the 2019 season.

“I just want us to have a winning season, and anything that happens from there is going to be great,” he said. “I’ve told all the guys, ‘I want to go to a bowl game.’ I got to experience it my first year. I didn’t play – I redshirted – but it was the greatest feeling ever just being there.

“We’ve got to take it one game at a time. That’s our thing, the 1-0 [concept]. I feel like this has to be my best year, and I just want to play to the best of my ability and give it my all for 12 games.”

UTEP Football Fan Day to feature open practice, autograph session August 24

Fans are once again invited to attend UTEP football practice, then interact with players and coaches as part of the team’s annual “Fan Day” festivities on Saturday, August 24.

The Miners will conduct an open practice on Glory Field from 9:20-11:20 a.m.  Immediately following practice, UTEP players and coaches will sign complimentary UTEP football schedule posters in the Sun Bowl stadium concourse. 

The UTEP cross country, rifle and soccer teams will also participate in the autograph session.

“We are looking forward to having the fans come out to watch us practice on Fan Day so they can get a good feel for what they are going to see from us this year,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said.  “It will also be nice to have fans meet the team afterward and learn about the guys they are going to see on the field this fall.”

Fan Day promises to bring fun for the entire family with games and a DJ.  The UTEP band and cheerleaders will also take part in the day’s events.

“This is a great opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with our student-athletes before the season starts!” UTEP Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing Daniel Veale said.  “Giving them the chance to connect and interact with the community is the best way to kick off a new year!”

UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels for the 2019 season.  The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center). 

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Tickets can also be purchased online, or by calling (915) 747-6150.

UTEP Athletics Announces #ElPasoStrong Campaign,Will include all Fall sports

Following the tragedy in the Sun City on August 3, UTEP Athletic Department officials have announced the #ElPasoStrong campaign, to be spread over two months and encompassing home events for football, men’s basketball, soccer and volleyball.

“Anyone who has spent even the slightest bit of time in our great community has been touched by the warm, loving and welcoming nature of El Pasoans,” Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.

“The events of Aug. 3rd left us shaken, but it hasn’t deterred our spirit.  Our objective is to not only pay tribute to the victims of this senseless violence, but to celebrate all things that make El Paso so wonderful – including the efforts of the first responders and other heroes in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.”

The #ElPasoStrong campaign will kick off at the soccer team’s season opener versus Wyoming on August 22 at University Field (7 p.m.), and continue at the football season opener against Houston Baptist on August 31 in the Sun Bowl (6 p.m.), and the volleyball season opener versus Coppin State on September 6 at Memorial Gym (10 a.m.).

In addition, the Miner men’s basketball team will battle 2019 national runner-up Texas Tech in an exhibition game at the Don Haskins Center on October 12 (7 p.m.), with all proceeds being donated to a local non-profit supporting the victims of the August 3 tragedy.

The UTEP football team will wear #ElPasoStrong decals on their helmets throughout the duration of the 2019 season, beginning against Houston Baptist on August 31.

The HBU game will include recognition of the victims and heroes of the August 3 tragedy as well as a halftime celebration of “Everything El Paso” including performances by the UTEP band, cheer and spirit teams, as well as other special appearances.

The football game will be held in conjunction with a busy weekend of #ElPasoStrong events on the UTEP campus, with Minerpalooza slated for Friday, August 30 and a Khalid benefit concert scheduled for Sunday, September 1 in the Don Haskins Center.

The basketball exhibition will also feature a celebration of El Paso.  All tickets will be $10 with general admission (first come/first served) seating.

The exhibition game is not part of the 2019-20 season ticket package as all proceeds will benefit a local non-profit supporting the victims of the tragedy in El Paso.

Tickets are on sale now at the UTEP Ticket Center, located at 2901 North Mesa next to the Don Haskins Center and the UTEP Ticket Center East Side location, located at 1452 Zaragoza Suite A-1500.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234 as well as online.  Parking for the exhibition game will not be reserved and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

In addition, all UTEP student athletes will wear #ElPasoStrong warmup t-shirts prior to their 2019-20 home events.

UTEP Practice Report: Friday, Aug. 9 – Miner O-Line Mixed with Old and New Talent

RUIDOSO, N.M. – After some light-hearted fun on Thursday, the UTEP Miners got right back down to business on Friday morning with a physical day five of practice at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso.

The majority of the session was spent working on individual position drills, including on the offensive line, a group that enters the 2019 season with a wealth of experience after enduring an injury-ridden 2018 campaign.

“We have a lot of competition going on up front and you have to have that in order for guys to get better,” offensive line coach Mike Simmonds said following practice. “You need people pushing you. We have some young guys rising to the top. We are really excited about some of the guys we brought in here with recruiting because we are going to be playing some freshman. We started a couple last year and I know that is probably going to end up happening again this year.”

UTEP returns just one offensive lineman who started all 12 games in 2018 in redshirt sophomore Bobby DeHaro, but the Miners were able to get the younger guys in the group plenty of experience due to the injuries suffered last season. Simmonds is hopeful the experience gained a year ago combined with the incoming freshman translates well to the gridiron this fall.

“Your older guys have to be on the field, your older guys who have been in the wars,” Simmonds said. “Greg Long didn’t get a chance to play last year, so I am excited to see him get back out there. We need the older guys to be in that lineup and kind of pave the way for this offense. Those young guys could be in a reserve role and we use them when we need them.  We are going to end up starting some young guys this year again, but they are going to be more skilled then last year of course because they got some game time under their belts.”

Long, who is entering his redshirt junior season for the Miners, missed most of the last two seasons due to injury, while Derron Gatewood sat out the entire 2018 season because of injury.

“Derron is a true natural-born leader for us,” Simmonds said of Gatewood returning to the lineup. “Unfortunately, he lost last season, but he got it back with a medical redshirt. He is going to be a rock for us inside. He is very intelligent. He is a force on the inside and we are excited to have him lead this group.”

Gatewood, a redshirt senior from Odessa, is one of the experienced veterans on the offensive line, and is looking to end his Miner career on a high note in 2019, beginning with the work done by the unit this week in Ruidoso.

“It is a nice environment out here and I feel like the whole team has bought in,” Gatewood said. “We have been putting consistent practices in and everyone has finally bought in. I feel like we are getting on the right track. It is a great feeling just knowing I get to be back out here with my brothers and actually be on the field with them instead of the sidelines this year. It is about being out there with them and being a leader to make sure we stay on track and win some games. This offense is going to be a tight unit that will be physical, fast and smarter about everything we do so we eliminate mistakes.”

UTEP returns to the practice fields at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning for a two-hour session. Fans are invited to spend Saturday afternoon mingling with the 2019 Miners at the annual Community Day, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

The 2019 season begins with the Miners playing hosts to Houston Baptist on Saturday, Aug. 31 in the Sun Bowl. Kickoff for the season-opener is set for 6 p.m. MT.

UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels from the 2018 season. The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online, or by calling (915) 747-6150.

For complete coverage of UTEP Football, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPFB (Twitter/Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

UTEP Practice Report: Thursday, Aug. 8 – Miners Enjoy Relaxed Day on the Links

RUIDOSO, N.M. – After a brief walk-through on Thursday morning, the UTEP Miners enjoyed the rest of the afternoon away from the gridiron on the team’s fourth full day at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso.

The Miners headed out to the practice fields first thing on Thursday morning for a light walk-through, but were able to have a laid-back afternoon with the players being given the option between hitting the links to do some golfing or head to the local movie theater.

The majority of the week has been filled with physical training sessions and team meetings, but many of the Miners traded in pads for golf clubs on Thursday. The long drive and putting competitions highlighted the afternoon on the golf course with players trying their hand at golf.

The Miners return to the practice fields at 9 a.m. on Friday at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso, New Mexico. UTEP will practice in Ruidoso for the remainder of the week before heading back to campus on Sunday.

The 2019 season begins with the Miners playing hosts to Houston Baptist on Saturday, Aug. 31 in the Sun Bowl. Kickoff for the season-opener is set for 6 p.m. MT.

UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels from the 2018 season. The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online or by calling (915) 747-6150.

For complete coverage of UTEP Football, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPFB (Twitter/Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

UTEP Practice Report: Tuesday, Aug. 7- Homegrown Products Look to Make a Difference

RUIDOSO, N.M. – Sunny skies returned to the practice fields on Wednesday as the UTEP Miners grinded out another two-hour practice at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso.

A significant storyline in this year’s fall camp is the homegrown talent displayed on UTEP’s roster. A total of 23 players on the 2019 UTEP Football roster are considered El Pasoans, hailing from local high schools and looking to make a major impact this upcoming season for the Miners.

One of those local products is redshirt junior Greg Long, who was a standout lineman at Eastwood High School during his prep days before joining the Miners in 2016. Long is gearing up to make his long-awaited return to the offensive line after missing the majority of the last two seasons due to injuries.

“The offense is really working to establish our identity,” Long said of his team’s progress through fall camp. “It is a lot of fun being out here with my team playing for UTEP and I am really excited for the season. Being a hometown hero for my town and playing for UTEP means a lot, especially after what happened last week. I am proud to be a Miner, proud to be an El Pasoan and proud to be El Paso Strong.”

Another offensive lineman found right in UTEP’s backyard is redshirt sophomore guard Bobby DeHaro, who earned All-Conference USA Honorable Mention accolades in 2018 after starting every game for the Miners a season ago. The El Paso native hails from Montwood High School and looks to continue to be a mainstay on the Miner offensive line in 2019.

“This is my third camp and I am just trying to perfect my craft,” DeHaro noted. “Coach (Dana) Dimel and Coach (Mike) Simmonds have a really good system going on here. It’s about being mentally tough and getting through the camp grind. With what happened last week, I want to give my condolences to the families. These are tough times, but we are working hard. We are aware of what is happening with everything going on back home right now. We want to do everything we can for the town of El Paso and be El Paso Strong.”

In addition to the El Paso natives on the offensive line, another local standout looking to make a name for himself in a Miner uniform is freshman running back Deion Hankins. Hankins graduated from Parkland High School in El Paso and joins the Miners fresh off a stellar prep career where he set city records for rushing yards and touchdowns during his high school days.

“I am still getting used to the experience and trying to get the plays down,” Hankins said following the team’s third practice in Ruidoso. “I am just trying to be myself and more comfortable in my running style. Once I get the plays down, I will be good. I am just trying to execute better. Coach (Reggie) Mitchell is really concerned about every little detail, so I am just trying to get the small things down and put everything together for this season.”

The Miners return to the practice fields at 9:40 a.m. on Thursday for a one-hour walk-through at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso, New Mexico. UTEP will practice in Ruidoso for the remainder of the week before heading back to campus on Sunday.

The 2019 season begins with the Miners playing hosts to Houston Baptist on Saturday, Aug. 31 in the Sun Bowl. Kickoff for the season-opener is set for 6 p.m. MT.

UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels from the 2018 season. The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online, or by calling (915) 747-6150.

For complete coverage of UTEP Football, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPFB (Twitter/Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

UTEP Practice Report: Tuesday, Aug. 6 – Defense looks to replace key losses in 2019

RUIDOSO, N.M. – The Miners overcame rainy weather conditions and underwent a physical two-hour practice on the second full day of the team’s stay at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso.

A point of emphasis for UTEP this fall is replacing seven starters on the defensive side of the ball, a tall task for second-year defensive coordinator Mike Cox, who enters the 2019 season looking to fill the void after losing his top four tacklers from a season ago.

Through the first few days of fall camp, Cox is optimistic about where his unit his headed and the goals for the upcoming season.

“We have to create more turnovers,” Cox said. “That is the biggest thing we talked about in the offseason. We have to create more turnovers and be more disruptive. There are some key pieces we are replacing at the safety position. We obviously lost some guys at the corner position. We lost two good players there from last year, but I like the effort and where we are at with guys like Robert Corner, Josh Caldwell and Duron Lowe. Those guys had a good day today, so they will continue to improve. We lost linebacker A.J. Hotchkins from a year ago, but I think Jayson VanHook is doing a very good job and I look for us to not skip a beat there.”

Despite losing some key guys, the 2019 Miners will turn to a handful of pivotal playmakers, including seniors Denzel Chukwukelu (DL), Chris Richardson (DL) and Justin Rogers (DB), who Cox said has taken on a more commanding role on defense this year.
“He has great leadership,” Cox said of his impressions of Rogers early on this fall.

“He has stepped it up a notch and we need it from him. We need all the leaders to take an interest like he has. It is helping the other guys. He holds those guys accountable. It is special when it comes from a leader and not just from a coach.”

Although there will be a few familiar names and faces returning on defense this season, the UTEP defense will feature plenty of newcomers after the team lost a significant amount of production from the 2018 squad.

“We are very impressed with all of our newcomers like the new junior college guys like Corner and Lowe,” Cox noted. “At safety, we have Ty’reke James, who is doing a nice job. The new guys on defense like Jalen Rudolph, McKel Broussard and Jerome Wilson – all those young guys are doing a nice job and they are going to be good players for us. We are excited about the future and to know where they are going to fit in right now. We will have to see how fall camp plays out.”

The Miners return to the practice fields at 9:35 a.m. on Wednesday at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso, New Mexico. UTEP will practice in Ruidoso for the remainder of the week before heading back to campus on Sunday.

UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels from the 2018 season. The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center).

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online, or by calling (915) 747-6150.

For complete coverage of UTEP Football, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPFB (Twitter/Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

Video+Story: UTEP Practice Report: Monday, Aug. 5 – QB Room Starts to Take Shape

RUIDOSO, N.M. – The UTEP Miners spent two hours on the practice field outside the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort on Monday morning in what kicked off a week-long experience for head coach Dana Dimel and his football team in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

What has been evident in the first few days of fall camp is the leadership coming from one particular position for the Miners – quarterback.

For the first time in quite a while, senior quarterback Brandon Jones enters the 2019 campaign as somewhat of a seasoned veteran and has taken the reins on the offense as evident by the first few practices of fall camp.

“I’m just trying to get ready for Week 1 and taking it one day at a time getting better,” Jones said. “My job is to lead this offense and the whole team. I have kind of been thrust into that role and I love it. I am running with it. It is about becoming a leader for the whole team, not just the offense or among the quarterbacks, but the whole team.”

The road to El Paso was never cut and dry for Jones, who bounced around a good bit during his career before a solid redshirt sophomore season at Bakersfield College in his hometown set him up to become a Miner.

Entering the 2018 season, Jones was third on the depth chart for UTEP, but eventually saw action in six games for the Miners last season following a slew of injuries at the quarterback position.

“Coming out of high school, I didn’t have any offers, but I played pretty well,” Jones said of his journey to becoming a Miner. “I went to junior college, then to a four-year, then back to junior college before ending up here. It has been a three-, four-year process just to get here, but God has been faithful through it all. It has been hard at times, but at the end of the day, I made it here with my teammates and I love it. I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

Fast forward to fall camp ahead of the 2019 season and the Bakersfield product is now taking control of the Miner offense after a long journey, but Jones credits his work this past offseason that paid dividends for the upcoming campaign.

“My focus in the offseason was just being a better quarterback overall with making the right throws, making the right reads and getting my feet better,” he said. “It was a little bit of everything. You look at last season and we just have to be better all around, so I took that on myself and said I have to be better in every aspect.”

Thus far this fall, Jones is leading the charge for a quarterback room that is packed with a total of seven guys vying for one spot and competing day in and day out leading up to the Aug. 31 opener versus Houston Baptist in the Sun Bowl.

“If you don’t have guys competing every day, your team is not going to get any better,” Jones said. “We have guys here who are pushing me every day and we are pushing each other. I think that is how you get the most out of somebody is just pushing them to the limit and then push past that. That is what we are trying to do in the quarterback room to set the standard. We need to score more touchdowns. You score more points than the other team and you’ll win games. We need to execute more as a total offense. If we do that, we are going to be in good shape.”

The Miners return to the practice fields at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at the MCM Eleganté Lodge & Resort in Ruidoso, New Mexico. UTEP will practice in Ruidoso for the next five mornings before heading back to campus on Sunday.

UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels from the 2018 season. The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online or by calling (915) 747-6150.

For complete coverage of UTEP Football, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPFB (Twitter/Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

UTEP Football single-game tickets on sale now

UTEP officials announced Monday afternoon that individual tickets to each of the Miners’ six 2019 football home games are on sale now.

“Kickoff is just 26 days away and we can’t wait to get the season started!” Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.  “One of our top goals for 2019 is to re-establish our homefield advantage and it all starts on August 31st versus Houston Baptist.  We expect to put a much-improved product on the field, but filling up the stadium will go a long way towards reasserting our dominance in the Sun Bowl.  We have special pricing in effect for the Houston Baptist game and I invite all Miner fans to get back on board for the Orange Revival!”

Tickets are at the UTEP Ticket Center, located at 2901 North Mesa next to the Don Haskins Center and are also available at the UTEP Ticket Center East Side location, located at 1452 Zaragoza Suite A-1500.  Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling (915) 747-5234.

Special pricing is in effect for the Miners’ season opener against Houston Baptist on Aug. 31.  General admission seats are only $10 and all reserved seats are $15.

Group pricing is just $5 per ticket for groups of 15 or more for the Houston Baptist game.

For all other home games, ticket prices are $12 for general admission and start at $20 for reserved seating.  UTEP will host Nevada on Sept. 21, UTSA on Oct. 5, LA Tech on Oct. 26, Charlotte on Nov. 9 and Rice on Nov. 30.

Three-game mini packs are also available starting at $48.

Westside Ticket Center hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am-6 pm and Saturday, 8 am-4 pm.  Eastside Ticket Center hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am-6 pm and Saturday, 10 am-4 pm.  Hours are subject to change.

To purchase single-game tickets online, click here.

UTEP Season Tickets, starting at just $60, are available by visiting the UTEP Season Ticket Office (Brumbelow Building Room 109, next to the Haskins Center) or by calling (915) 747-6150.

2019 UTEP Football Home Schedule

Date                Opponent                    Time    Promotion(s)

Aug. 31            Houston Baptist          6pm     Orange Revival/Spirit Night/Extra Yard for Teachers

Sept. 21           Nevada                        6pm     Hall of Fame/Band Night/Youth Football Night

Oct. 5              UTSA*                         6pm     Homecoming

Oct. 26            LA Tech*                     6pm     Military Appreciation

Nov. 9              Charlotte*                   1pm     TBA

Nov. 30            Rice*                           1pm     Thanks Day/Senior Day

*Indicates Conference USA game

UTEP, San Jose State announce future football series

The UTEP football program will play a future home-and-home series with former Western Athletic Conference foe San Jose State beginning in 2026, it was announced by the two universities on Monday.

The Miners are scheduled to play the Spartans on the road on Sept. 26, 2026 in what will mark the team’s fifth visit to San Jose all-time and first since the 2004 campaign.

San Jose State will make the return trip to El Paso a year later to battle UTEP on Sept. 25, 2027 in the Sun Bowl.

The series history between UTEP and San Jose State dates back to 1966 when the Miners knocked off the Spartans, 35-0, in El Paso. Beginning in 1996, UTEP and San Jose State met every year for the next nine seasons as Western Athletic Conference members.

The all-time series between the Miners and Spartans is knotted at 5-5 with UTEP coming out on top, 38-20, in the most recent meeting in San Jose in 2004.

UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels from the 2018 season. The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tickets can also be purchased online or by calling (915) 747-6150.

For complete coverage of UTEP Football, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPFB (Twitter/Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

UTEP’s Wadley Sidelined for 2019 Season

UTEP senior running back Quardraiz Wadley will sit out the entire 2019 football season due to a toe injury, head coach Dana Dimel announced on Monday.

Wadley suffered the injury during summer conditioning and will require surgery, sidelining the Kennedale, Texas native for the entirety of the upcoming season.

“This is an unfortunate incident for our team and this young man during preparations for the 2019 season,” Dimel said. “Quardraiz will head to California this week to receive medical attention from one of the best doctors in the country. He will be out for this coming season, but he will have the opportunity to redshirt and come back for his senior season in 2020.”

Wadley led the Miners in 2018 with 627 rushing yards on 123 attempts and seven rushing touchdowns. Last week, Wadley was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation’s top running back.

Wadley has played in 26 games over the course of his Miner career, totaling 228 carries for 1,072 yards (4.7 ypc) and eight rushing touchdowns.

UTEP opens fall camp on Friday, August 2 as the Miners prepare for the 2019 season opener versus Houston Baptist on August 31 at the Sun Bowl.

UTEP’s Gatewood lands on Rimington Trophy watch list

For the second straight year, UTEP’s Derron Gatewood has been named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the nation’s top center.

The 6-2, 300-pound Odessa, Texas native is making a comeback in 2019 after missing all of last season with a torn ACL and MCL. He has made a combined 22 starts for the Miners in the offensive line and became the full-time starting center during the 2017 season.

The center with the most first team votes on the Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America All-America teams will be this year’s winner and will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 18, 2020.

The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I College Football. Since its inception, the 17-year old award has raised over $4.2 million for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.

Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only two-time winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman.

The Rimington Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.

Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.  For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit their website.

UTEP Football Coach Dana Dimel Q&A from C-USA Kickoff in Frisco + Training Camp Info

Ahead of the 2019 football season, Miners head coach Dana Dimel talked to the press Wednesday from the Conference USA Kickoff event in Frisco, Texas.

What are your thoughts with the start of practice right around the corner?

“We’re going into year two, and so there’s a lot of anticipation about getting our crew back together.  It’s a really fun time for our football team.  They have been working extremely hard all summer and have gotten themselves in great physical condition.  We’re just looking forward to having a few workouts at home before we head to Ruidoso.”

Your team dealt with a rash of injuries last season.  Do you plan to do anything differently this year, to reduce the number of injuries?

“We’re going to take an even different approach this year.  We touched base with the Dallas Cowboys and they did some really in-depth studies about how injuries occur really early in the camp, because guys aren’t used to working their football muscles.  And so we’re going to tweak our first few days [of practice].  We’re going to have a conditioning test when we come in on Friday [August 2nd).  Saturday’s practice will be about an hour, and then Monday’s and Tuesday’s practices will be about an hour with walkthroughs at the end.”

What are some of your top goals in the initial weeks of camp?

“Of course we want to establish our quarterback position right now, and get a good three-deep at the quarterback position.  That’s a dynamic spot for us right now.  Our depth in the defensive line is going to be very, very important for Sani Buckingham to come back, and for Christian Johnson and Josh Ortega to step up and provide us with some depth.  Those are guys that can help us, and we need them to do some good things.  And then replacing A.J. Hotchkins is a big step for us at the MIKE position.  Sione Tupou and Stephen Forester are battling for that spot.”

Which newcomers will you be watching most closely in camp?

“We had pretty much everybody come in during the spring, our JUCO guys in the secondary, and that’s going to be a big spot for us as well.  But Deion Hankins is going to be exciting.  He has had a good, good summer.  Being able to see what he can do is going to be really important for us.  Dyvonne Inyang is another safety that we just got in who is going to be starting for us on August 1st.  We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do.  But of course we’ve got all of those JC guys, we just want to see them keep getting better.”

What do you see as being the strengths of this football team?

“I like our team speed on defense.  I think our front three with Chris Richardson, Dedrick Simpson and Denzel Chukwukelu are going to be very good players.  And if our offensive line stays healthy, we have a lot of guys coming back who were hurt last year that are very good players.  Some of our young freshmen got to play last year and really developed.  We feel like we can be a very physical team up front.”

What are the areas you’re most concerned about entering camp?

“Depth at quarterback is definitely a big concern for us.  I talked about some of the depth in our defensive line, replacing an A.J. Hotchkins at the middle linebacker position, and just the overall play of our linebacker position is going to be very critical for us.”

You’ve been through rebuilding jobs before.  How do you approach year two?

“It’s always a very tricky year.  From year one to year two, the biggest thing you’ve got to be careful of is feeling like you’re going to be better just because you’re in year two.  And I’ll keep hitting on that throughout camp with our guys. You can’t just assume that you’re going to be better.  We’ve got to make sure that we take all the little things that we’ve been working on that are very important for us to have a good unit, and put all those into play and don’t take them for granted.”

What did you learn from last season, when you gave C-USA heavyweights like LA Tech, North Texas and UAB all that they could handle?

“I think we learned that we’re close.  If we do a better job of preparing, a better job of preparing to finish well and just make a few more plays, we can get ourselves in a good position.” 

How important to the rebuilding process is re-establishing a home field advantage in the Sun Bowl?

“We need to be a good home football team this year.  We’ve got to start establishing an ability to protect our own turf.  It’s going to be important for us to play well early and play with pride in the great Sun Bowl.” 

***Training Camp Info

The UTEP football team will report to campus as preparations for the 2019 season begin in earnest with the first practice of the fall on Friday, Aug. 2 at Glory Field.

“We’re going into year two, and so there’s a lot of anticipation about getting our crew back together,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said.  “It’s a really fun time for our football team.  They have been working extremely hard all summer and have gotten themselves in great physical condition.  We’re just looking forward to having a few workouts at home before we head to Ruidoso.”

The Miners will work out from 3:20-4:20 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2.  It will mark the first of two practices in the Sun City before the Miners depart for Camp Ruidoso on Sunday, Aug. 4.

The second practice is slated for Saturday, Aug. 3, also at Glory Field, from 9:35-11:35 a.m.

The Miners will depart for Ruidoso on Sunday, Aug. 4 at 10:45 a.m., and hold their first workout in Ruidoso on Monday, Aug. 5 from 9:35-11:35 a.m.

 They’ll follow the morning practice routine in Ruidoso through Friday, Aug. 9.  On Saturday, Aug. 10, they will conduct their first scrimmage of the fall in Ruidoso from 10:30-12:30 p.m. 

The annual community barbecue is slated for Saturday, Aug. 10 from 4-6:30 p.m. in Ruidoso.  The team will return to El Paso on Sunday, Aug. 11.

While in Ruidoso, the team will stay at the MCM Elegante Lodge and Resort.

UTEP’s full camp schedule is listed below.  UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels from the 2018 season. 

The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center).  Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Tickets can also be purchased online or by calling (915) 747-6150.

UTEP’s Quardraiz Wadley named preseason candidate for Doak Walker Award

UTEP senior Quardraiz Wadley was recognized as a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award on Wednesday. The Doak Walker Award, presented by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum, is annually presented to the nation’s top running back.

The 6-0, 205-pound Wadley posted collegiate bests with 627 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns last season. The native of Kennedale, Texas appeared in all 12 contests a year ago, making 10 starts, and averaged 5.1 yards per carry.

Wadley has played in 26 games for the Miners, rushing 228 times for 1,072 yards (4.7 ypc) and eight touchdowns. He rushed for a career-high 156 yards at Army during the 2017 season.

The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name ten semifinalists in November, and three finalists, as voted on by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee, will be announced on November 20. The committee will cast a second vote beginning December 2 to determine the recipient.

The National Selection Committee consists of past recipients, former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.

The recipient of the 2019 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 12 on ESPN.

The award, which will name its 30th recipient in 2019, is named for SMU’s three-time All-America running back Doak Walker. It is the only major collegiate award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification.

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