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Home | Tag Archives: utep football

Tag Archives: utep football

Tennessee Too Much for UTEP, Vols Win 24-0

KNOXVILLE, TN. – Ty Chandler rushed for 158 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown burst in the third quarter, as Tennessee topped UTEP, 24-0, on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

Jarrett Guarantano completed 12-of-16 passes for 168 yards for the Vols (2-1) in the first matchup between the teams in 28 years.

The defense kept the Miners (0-3) in the game until early in the fourth quarter, when Guarantano capped an 11-play, 71-yard drive with a four-yard TD pass to Jauan Jennings.

UTEP wasn’t able to get its offense untracked. The Miners finished with seven first downs and 134 yards, including 39 passing. Kai Locksley completed 9-of-22 passes for 39 yards, and rushed nine times for 24 yards.

UTEP fell just shy of 100 yards rushing (95) as Treyvon Hughes and Quardraiz Wadley tied for the team lead with 33 yards apiece.

“We had a really tough time moving the football,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said. “We really struggled offensively. Our execution wasn’t very good. I’m very disappointed with that. We had shown signs of improvement last week with our offense, and we just didn’t have anything today. The passing game wasn’t good. Third down conversions were bad. Our production was bad. It was just a bad offensive day for us.”

Tennessee picked up 345 yards on the ground and 512 total, but the Vols weren’t able to gain separation on the scoreboard until deep into the second half. The Miners registered four tackles for losses, a couple of sacks and recovered a pair of fumbles to stall Tennessee drives.

The Vols amassed 259 yards at the break but led just 10-0. A 38-yard field goal by Brent Cimaglia with 2:39 remaining in the first quarter opened the scoring. Early in the second quarter, the Vols took advantage of a short field and moved 36 yards on three plays, capped by a three-yard rushing TD by Tim Jordan.

The Miners got the ball to start the second half, but went three and out and on the next play, Chandler broke free for the 81-yard TD and a 17-0 lead.

UTEP senior DB Nik Needham recorded the 25th pass break-up of his career to tie Jahmal Fenner’s school standard. A.J. Hotchkins registered a game-high 10 tackles for UTEP.

With the offense ineffective, the Miners were forced to punt 12 times.

“We’ve just got to execute better and handle the environment better,” Dimel said. “We had some procedure penalties, but that just played a minor part in it. There were a lot of assignment busts, and that’s the thing we need to improve moving forward. We did lose a third offensive lineman [Jerrod Brooks] this week in practice, so we’re down three starters on the offensive line and I think that really showed up today for us big-time. Any team that takes three losses on their offensive line is going to have some improvement to make. We lost two, we meshed together pretty good last week and we lost a third one this week. So we’ve got to shore up those spots right now.”

UTEP and NM State will face off in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 next Saturday (Sept. 22) at 5:30 p.m. in the Sun Bowl. The first 1,000 fans will receive free rally flags, plus all fans receive first down cards compliments of FirstLight Federal Credit Union. The halftime show will feature performances by both the UTEP and NMSU marching bands, plus the 2018 UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame induction class will be recognized. Tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234.

Video+Gallery+Story: UNLV Rebels Upend UTEP 52-24

LAS VEGAS, NV. – Lexington Thomas and Armani Rogers accounted for 230 of UNLV’s 414 rushing yards, as the Rebels handed UTEP a 52-24 setback on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium.

“We struggled a lot stopping the run,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said. “They did a really good job. I watched the film on them this week. I thought they had a really good offensive line. I think they’ve done a good job developing some powerful kids up front. They’ve had some injuries the last couple of years, and this is the year they’re healthy.

“They did a nice job mixing the inside-outside run game, and they played a really physical football game on offense. Our defense has obviously got to get a lot better against the run game moving forward.”

The Miners (0-2) trailed just 14-10 entering the second quarter, but the Rebels (1-1) put 24 points on the board in the next 15 minutes to take a 38-10 lead at the midway point. Then UNLV capitalized on a fumble by the Miners’ Quardraiz Wadley deep in UTEP territory to start the third quarter, as Thomas’ short touchdown run made it 45-10.

Wadley was coming off a big first half for UTEP, including a career-long 41-yard scamper.

The Miners were able to establish the ground game in the first half, running for 164 yards, but couldn’t put the clamps on the Rebels’ rushing attack as they pounded out 277 yards of their own.

UTEP got the run game going early and late, but struggled to move the ball in-between.

“Some of it was unforced errors with what we were doing,” Dimel said. “We had some good runs early and then we stopped executing and made some mistakes. We got back to running the ball again in the third and fourth quarter. The things that hurt us more than anything were the turnovers and some unforced errors. It was not really anything schematically that they were doing, it was more us not executing as well as we had earlier in the ballgame.”

Rogers finished 6-for-13 passing for 119 yards with three scores, and rushed 10 times for 103 yards and a TD. Thomas compiled a game-high 127 yards on 17 rushing attempts.

Kai Locksley made his first start for the Miners at quarterback. El Paso native Markos Lujan was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time as well, at center.

Locksley rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Wadley finished with 96 yards on only seven carries. Locksley and Ryan Metz once again split time at quarterback, combining to complete 11-of-29 passes for 123 yards.

UNLV gained 533 yards on the night to UTEP’s 388.

The temperature at kickoff was 106 degrees, tying it for the hottest game in school history. It was also 106 degrees for the 2000 season opener at Oklahoma.

The Miners will continue their two-game road swing at Tennessee next Saturday (Sept. 15) at 10 a.m. MT. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

The Vols squared their record at 1-1 with a 59-3 victory over East Tennessee State on Saturday in Knoxville. UTEP and Tennessee will be meeting for the first time since the 1990 season.

Gallery & Video by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post

Post game press conference with head coach Dana Dimel final score 52-24

Posted by El Paso Herald-Post on Saturday, September 8, 2018

 

Video+H-P Sports In Depth: UTEP Football Kicks Off 101st Season Saturday

UTEP opens its 101st football season – and launches the coach Dana Dimel era – against Northern Arizona in the Sun Bowl on Saturday.

The Miners are 43-52-5 in season openers, including 33-20-3 at home; while 17-12-1 in season openers in the Sun Bowl. The Miners are seeking their first victory since a 52-24 rout of North Texas in the 2016 season finale.

It didn’t take long for the Miners to get back in the victory column when following up the previous three winless seasons in school history. The 1917 squad finished 0-0-1 and, after taking off the 1918 season due to World War I, opened the 1919 campaign with a 32-0 rout of Motor Transport.

The 1965 Miners throttled North Texas in the season opener, 61-15, after finishing 0-8-2 the year before. The 1974 Miners stamped out a 13-game losing skid (0-11 in 1973) with a 34-7 triumph over Utah in week two.

THE DIMEL ERA BEGINS
Dana Dimel takes over as the 26th head coach in UTEP football history against Northern Arizona. Dimel has posted a 30-39 record as a collegiate head coach with stints at Wyoming (1997-99) and Houston (2000-02). In his last head coaching appearance on Nov. 30, 2002, Dimel’s Houston Cougars knocked off Conference USA champion Louisville, 27-10, at John O’Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.

Dimel most recently served as the offensive coordinator, running backs coach and tight ends coach at his alma mater, Kansas State, from 2009-17. Dimel compiled the most wins of any offensive coordinator in college football from 2011-17 (61), and was a part of eight straight bowl appearances.

Overall, he was involved with 12 bowl teams over 19 seasons in three separate tours of duty on the Wildcats staff.

Posted by El Paso Herald-Post on Monday, August 27, 2018

UTEP COACHING DEBUTS
UTEP coaches have posted a combined record of 8-17 in their first game. Coaches who were victorious in their debuts were Tommy Dwyer (1914), George B. Powell (1924), Mack Saxon (1929), Ben Collins (1957), Warren Harper (1963), Bobby Dobbs (1965), Bill Yung (1982) and Bob Stull (1986).

SATURDAY’S OPPONENT
Northern Arizona returns 19 starters and 39 letter winners from 2017 and is rated No. 16 in Street & Smith’s Preseason FCS Top 25. The Lumberjacks were 7-5 last season, including 6-2 in the Big Sky Conference (tied for third place). They fell to San Diego, 41-10, in round one of the FCS Playoffs.

Returning first-team All-Big Sky junior quarterback Case Cookus has 7,703 passing yards and 72 touchdown passes on his collegiate resume entering 2018. Senior Emmanuel Butler has compiled 2,541 yards receiving with 26 TD’s at NAU and is back after missing all but two games last season due to injury. He needs just 49 receptions, 501 yards and two touchdowns to set the Lumberjack career records.

An experienced NAU secondary, headlined by cornerbacks Maurice Davison and Khalil Dorsey and safeties Wes Sutton and Kam’ron Johnson, held opponents to 174.3 yards passing per game in 2017.

THE SERIES
This is the first meeting between the Miners and the Lumberjacks since 1947. UTEP is unbeaten (5-0-1) in six previous matchups with NAU. The lone tie came during the 1936 season, a scoreless draw in Flagstaff.

The Miners’ average margin of victory in the five meetings since has been 24.8 points. One of the more impressive individual performances in school history came against NAU in 1937 as Ken Heineman racked up 407 yards of offense, including 338 passing, while scoring 21 points in a 53-13 rout. He completed 14-of-17 pass attempts (.824) versus the Lumberjacks, the third-best percentage in school history, and added 115 punt return yards, tied for the fourth-top total in school annals.

NAU has served as the Miners’ season-opening opponent once previously, in 1940 (28-7 victory in Flagstaff). UTEP’s Dana Dimel is coaching against Northern Arizona for the first time.

THE LAST MEETING
Coach Jack Curtice made use of every man on the Miner bench as Texas Mines thumped the Flagstaff Lumberjacks, 40-0, on Oct. 4, 1947, at Kidd Field. The second stringers took complete control of the game after the regulars put the Miners safely in the lead early in the second quarter.

The Miners piled up 279 yards rushing with 13 players carrying the ball at least once. Star back Fred Wendt touched the ball only six times for 11 yards. Harvey Gabrel reached the end zone twice to lead Texas Mines’ offensive attack. The Miner defense yielded just 236 yards, including 66 rushing.

CONNECTIONS
UTEP has four Arizona natives on its roster in senior WR Terry Juniel (Surprise), senior LS Jake Sammut (Mohave Valley), junior K Brady Viles (Fort Mohave) and junior TE Josh Weeks (Show Low). Northern Arizona has one Texas product in senior DL Jalen Goss (Dallas). Juniel and Lumberjack junior WR Joey Gatewood were teammates at Glendale Community College.

Viles was a teammate of NAU junior OLs Joe Hakizimana and Jason Linden at Arizona Western College. UTEP junior WR Alan Busey and NAU junior DL Aaron Andrews played together at Chabot College. Miner junior WR Justin Garrett and Lumberjack junior WR Stacy Chukwumezie were teammates at Cerritos College.

UTEP sophomore DB Justin Prince and NAU junior OL Mitchell Kay spent the 2017 season at Long Beach City College. UTEP junior DL Chris Richardson and NAU sophomore RB Aramis Aldredge were a part of the football program at Oak Hills (Calif.) High School.

FIRST SEASON AT THE HELM
The Dana Dimel era will begin on Sept. 1 against Northern Arizona in the Sun Bowl. Since Bob Stull’s first season as head coach in 1986, UTEP head coaches are a combined 27-43-1 during their first season at the helm. On average, that is 4.5 wins per season.

Gary Nord (2000) and Mike Price (2004) are the last two UTEP head coaches to finish with a winning record in their first seasons – Nord went 8-4 with a Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl appearance and Price went 8-4 with a trip to the EV1.net Houston Bowl. Stull went 4-8 in 1986, but followed with a 7-4 campaign in 1987.

Sean Kugler finished 2-10 in 2013, but directed the Miners to a 7-6 record the following year with a trip to the New Mexico Bowl.

THE TWO MIKE’S
UTEP football head coach Dana Dimel brought in Mike Canales (offensive) and Mike Cox (defensive) as the coordinators. Canales will begin his 33rd season of coaching after serving as the quarterbacks coach at the University of Tennessee.

Previously, Canales headed a successful North Texas offense for six seasons, while Cox served as linebackers coach at Kansas State for five seasons. Cox tutored five linebackers that earned All-Big 12 status.

2018 SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN
The 2018 UTEP football schedule will include six home games – Northern Arizona (Sept. 1), NM State (Sept. 22), North Texas (Oct. 6), UAB (Oct. 27), Middle Tennessee (Nov. 10) and Southern Miss (Nov. 24).

The Miners will open against Northern Arizona as the two teams will meet for the first time since 1947. The Orange and Blue will travel to UNLV on Sept. 8 to take on the Rebels for the first time since 1993, while Tennessee and UTEP will play each other for the third time ever and initial occasion since 1990.

UTEP will meet NM State for the 96th time on Sept. 22.

BOWL OPPONENTS
UTEP will take on seven teams that advanced to a bowl game during the 2017 season. The Miners will see NM State (New Mexico Bowl), North Texas (R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl), LA Tech (DXL Frisco Bowl), UAB (Bahamas Bowl), Middle Tennessee (Raycom Media Camellia Bowl), WKU (AutoNation Cure Bowl) and Southern Miss (Walk-On’s Independence Bowl).

NM State, LA Tech and MT each claimed victory in their respective bowls.

Roster Breakdown
UTEP returns 48 lettermen (22 offensive, 23 defensive and three special teams) from the 2017 team. The Miners have 15 starters (seven offensive, five defensive and three special teams) coming back. The secondary returns three starters (Nik Needham, Kahani Smith and Kalon Beverly).

Needham is the top defensive returner with 59 tackles (28 solo), eight pass break-ups, one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery. The defense also returns 2017 All-Conference USA Freshman Team honoree Trace Mascorro. He started in 11 games as a freshman at nose guard.

On offense, the Miners will rely on offensive lineman Derron Gatewood. The center has started in 27 games during his collegiate career and is a three-year letter winner. Also adding depth on offensive line is Ruben Guerra. The junior made eight starts at the right tackle position last season.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
There are nine programs in the FBS, including UTEP, that has sons playing for their fathers. UTEP first-year head coach Dana Dimel announced during the summer that his son, Winston, will play fullback for the Miners in 2018.

The other eight programs include UAB (head coach Bill Clark and son, Jacob), Colorado (head coach Mike Macintyre and son, Jay), Tulsa (head coach Philip Montgomery and son, Cannon), Navy (head coach Ken Niumatalolo and son, Ali’i), TCU (head coach Gary Patterson and son, Blake), Middle Tennessee (head coach Rick Stockstill and son, Brent), Clemson (head coach Dabo Swinney and son, Will) and Old Dominion (head coach Bobby Wilder and son, Derek).

Winston previously played at Kansas State (2015-17) while his father, Dana, was the offensive coordinator.

Back in the Rotation
Last season, junior Quardraiz Wadley suffered a season-ending injuries early in the year. He hurt his shoulder during 2017 spring ball and was expected to miss the season.

The Kennedale, Texas, native made a speedy recovery and made a comeback during the NM State game, where he rushed for 77 yards. He went on to produce a breakout game at Army, making his first collegiate start and rushing for a career-high 156 yards on a personal-best 28 carries (5.6 avg.). The running back scored his first career touchdown and registered his first career reception (15 yards). Wadley would once again be plagued by injuries, suffering a knee injury (WKU) and a collarbone injury (Middle Tennessee) and was forced to miss the remainder of the season. He is expected to compete for a starting spot in 2018.

Adding Depth
Kai Locksley is expected to add competition at the quarterback spot. The Iowa Western transfer was named the 2017 Spalding NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year and earned first-team All-America honors following a stellar sophomore season. He guided the Reivers to an 11-1 overall record and a victory in The Graphic Edge Bowl.

The Fort Washington, Md., native accounted for 40 total touchdowns in 2017. He threw for 2,238 yards on 176-of-265 passing (66.4 percent) with 20 passing scores and only six interceptions. The quarterback rushed for 705 yards on 112 attempts (6.3 avg.) and a team-best 20 rushing scores.

Wide receiver Justin Garrett played in 10 games at Cerritos College in 2017. He led the Falcons in receptions (38), receiving yards (592) and receiving touchdowns (five). Garrett capped the year with a season-high 153 yards on six receptions (25.5 avg.) with a campaign-best three receiving scores and a season-long 80-yard touchdown reception versus Ventura.

Gamaliel Barboza comes to UTEP from Tyler Junior College. The sophomore played in eight games and helped Tyler account for 30.3 points per game and 375.4 yards of total offense per game. On defense, CJ Reese is expected to contribute early. The senior transfer from Kansas State played three seasons for the Wildcats and saw action in eight games.

Defensive back Justin Prince led Long Beach City College with 66 tackles (22 solo) as a freshman. He added 2.5 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, one interception and two pass break-ups.

WATCHING GATEWOOD BLOCK
Senior starting center Derron Gatewood was named to the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List as announced by the selection committee on May 30. The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I college football. Gatewood will be in the spotlight on the offensive line in 2018 after starting 10 games at the center position last season.

The Odessa, Texas, native also garnered All-Conference USA honorable-mention recognition last season. Gatewood made his big splash in 2016 when he started all 12 games, playing both center and right guard. The winning center will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday, January 12, 2019.

UNDER CENTER
There are six quarterbacks listed on the 2018 roster, led by senior Ryan Metz. Junior transfer Kai Locksley – the 2017 Spalding NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year at Iowa Western – brings great size (6’4, 200 pounds) to the position and sophomore Mark Torrez brings experience as he played in seven contests in 2017.

Freshmen Calvin Brownholtz and Alex Fernandes will provide depth at the position, along with junior transfer Brandon Jones from Bakersfield College.

MORE ON METZ
Ryan Metz will enter his senior campaign ranked No. 10 on the program’s all-time completion list with 275. Metz is 23 completions away from the No. 9 spot. Metz has also tossed 23 scores during his career, needing one to crack the program’s top 10 list. Metz has also been responsible for 26 touchdowns, needing eight to crack the school’s top 10 list.

The El Paso native fought off injuries during his junior campaign, but showed the ability to lead as he put up nice numbers his sophomore campaign – he threw for 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions on 130-of-201 passing for 1,375 yards. Metz’s 64.7 completion percentage in 2016 ranked second on UTEP’s single-season list.

RUNNING THE BALL
The 2018 roster will feature five capable tailbacks who can grind out yards. Junior Quardraiz Wadley played in four games in 2017, while starting in a trio of contests. Wadley missed most of the season due to injury, but did lead the team at 69.2 yards per game. Wadley gained 277 yards on 58 carries (4.8 avg.) with a score.

The Kennedale, Texas, native gained 77 yards on 19 attempts at NM State in his first action of 2017 and followed with a career-high 156 yards at Army along with his first collegiate touchdown, and also hauled in a 15-yard reception that set up a touchdown on the next play. Sophomore Joshua Fields led the team in rushing as a true freshman.

The El Paso native gained 362 yards on 89 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns. Fields’s first score came against UTSA, while he gained 44 yards. He also gained 87 yards at Middle Tennessee and another 45 against North Texas, but followed with a career-best 137 yards on 23 carries against LA Tech in the Sun Bowl.

Junior TK Powell rushed for 124 yards on 16 attempts (7.8 avg.) against LA Tech during the 2015 season. Junior Treyvon Hughes, who returned to running back from linebacker, will provide size (6’1, 237 pounds), while sophomore Ronald Awatt also provides a bruising frame (5’11, 205 pounds).

Hughes to Running Back
Treyvon Hughes enters his third season as a UTEP Miner. The junior came to UTEP in 2015 as a running back and played in nine games as a true freshman. Hughes registered a season high in carries (six) and yards (36) at Old Dominion.

In 2016, he missed the season due to injury. Hughes was switched to linebacker during the 2017 fall camp. Hughes played in all 12 games and made six starts at linebacker. He recorded 40 tackles, two quarterback hurries and 0.5 tackle for loss. Hughes returned to running back this spring.

STEADY EDDIE
Eddie Sinegal will start his third season with his hometown team in 2018. The graduate of Andress High School has 46 receptions for 482 yards in his career. Sinegal, though, has produced the Miners’ only 100-yard receiving game the last two years after tallying 102 yards on six receptions at LA Tech in 2016.

BROWN DELIVERS
Erik Brown joined the UTEP football program before the midway point of last season, making four starts in nine games played. Brown recorded 151 yards on 12 receptions with a long catch of 38 yards. Brown recorded a season-high 52 yards on a trio of catches against UTSA, and registered 34 yards on two receptions at Southern Miss.

In the Nik of Time
Senior Nik Needham looks to lead the way for the Miner defense. The corner has recorded 24 pass break-ups during his career and ranks tied for second with five other players on the program’s all-time list. Needham only needs two pass break-ups to be the overall leader in UTEP history.

Last season, he registered a career-high 59 tackles (28 solo), eight pass break-ups, 4.5 tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery. Needham garnered 2017 All-Conference USA honorable-mention recognition. In 2016, the Buena Park, Calif., native racked up a total of 11 pass break-ups, which marked the most in program history since 2010.

Loaded Secondary
The Miner secondary brings depth to the two-deep. Corners Kalon Beverly and Nik Needham have produced a total of 57 combined starts. Beverly started in 10 games and recorded a career-high 44 tackles (24 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble in 2017.

Last season, Needham ranked second amongst defensive backs with 59 stops. Both corners notched a total of eight pass break-ups. Kahani Smith made his debut, starting in seven games last season for the Orange and Blue. The safety led UTEP’s defense with two touchdowns – a 52-yard pick-six and a 45-yard scoop-and-score.

The senior tallied 46 stops (30 solo) and three passes defended. Juniors Michael Lewis and Justin Rogers have combined for 21 starts. Lewis notched 47 tackles, while Rogers recorded 39 stops, one forced fumble, two interceptions, one quarterback hurry and two pass break-ups last season.

Rogers earned 2016 C-USA All-Freshman honors after posting 17 tackles (10 solo) and ranking second on the team with seven break-ups.

Rare Achievement
UTEP’s Kahani Smith was one of four Conference USA players to score a pair of defensive touchdowns in 2017. The effort tied for the league lead, while Smith became the first Miner since 2007 (Quintin Demps) to produce two defensive scores.

Smith took back a pick-six 52 yards at Army, and scooped up a fumble and dashed 45 yards to paydirt at North Texas. Smith was one of two defensive players to score on an interception and a fumble recovery. Marshall’s Chris Jackson returned a fumble 15 yards for a score and returned an interception 72 yards for a touchdown.

LA Tech’s Darryl Lewis and Southern Miss’ Kelsey Douglas each returned a pair of interceptions for scores in 2017.

SOLID RETURNEES ON THE D-LINE
Trace Mascorro (11 starts), Denzel Chukwukelu (eight starts), Dedrick Simpson (four starts) and Sani Buckingham (three starts) each played significant time on the defensive line last season, combining for 26 starts. Mascorro was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team after scoring a touchdown on a fumble return at NM State, tallying 29 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and registering two quarterback hurries.

Chukwukelu, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, took up space and recorded 20 tackles with 2.0 tackles for loss in 11 games played. Simpson registered 14 stops with 1.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback sack, and Buckingham tallied nine tackles and a pair of hurries.

JUNIEL’S SPECIAL EFFORT
Senior return specialist Terry Juniel was recognized in the most-recent issue of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. The publication listed Juniel as second team All-Texas as a special teams player. Juniel finished 2017 ranked third in Conference USA with a 25.4 kickoff return average (533 yards on 21 returns), with a long return of 59 yards at Southern Miss.

He finished with 75 yards on a pair of returns against the Golden Eagles. Juniel also showed the ability to catch the ball as he led the team in receptions (23) for 224 yards (ranked second on team). Juniel added a career-best five catches at USM and recorded a career-high 82 yards on four receptions against Arizona. The Surprise, Ariz., native also paced the Miners in all-purpose yards (812) and average per game (67.7).

Juniel also returned 13 punts, with a long punt return of 35 yards against WKU.

FOSTER, A KEY RETURNEE
Junior Keynan Foster, who saw success returning kickoffs over the first four games in 2017, unfortunately missed the remainder of the season due to injury. Foster provided more speed and depth at the kickoff return position, while also making one start at the slot receiver position against Arizona. Foster returned nine kickoffs for 205 yards (22.8 avg.) and hauled in three passes for 23 yards, while also rushing for 19 yards on a pair of attempts (9.5 avg.).

FILLEY SPECIAL
After seeing time on the scout team for a pair of seasons, senior Jason Filley finally saw game action in 2017. The El Paso native and Coronado High School graduate went 2-for-3 on field goals and connected on a perfect 7-for-7 on PATs. Filley scored his first collegiate points in front of his hometown fans as he made both PAT attempts against UTSA.

VILES’S FIRST SEASON
Brady Viles led UTEP with 14 points in 2017. Viles connected on 11-of-12 PATs, while his first career field goal kick was a successful 53-yard attempt against Arizona. His 53-yard boot is the longest first made attempt in UTEP history during the modern era. Viles connected on a career-high 3-of-3 PATs. Viles was primarily used on kickoffs (32 KO for 1,922 yards [60.1 avg.] with 21 touchbacks).

FROM RUGBY TO FOOTBALL
Mitchell Crawford will compete for the starting punter position heading into the 2018 season. The native of Australia was the leading goal kicker in the Black Diamond AFL (Australian Football League) while a member of the Newcastle City Blues in 2016.

OPPONENT KICKOFF RETURNS
UTEP ranked first in Conference USA and seventh in the FBS in opponent kickoff return average (16.9) in 2017. UTEP ranked fourth (20.3) in 2016 and seventh (21.7) in 2015.

Next up
UTEP will have its first road test in 2018 when it plays at UNLV of the Mountain West on Sept. 7. In their last meeting, the Miners defeated the Rebels 41-24 on Sept. 11, 1993. UTEP is also making its first road trip to Las Vegas, Nev., since the 1992 season. Saturday’s kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MT/6 PT at Sam Boyd Stadium. The contest will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

“UTEP Football With Dana Dimel” Radio Show to Premiere Wednesday

The first “UTEP Football With Dana Dimel” radio show will air on Wednesday, August 22 from 7-8 p.m. on the Miners’ flagship station, KOFX 92.3 FM.

Fans are invited to attend the live broadcast of the show at the Pershing Inn (2909 Pershing Drive) in Central El Paso.

UTEP Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Mike Cox will be the guest on the season’s first installment.

Coach Dimel will break down the Miners’ most recent game, preview the upcoming contest and take fan questions on the show, which will air weekly during the 2018 season.  Weekly guests will include UTEP position coaches and select student-athletes.

Shows will alternate from the Pershing Inn and Border City Ale House (1506 N. Lee Trevino) on the East side of El Paso.

The majority of the shows are scheduled for Wednesdays, with a couple of exceptions.  A full schedule of the 2018 “UTEP Football With Dana Dimel” radio shows follows.  In addition to KOFX 92.3 FM, fans can listen to the show around the world on a mobile device.

UTEP Football Season Tickets, starting at $66, are on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150.  The Miners open the campaign at home against Northern Arizona on Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m.

2018 “UTEP Football With Dana Dimel” Broadcast Schedule  |  All Shows Air From 7-8 p.m. on KOFX 92.3 FM unless otherwise noted

Wed., Aug. 22            Pershing Inn

Wed., Aug. 29            Border City Ale House

Wed., Sept. 5            Pershing Inn

Wed., Sept. 12            Border City Ale House

Wed., Sept. 19            Pershing Inn

Wed., Sept. 26            Border City Ale House

Wed., Oct. 3            Pershing Inn

Wed., Oct. 17            Border City Ale House

Wed., Oct. 24            Pershing Inn

Wed., Oct. 31            Border City Ale House (6 p.m.)

Wed., Nov. 7            Pershing Inn

Tues., Nov. 13            Border City Ale House

Wed., Nov. 21            Pershing Inn

Tues., Nov. 27            Border City Ale House

Miners Put Finishing Touches on Ruidoso Camp With Scrimmage

The UTEP football team conducted its final practice of Camp Ruidoso on Saturday morning, concluding matters with a 47-play scrimmage.

“I was pleased to get the work in,” head coach Dana Dimel said.  “I thought it was good work.  We needed to tackle.  We needed to get our fits on offense, get our fits on defense.  And I thought we did a good job with all that.  We got to work on substitutions and the kinks that you get in a scrimmage with a time clock.  Having the officials there is really, really important for us because we did a lot of different things offensively, and the officials were judging all that and making sure that we were clean.  It was a pretty clean scrimmage.  We only had one penalty on offense and one penalty on defense, so I was happy with that.”

The Miner offense reached the end zone on a couple of occasions, as Ryan Metz threw a 50-yard TD pass to Terry Juniel and Treyvon Hughes rambled for a 28-yard rushing score.  Jason Filley connected on a 36-yard field goal to complete the scoring for the blue team.

Kai Locksley finished 5-of-7 passing for 48 yards, Metz was 2-for-4 for 58 yards, and Brandon Jones was 3-for-3 for 28 yards.

“I thought Kai had a nice scrimmage, I thought he did some nice things,” Dimel said.  “I thought Metz did a really good job of getting the guys orchestrated in and out of huddles.  Kavika Johnson stepped up and did some nice things.  The number one offensive line did a good job.  The number one defensive line played really well.  I took them out early because I didn’t want to get anyone banged up.  And of course our number one defensive backfield did a good job as well.”

Juniel led all UTEP receivers with 58 yards on a pair of catches, and Johnson chipped in with two receptions for 30 yards.

A.J. Hotchkins, Mike Sota and Ray Walters each registered a sack, Chris Barnwell had a forced fumble and fumble recovery, and Nik Needham picked off a pass as the secondary continued to steal the show on defense.

“They’ve had some nice turnovers throughout camp,” Dimel said.  “We know that’s probably one of the strengths of our defense right now.  There is a lot of experience back there and some talented players.  We had the New York Jets’ top scout come in early in practice to look at Winston [Dimel] and a couple of our guys on offense and three of our guys on defense.  It says something about some of the talent that we have.”

Needham tied for the team lead with four tackles on Saturday.

The Miners will return to El Paso on Sunday and have their next practice on Monday morning, with the season opener versus Northern Arizona (September 1) a mere three weeks away.

Dimel said the team accomplished its goals in Ruidoso.

“During camp, I wanted to really start working on our two deep,” he said.  “As a head coach, that’s what you think about all of the time.  Of course you think about your starters, but you don’t ever go a day without thinking about your backups too and how good you’re going to be so you can handle the injuries that occur throughout a season.  The thing that I’m most pleased about is our recruiting class that we brought in.  A lot of those guys are just what we hoped they’d be.  And that’s not usually the case in recruiting.  But they are.  And so there’s a group of them that are giving us the depth that we need to have.  That’s really encouraging.”

Dimel said the team’s focus will be on mechanics over the next few weeks.

“We’ve started to break down NAU,” he said.  “We have some good summer scouting reports put together on them.  On the bus trip up here, I watched them for a couple of hours and we’ll watch them again on the bus trip home and really start locking in on a game plan in the next five or six days.  Our philosophy has always been to put in everything in camp, to insert it all and get it all out there so when we get into a game we can say ‘Remember guys, we’ve already done this.’”

The two deep is taking shape.

“I still think there is really good competition at the linebacker position,” Dimel said.  “That’s a position that we said we really needed to work on and get better.  I think guys have stepped up and done a nice job.  And of course the quarterback position, it’s not necessarily a battle amongst the two of them but a battle for them to continue to get better and continue to handle all of the mechanics of running our offense.”

UTEP football season tickets, starting at just $66, are on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150.

UTEP Football Fan Day Set For Sun Bowl on August 18

Fans will get the chance to meet the 2018 UTEP football team and coaching staff on Saturday, August 18 in the Sun Bowl.

UTEP players and head coach Dana Dimel will sign free schedule posters.  The UTEP band, cheerleaders, Golddiggers and Paydirt Pete will be in attendance.

In addition to the events, children, can sign up for the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Kids Club and pick up your gameday kit.

Fans are also invited to tour the Larry K. Durham Center on their own.  UTEP partner Albertsons will be selling the official Every Person Makes a Difference #EPMAD “Difference Maker” t-shirts.

The Miners’ annual “Fan Day” is free and will take place from noon – 2 p.m. Parking will be available in the North Sun Bowl lot.

The Miners will kick off the season at home against Northern Arizona on September 1.  Season tickets, starting at just $66, are on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150.

UTEP Football ‘Mini Packs’ Tickets Now On Sale

A variety of three-game UTEP Football mini packs are now on sale.

All combinations are available for the first five home games versus Northern Arizona (Sept. 1), NM State (Sept. 22), North Texas (Oct. 6), UAB (Oct. 27) and Middle Tennessee (Nov. 10).

Prices start at just $48 for reserved seating.  Season starts are also available, starting at $66 for general admission. To purchase, visit the UTEP Ticket Center or call (915) 747-5234.

Locations are:

  • 2901 North Mesa (next to the Don Haskins Center) Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am-6 pm and Saturday, 8 am-4 pm.
  • 1452 Zaragoza Suite A-500 Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am-6 pm and Saturday, 10 am-4 pm.  Hours are subject to change.

Mini packs can also be viewed and purchased at www.ticketmaster.com

Miner Athletic Club Announces 2018-19 Luncheon Series

The football kick-off and hoops tip-off luncheons feature appearances by Dana Dimel, Rodney Terry, Kevin Baker and select student-athletes as they preview their upcoming seasons. 

The football signing day luncheon is hosted by the UTEP coaching staff and offers an in-depth look at the latest batch of incoming recruits. 

Hoops Tip-Off Luncheon: Tuesday, October 9th 12 p.m.

Football Signing Day Luncheon: Wednesday, February 6th TBA 

Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets early as these events have been sellouts in recent years. Luncheon tables of 10 are $350 and individual tickets are $35. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Miner Athletic Club at (915) 747-8759 or online by clicking here.

The deadline to purchase tickets is August 13th for the Kick-Off Luncheon and October 1st for the Tip-Off Luncheon.

Football and Basketball season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling (915) 747-6150 or by visiting the UTEP ticket website.

UTEP Football’s Griffin Earns Wuerffel Trophy Watch List

Junior Kalaii Griffin was named to the 2018 Wuerffel Trophy Watch List on Thursday.

The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented annually at the All Sports Association’s Awards Banquet in FortWalton Beach.

Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

The linebacker has accumulated 36.5 hours of community service, dedicating his time to the Child Crisis Center. Griffin also spent time helping with Project Move, running various athletic stations for youth groups in the community.

Last season, the linebacker played in 10 games, seeing action on defense and special teams. Griffin recorded 15 tackles, one sack and one quarterback hurry.

Gallery: UTEP Releases Photo of New Football Helmets

UTEP officials gave Miner fans a look at the new helmets for the 2018 Season via a Twitter Post Tuesday afternoon.

While the familiar ‘UTEP’ with a pick for a ‘t’ returns, the new shade of orange is sure to get fans talking.

 Check out some of the previous UTEP helmets/color combos via the photos below.

Eleven UTEP Games a Part of C-USA Football Broadcast Schedule

On Thursday, Conference USA rolled out its broadcast schedule for the 2018 football season, with 11 games involving UTEP slated for coverage this fall.

Five UTEP home games will be carried on ESPN networks – versus Northern Arizona (Sept. 1/ESPN3), NM State (Sept. 22/ESPN3), UAB (Oct. 27/ESPN+), Middle Tennessee (Nov. 10/ESPN+) and Southern Miss (Nov. 24/ESPN+).  The Miners’ home matchup with North Texas (Oct. 6) will be shown on beIN SPORTS.

Kickoff for the Northern Arizona, NM State, North Texas and UAB home games will be 5:30 p.m. MT.  Kickoff for the Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss home games will be 1 p.m. MT.

UTEP’s road games at Tennessee (Sept. 15/SEC Network/10 a.m. MT), UTSA (Sept. 29/ESPN+/5 p.m. MT), LA Tech (Oct. 20/ESPN+/1:30 p.m. MT), Rice (Nov. 3/ESPN3/1:30 p.m. MT) and WKU (Nov. 17/beIN SPORTS/5:30 p.m. MT) have also been picked up.

The 2018 C-USA Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 1 will air on CBS Sports Network at a time to be determined.  ESPN is scheduled to carry all six of C-USA’s bowl games in which it has a guaranteed selection.

Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced today a new multi-year contract with ESPN. The agreement triples ESPN’s inventory of C-USA events from the previous deal to include more than 175 events on ESPN+ and ESPN3 for the upcoming 2018-19 season.

More than 100 of those games will air on the newly launched ESPN+ — the first multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer and International Segment in conjunction with ESPN.

As part of the new deal, ESPN will air all remaining football games (approximately 45 in 2018) along with 60 regular-season men’s basketball games and 28 regular-season women’s basketball games.

ESPN also picks up first-round men’s and women’s basketball action at the upcoming 2018 C-USA Basketball Championships in Frisco, Texas.

Rounding out the contract, ESPN will become the primary home of multiple conference championships.

                Men’s Soccer: All six games including the championship finals

                Women’s Soccer: All seven games including the championship finals

                Volleyball: All seven games including the championships finals

                Baseball: All games leading up to the championship game, which will air on CBS Sports

                Softball: All games leading up to the championship game, which will air on CBS Sports

ESPN’s digital platforms will also spotlight additional C-USA championships throughout the year with special highlight shows. The sports expected to be featured include cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field, swimming & diving, golf and tennis.

Miner Football’s Gatewood Earns Spot on Rimington Trophy Watch List

Senior Derron Gatewood was named to Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List, the selection committee announced Wednesday.

The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I College Football.

Gatewood garnered All-Conference USA honorable mention recognition last season. The two-year starter, made 10 starts at center last season. As a junior, Gatewood started in all 12 games playing both center and right guard. He played on an offensive line that paved the way for Aaron Jones to rush for a single-season program-record 1,773 yards.

Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics

As a freshman, Gatewood played in five contests at the center and right guard position.

This preseason, centers were nominated from every conference, with 57 total nominees and 27 past nominees. The selection committee comprised its list by accepting nominations from programs across the country that submitted their current starting centers for consideration.

The Rimington Trophy committee uses the following all-american teams to determine its winner: the Walter Camp Foundation (WCF), the Sporting News (SN) and the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

The center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with the most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by a majority vote from the Rimington Trophy committee.

The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, January 12, 2019

Former Miner Tuley-Tillman Heads to 49ers Rookie Minicamp

Former Miner Logan Tuley-Tillman was invited to the San Francisco 49ers rookie minicamp on Sunday.

Tuley-Tillman played one season for the Miners and started in all 12 games at the left tackle position during the 2017 season.

The Miners offensive line allowed zero sacks against WKU and UTSA and only allowed one sack at no. 7 Oklahoma and at C-USA West Division Champions North Texas.

With Tuley-Tillman’s invite to the 49ers minicamp, he joins newly-signed Miners Alvin Jones (Ravens) and Will Hernandez (Giants) who were selected earlier this week, in beginning their journey to the NFL player ranks.

UTEP Football to Host Youth Camp May 19

In a month, UTEP football head coach Dana Dimel and the rest of the coaching staff will be hosting the 2018 UTEP Youth Football Camp. The camp is offered to children in grades K-8 without any extra requirements.

Participants may sign up for the May 19 camp as either an individual or a team with an enrollment fee of $26.50 per player.

This camp is an opportunity for players to learn fundamentals and advanced skills from high level coaches. Campers will get to compete in both offensive and defensive positions to experience every aspect of the game.

The Youth Football Camp will take place on Saturday, May 19 at the Sun Bowl Stadium, giving participants a true Division I College Football experience. Campers are asked to bring tennis shoes, shorts, a t-shirt, and socks.

Football cleats and mouthpieces are encouraged but optional.

Enrollment will close May 18 at 11:30 PM. Registration for the camp is now open online.

 

Ahead of Friday’s Spring Game, Discounted UTEP Season Tickets Available Until April 30

With UTEP’s first Spring Game of the Dana Dimel Era set for Friday, UTEP Athletics announced Tuesday the availability of discounted 2018 season tickets through the end of April.

On Friday, Sun Bowl gates will be open to the public starting at 6 p.m., admission is free and concessions will be available to fans including $2 sodas, $1 hot dogs and $1 popcorn. There will also be concourse activities available upon entry.

Orange will battle Blue head-to-head. The first half will feature 15-minute quarters. Halftime is 10 minutes. The duration of the second half will be determined by the coaching staff.

Special in-game videos will pit the players against the coaches in a variety of grueling activities. After the game, the seniors and head coach Dana Dimel will sign free complimentary spring game posters.

Ahead of the game, fans can purchase discounted 2018 UTEP football season tickets between now and the end of April.

The Miners will open the campaign at home against Northern Arizona (Sept. 1), and will also host arch-rival NM State in non-league play (Sept. 22).

The Conference USA slate features matchups with four bowl teams from last season — North Texas (Oct. 6), UAB (Oct. 27), Middle Tennessee (Nov. 10) and Southern Miss (Nov. 24).

As for the tickets, for the remainder of the month only, the full six-game docket is available for the price of five games.  The lowest season ticket price through April 30 is $55.  Beginning May 1, prices will start at $66.

The discounted tickets are available by visiting the UTEP Season Ticket Office, located in the Brumbelow Bulding, or by calling (915) 747-6150.

For all UTEP Football season ticket prices, please visit the UTEP Athletics Website.

 

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