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Home | Tag Archives: utep football (page 11)

Tag Archives: utep football

UTEP’s Hernandez Named to AP Preseason All-America Second Team

The Associated Press announced UTEP senior offensive lineman Will Hernandez to the 2017 AP Preseason All-America second team as chosen by the votes of 51 members of the AP Top 25 media panel on Tuesday.

Hernandez has racked up the preseason honors leading up to UTEP’s season opener. The left guard was announced to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List, and was recognized by Athlon Sports as a Preseason All-Conference USA first team and Preseason All-America third team.

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football picked Hernandez to the Preseason All-Texas team, while Phil Steel’s College Football Preview appointed him to the Preseason All-C-USA first team and as a Preseason All-American. Hernandez also earned a spot on the 2017 Preseason C-USA Football team.

Last season, Hernandez played on a dominant offensive line that only allowed 1.3 sacks per game. UTEP running back Aaron Jones also set the single-season school record with 1,773 yards. Hernandez started all 12 contests on his way to the 2016 AP and FOX Sports’ All-America teams.

The UTEP coaching staff rolled the dice on Las Vegas, Nev., native and itself one of the hardest working players in the nation. Hernandez has started all 37 games at the left guard position and during his three seasons donning the Orange and Blue. UTEP signal callers have been sacked 47 times during Hernandez’s 37 starts (1.3 per game).

Prior to Hernandez’s redshirt freshman season, the Miners allowed 27 sacks in 2013. That number was cut to 13 allowed in 13 games in 2014.

Hernandez and the o-line will get their first challenge – in a big way – as the Miners will play at no. 7 Oklahoma on Sept. 2. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. MT and the contest will be televised on FOX.

UTEP Football Fan Day to be Held on Saturday

UTEP football will hold its annual “Fan Appreciation Day” on Saturday, August 26 at the Sun Bowl Stadium’s North Concourse.

Fan Day, scheduled from noon to 2 pm, will feature an autograph session, a mini-pep rally with the UTEP Band, Cheer and Golddiggers, activities for families, giveaways, raffle items, and free popcorn and water.

Admission for the event is free and fans will receive a commemorative 2017 football season football poster and will be limited to one additional item to be signed.

After the autograph session, fans will have the opportunity to show off their athletic abilities in a Kick, Punt and Pass event down on the field. UTEP Marketing will record scores from all fans who have entered and post them on the UTEP Athletics Facebook page at the end of the day. The top three participants will win an on-field experience for the home opener Sept. 9 versus Rice.

The UTEP Band, Cheer and the Golddiggers mini-pep rally is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. in the North Concourse.

The UTEP Marketing table will have season ticket, Kids Club, Miner Maniac and Miner Athletic Club (MAC) tailgate information. Individual tickets for the home opener/Conference USA opener for the Rice game on Sept. 9 will be sold at the ticket center at the North Concourse.

UTEP will open the 2017 campaign at no. 7 Oklahoma in Memorial Stadium with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m. MT. The game will also be televised on FOX (El Paso local channel KFOX).

Gallery+Story: UTEP Offense Scores Six Touchdowns in Sunday’s Scrimmage

RUIDOSO, N.M. – The UTEP quarterbacks looked solid during the second and final scrimmage at Camp Ruidoso as Zack Greenlee threw a trio of touchdowns and Ryan Metz connected on a pair of throwing scores on Sunday.

The Miners will head back to the Sun City on Sunday following the scrimmage and will start practice at Glory Field on Tuesday morning in preparations for Oklahoma on Sept. 2 in Norman.

“It was a good scrimmage and we wrapped up a really productive camp,” fifth-year head coach Sean Kugler said. “As a staff, we talked about our goals that we set going into camp. We talked about becoming unified as a team and comradery. We discussed developing on both sides of the ball, finding out about some youngsters and newcomers, and how they can help our program. We accomplished all our goals.”

And most importantly, the Miners stayed healthy for the most part.

“We’re fairly healthy,” Kugler added. “All the guys who were injured are expected to be back for the first game [at Oklahoma].”   

Walter Dawn Jr. started the scoring spree on the first drive with Metz under center at the 35-yard line to being the morning scrimmage. Dawn Jr. opened the drive with a 17-yard run and ended it with a two-yard plunge into the end zone. A key play was a Metz pass to Terry Juniel for a 29-yard gain to the 20-yard line. Dawn Jr. used runs of 13 and five yards following the Juniel catch to set up the touchdown.  Dawn Jr., a sophomore who was switched to running back, carried five times for 42 yards (8.4 avg.)

On the second drive (35-yard line), Greenlee opened with a 47-yard pass completion to transfer Alan Busey, who’s been a bright spot during the two-week camp. Greenlee completed two more passes, an eight-yard pass to Keynan Foster and a five-yard toss to Sterling Napier. But the defense responded with a sack by Dedrick Simpson.

Simpson’s sack was the first of five as second-year defensive coordinator Tom Mason kept encouraging his squad from the sideline. Dylan Parsee added the second that stopped a drive, while newly converted linebacker Treyvon Hughes, freshman Keith Sullivan and Mike Sota each took down the quarterbacks.

With the defense making plays, the offense stepped up again as Greenlee found Kevin Dove for a 12-yard scoring pass. The drive started at the 25-yard line during the red zone drills. Greenlee opened the red zone drive with an 11-yard pass to Tyler Batson.

Of the five red zone drives, the offense found the end zone twice as Metz hooked with Busey for a 12-yard score. Parsee notched a sack to end one of those red zone drives.

Greenlee finished with 209 yards on 9-of-12 passing. Greenlee found Warren Redix for a 34-yard touchdown and then ended the scrimmage with an exclamation point. On the final drive of the day, the offense was penalized for five yards to put the ball back at the 35-yard line. But Greenlee rolled out to his right and launched a 65-yard scoring pass to freshman and El Paso native Richie Rodriguez.

Metz finished 11-of-13 with 141 yards and a pair of scores. The UTEP signal callers didn’t commit any turnovers on the day.

“I thought the quarterbacks, really during the past week, have stepped up their game from an efficiency standpoint,” Kugler said. “They’re more accurate and doing a good job at handling the audibles versus the blitzes. We has the defense blitz the quarterbacks a lot this past week.”

Juniel led the receivers with 82 yards on five catches, while Dylan Kittrell impressed with 55 yards on four receptions. All of Kittrell’s receptions came from true freshman quarterback Alex Fernandes. Transfer tight end Josh Weeks caught three passes for 39 yards and Busey tallied 59 yards on a pair of receptions.

Defensively, Alvin Jones led with five tackles, while transfer defensive back Khalil Rashaad-Brown registered four stops. Justin Rogers tallied three tackles and a pass breakup, while Sullivan and Sota each added pass breakups. Sullivan, at 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, drew a few holding penalties. ​

Photos by Andres Acosta, El Paso Herald-Post Chief Photographer

First UTEP Football Scrimmage Features Balance on Both Sides of Ball

A day after the UTEP football team went full pads, the Miners played their first scrimmage on Sunday in which big plays were made on both sides of the ball.

Sophomore running back Kevin Dove opened the scrimmage with a 75-yard touchdown rush. Dove broke multiple tackles on his way to pay dirt to get the offense fired up. Twelve plays later senior signal caller Zack Greenlee found junior wide receiver Warren Redix for an 80-yard score.

But the UTEP defense, under second-year defensive coordinator Tom Mason, made adjustments and made plays of its own. Junior transfer defensive back Khalil Rashaad-Brown picked off a pass for the first forced turnover and junior corner Nik Needham also intercepted a pass in the red zone for the second forced turnover.

Clip courtesy UTEP Athletics

Back to the offensive side of the ball, UTEP’s new pass catchers made impacts as junior transfer wide receiver Alan Busey made a 33-yard grab from junior quarterback Ryan Metz and sophomore transfer tight end Josh Weeks tallied a pair of grabs for 29 yards, including a long of 25 yards from Metz.

UTEP’s other transfer tight end junior David Lucero tallied a seven-yard reception and junior transfer wide receiver Keynan Foster recorded a six-yard reception.

During the ‘gotta-have-it’ segment, where the offense takes the ball at midfield on a 4th-and-four scenario, Terry Juniel took a Metz pass to the end zone for a 50-yard score. The Miners didn’t convert the first fourth-down attempt.

The UTEP defense registered four sacks; one each by sophomore Denzel Chukwukelu, senior Alvin Jones, senior Lawrence Montegut and junior transfer Jamar Smith.

As far as leading tacklers, freshman Dedrick Simpson, senior Devin Cockrell and Jamar Smith each recorded a trio of stops.

Redix led the way with 88 yards on two receptions to lead the receivers, Dove led the running backs with 76 yards on five carries and Metz led the quarterbacks with 108 yards on 7-of-12 passing and an interception.

Greenlee threw for 86 yards on 2-of-3 passing and a score, and redshirt freshman Mark Torrez threw the other interception.

The Miners will continue with camp on Tuesday and will play the second and final scrimmage of camp on Sunday, Aug. 20 at approximately at 8:45 a.m. MT. The team will head back to the Sun City following the scrimmage


UTEP Football Adds Depth to Roster

Miners add eight to roster after first practice at camp Ruidoso on Tuesday.

UTEP football looks to add depth with the addition of three defensive, three offensive and two special teams student-athletes.

Head coach Sean Kugler also announced that walk-ons TK Powell, Keynan Foster, Johnny Jones, David Jackson and Robert Pufahl have earned scholarships for their performance on the field and classroom.

The Miners will continue practice tomorrow in Ruidoso, N.M. and will scrimmage for the first time on Sunday starting at 8: 45 a.m. MT


Alan Busey | WR | 6-1 | 180 | JR-TR | Hayward, Calif. (Chabot CC)

PRIOR TO UTEP: Played two years at Chabot Junior College … hauled in 73 passes for 1,521 yards (20.8 avg.) and 18 touchdowns in 19 contests played during career at Chabot … recorded 441 yards on 23 receptions and six scores in eight games during the 2016 campaign … caught a pair of touchdowns during a win against Fresno … registered season bests in yards (86) and receptions (five) with a score during a triumph against Sequoias … named 2015 Region I All-California first team offense after recording 1,080 yards on 50 receptions (21.6 avg.) and 12 touchdowns in 11 games during freshman season … broke out with career highs in yards (236) and touchdown receptions (three) on seven catches during a win against Fresno … hauled in a career-best 11 passes for 204 yards and three scores … notched 130 yards on seven catches and a touchdown during a win against Modesto.

PERSONAL: Full name is Alan Trey Busey … son of Alan Busey, Sr. and Marilyn Lee … has three brothers and two sisters … born in Minneapolis, Minn. … undeclared major.

Josh Dunn | LB | 6-0 | 195 | FR-HS | Sarasota, Fla. (Lake Wales)

PRIOR TO UTEP: Played two years on the varsity squad at Lake Wales High School … posted 66 tackles (59 solo) with 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, an interception (10-yard return), two fumble recoveries and six forced fumbles during senior season (2015) … opened senior campaign with 10 tackles (nine solo), 4.0 tackles for loss, a sack, two forced fumbles and an interception during a victory against Ridge Community … posted another 10 stops (nine solo) with a forced fumble against Auburndale … played nine games at defensive back during junior season (2014) … registered 41 tackles (eight solo) with 6.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions (73-return yards), two pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

PERSONAL: Full name is Joshua Thomas Dunn … son of Charles Dunn and Carla Johnson … has two sisters … born in Winter Haven, Fla. … business major.

Bijan Hosseini | OL | 6-3 | 300 | JR-TR | Upland, Calif. (Chaffey CC)

PRIOR TO UTEP: Played sophomore year (2016) at Chaffey College on the offensive line, seeing action in four contests … posted a tackle against El Camino … played in two games during freshman year (2015) at Fullerton College.

PERSONAL: Bijan Hosseini is the son of Perry Hosseini … has one sister … born in Upland, Calif. … undeclared major.

Jesse Montgomery | DB | 6-1 | 180 | SR-TR | Dallas, Texas (SMU)

PRIOR TO UTEP: Played two seasons at SMU, seeing action in 19 contests during the 2014 and 2015 seasons … posted 10 tackles, an interception and two pass breakups in eight games (three starts) during 2015 … opened season with four tackles against Baylor … posted four tackles at Houston … played in 11 games, making two starts during redshirt freshman season … tallied 20 stops (13 solo) with a trio of pass breakups in 2014 … recorded season-best five tackles versus Houston

PERSONAL: Full name is Jesse Romello Montgomery … son of Alton and Kimberly Montgomery … father was a cornerback and kick returner in the NFL for the Denver Broncos (1990-92) and Atlanta Falcons (1993-95) … has one brother and two sisters … born in Griffin, Ga. … undeclared major.

Khalil Rashaad-Brown | DB | 5-10 | 185 | JR-TR | Carson, Calif. (Long Beach City College)

PRIOR TO UTEP: Played 2016 season at Long Beach City College … posted 33 tackles (29 solo) with 2.0 tackles for loss and six pass breakups in all 11 games … registered season-high eight tackles (six solo) in a win against Riverside … recorded four tackles and two pass breakups to help Vikings win the 2016 Western State Bowl … played freshman season (2015) at Mt. San Antonio College, posting 32 tackles, two interceptions, 10 passes defended and a forced fumble in 11 games played … tallied six tackles as efforts surged Mounties to a Patriotic Bowl victory.

PERSONAL: Full name is Khalil Ahmad Rashaad-Brown … son of Donald Brown and Michelle Rodriguez … father, Don, played cornerback at Oregon (1982-83, 1985-86) … has one brother and one sister … born in Corona, Calif. … kinesiology major.

Jake Sammut | LS | 5-8 | 170 | JR-TR | Mohave Valley, Ariz. (College of Canyons)

PRIOR TO UTEP: Played at College of the Canyons in 2014 and 2016 … saw action in five contests as the team’s long snapper … tallied a solo tackle against Grossmont … named to 2016 Southern California Football Association (SCFA) Scholar-Athlete team … played in three games in 2014, registering a pair of tackles … played varsity baseball at River Valley High School for two years.

PERSONAL: Full name is Jacob Joseph Belpedio Sammut … son of Mike Belpedio Summut and Terri Wright … has two brothers … born in Bullhead City, Ariz. … business management studies major.  

Logan Tuley-Tillman | OL | 6-7 | 320 | SR-TR | Peoria, Ill. (Akron)

PRIOR TO UTEP: Played first three years of collegiate football at Michigan … redshirted for the Wolverines during first year in 2013, played in one contest in 2014 and did not see action in 2015 … played junior season (2016) at Akron, starting in all 12 contests for the Zips … one of only seven Zips to start every game … Akron rushers combined for 1,586 yards and 13 scores, while Akron quarterbacks combined for 25 touchdowns, 3,063 yards on 217-of-396 passing and 14 interceptions … Zips’ quarterbacks were sacked 25 times in games.

PERSONAL: Full name is Latonya Logan Tuley-Tillman … son of Tony Tillman, Angela Tuley and Chris Collins (foster father) … has four younger brothers and six younger sisters … born in Peoria, Ill. … pursuing a master’s degree in leadership studies

Brady Viles | K | 6-0 | 210 | SO-TR | Tucson, Ariz. (Arizona Western College)

PRIOR TO UTEP: Played at Arizona Western in 2016 … was 3-for-3 on point after touchdown attempts … missed lone field goal attempt … played in all 13 games … made all three PAT attempts against Everett Red Raiders … was a kickoff specialist with over 80 percent touchbacks … played in the NJCAA Football Championship game and tallied four kickoffs with all of them being touchbacks (50.8 avg.) … helped the team rate first nationally and first in conference in PATs … posted two tackles (one solo) against Glendale … in 2015, played at Arizona Post Graduate Academy … played in 14 games under center at River Valley High School during senior season in 2014 … passed for 1,770 yards on 83-of-144 attempts with 18 scores and only two interceptions … ran for 662 yards on 85 carries (7.8 avg.) and two touchdowns.

PERSONAL: Full name is Brady Lee Viles … son of Jeff and Lori Viles … has two sisters … born in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. … undeclared major.


Quotes: Head Coach Sean Kugler at 2017 C-USA Football Media Kickoff

UTEP Miners football Head Coach Sean Kugler spoke to the press Wednesday about his team and the upcoming 2017 Conference USA season.

Coach Kugler enters his fifth season at the helm of the Miners.

Why are Will [Hernandez] and Alvin [Jones] so important to the program?

“Will Hernandez is probably the most physical players on our program. He’s been our starting [left] guard for three years and he’s on the Outland Trophy Watch list. Will is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever been around. He brings a work ethic that we are looking for in our program. Will is probably one of the strongest players I’ve been around. He’s very humble and just a hardworking kid.

“Alvin Jones is the twin brother of Aaron Jones, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers this past year. And Alvin again has been equally productive. He’s been our leading tackler the last three years, our leading sacker two out of the three years and our leader in tackles for losses.

“Both those guys are very productive. They’re both productive in the classroom and going to graduate on time. [Will and Alvin] are both quality kids with great work ethic. So, they deserve to be [at media day] and they deserve to be Conference USA Preseason candidates.”

How much improvement are you expecting from the defense after playing a year as a 3-4 defense?

“We’re expecting drastic improvement. We saw it in the Spring; just from a communication standpoint and guys getting lined up in the right places. Last year – to a fault of my own – that was a little more than what we expected, completely making a drastic change switching from the 4-2-5 to a 3-4. Number one, just the time to learn it, I felt the defense drastically improved as the year went on. But from a personnel standpoint, we had to go and get linebackers and we’ve got 20 linebackers on our roster now, which is drastically improved. Having that many linebackers will also help the special teams with all those big bodies running around.”

What do you have to do to generate more of a pass rush?

“We have to generate more sacks and we’ve addressed that by signing some linebackers. We could have a whole new linebacking crew out on the field for the exception of Alvin and Dante [Lovilotte]. Lovilotte’s a returning linebacker who had an outstanding season. We signed Julian Jackson, who’s a graduate transfer from Wake Forest. We also have some young, up-and-coming players who we were impressed with during the Spring – guys like Dylan Parsee and Lawrence Montegut and those type guys. But we have to generate more sacks and that is what the 3-4 defense is built on and that’s what we expect.”

How does having a returning starting quarterback [Ryan Metz] help to improve the offense? Does it take weight off you as a coaching staff?

“[Ryan Metz] is a quality kid. He’s a leader and a competitor. He was probably out [on the field] too early in his career. He just wasn’t quite ready yet, but no fault of his, he just had to be ready. Now he’s ready. It’s his time, he’s put in the work and he’s very productive when he’s played. Our offense, when he was inserted in last year, averaged over 30 points per game from the time he was the quarterback till the end of the season. The team rallies around him and he’s got a great demeanor. We’re excited about Ryan Metz and what he can do for the program this season.”

What did you learn playing under Andy Reid?

“I learned a lot, [Andy Reid] was really my mentor – a father figure to me. I always knew I wanted to be a coach. But after spending three years playing for Andy Reed, I knew I wanted to be the best coach. He’s probably the best coach in the NFL, even though I’m being biased about that. As far as a line coach, he’s the best line coach I’ve ever been around.”

UTEP’s Ryan Metz Announced as Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Candidate

BALTIMORE, Md. – UTEP’s Ryan Metz was one of 47 standout quarterbacks from different divisions and conferences across the nation to be named as a 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award candidate on Tuesday.

The Golden Arm Award is presented at the end of each football season and the winner is selected based on his accomplishments both on and off the field.

The junior signal caller played in 11 contests, starting seven during the 2016 campaign. Metz completed 64.7 (130-201) percent of his passes, which ranked third in Conference USA and is the program’s second-best single-season performance. Metz tossed 14 touchdowns, only four interceptions and 1,375 yards. His 141.14 passing efficiency rating was the program’s fifth-best single-season outing.

The native of El Paso was highlighted as one of eight Manning Award Stars of the Week after tying his career high with a trio of touchdown passes during a 52-49 5OT victory at UTSA on Oct. 22. Metz also concluded his sophomore season with a pair of touchdown passes, including a career-long 72-yard score during a dominant victory over North Texas.

The graduate of Andress High School is known for his on-field achievements and has also made an impact off the field. Metz completed 25 hours of community service hours last season, while the signal caller is known for volunteering his time to children in the community.

Metz volunteered over 15 hours at children’s camps, where he assisted with football drills and activities for the future gridiron greats. Metz was also a member of Project MOVE, where he played with children in the community in various activities like kickball, football and soccer. Metz is active in assisting with the football team’s weekly dinner with the Child Crisis Center.

Metz, along with his teammates, spend time with the children in the Crisis Center, playing, working on homework and eating dinner together. His classroom achievements were recognized as Metz has been named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll the past three years.

Metz was also selected as one of 45 national collegiate quarterbacks, and the first UTEP quarterback, to be invited to the 2017 Manning Passing Academy supervised by the Manning Family (Archie, Cooper, Eli & Peyton). The camp was a four-day event that started June 22 at Nicholls State University in which over 125 prep, college and professional coaches, counselors and staff members were involved.

UTEP opens the 2017 season at Oklahoma on Sept. 2 (1:30 p.m. MT). The home opener will also be the C-USA lid lifter as the Miners will host Rice on Sept. 9 and will follow with another home game against Arizona on Friday, Sept. 15 (8:15 p.m.).

For season tickets call 915.747.6150 or email

Miners’ Metz Named to Wuerffel Trophy Watch List

The Wuerffel Trophy announced on Tuesday that UTEP quarterback Ryan Metz is one of 108 nominees from Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to make the watch list.

The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida.

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 El Paso native is known for his on-field achievements and has also made an impact off the field. The junior completed 25 hours of community service hours last season, while the signal caller is known for volunteering his time to children in the community. Metz volunteered over 15 hours at children’s camps, where he assisted with football drills and activities for the future gridiron greats.

Metz was also a member of Project MOVE, where he played with children in the community in various activities like kickball, football and soccer. Metz is active in assisting with the football team’s weekly dinner with the Child Crisis Center. Metz, along with his teammates, spend time with the children in the Crisis Center, playing, working on homework and eating dinner together.

Metz is one of eight Conference USA student-athletes on the list.

Voting for the Wuerffel Trophy is performed by a National Selection Committee that includes college football television and print media, industry notables, former head coaches and prior Wuerffel Trophy recipients.

Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 2 and finalists will be announced on November 22.

UTEP Seeking National Anthem Singers

UTEP is looking for national anthem singers for the 2017-18 athletic year.

“If you believe you have what it takes, you’re invited to try out at the UTEP Athletics National Anthem Showcase on Saturday (July 22) from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Memorial Gym room 120,”  UTEP officials say.

All vocalists and musicians are welcome to audition.  Parking passes are available upon registration.

Those interested need to register by Thursday, July 20, by contacting Andrea Urbina in the UTEP Marketing Department, (915) 747-6065 or via e-mail

Miners Receive Preseason C-USA Recognition

Seniors Will Hernandez and Alvin Jones were named to the 2017 Preseason Conference USA Football team, the league announced on Monday.

For Hernandez this is the seventh preseason honor of the season (Outland Trophy, Athlon Sports’ All-American, Athlon Sports All-C-USA, Dave Campbell’s All-Texas Team, Phil Steele’s All-American and Phil Steele’s All-C-USA).

The All-American has started all 37 games at the left guard position during his career, while he’s part of an offensive line unit that has surrendered only 47 sacks in 37 contests (1.3 sacks allowed per game). The Miners ranked tied third in sacks allowed (22.0) and ranked fourth in sacks allowed per game (1.83).

Overall in the country, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview ranks the Miners’ offensive unit no. 40 in his top 56. UTEP is one of five schools not from a Power Five conference to make the top 40.

This is Jones’ fourth preseason award (Athlon Sports’ All-C-USA, Dave Campbell’s All-Texas Team, Phil Steele’s All-C-USA). The linebacker played in 10 contests, making eight starts and missing two games due to injury last season.

He earned All-C-USA second team honors after leading team in tackles with 93 (44 solo). Jones led team with 72 tackles on rushing plays and registered double-digit tackles in four contests. The El Paso native has 241 career tackles (seventh most at UTEP since the 2000 season) and has 10.5 career sacks, needing 1.5 to crack the all-time top 10 list.

The Miners open the new campaign at Oklahoma on Sept. 2, followed by the C-USA opener against Rice in the Sun Bowl on Sept. 9. For season tickets, call 915-747-6150.

UTEP’s Will Hernandez Announced to Outland Trophy Watch List

DALLAS – The Football Writers Association of America announced UTEP’s Will Hernandez to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List on Thursday.

The senior left guard in one of 81 standout interior linemen and one of 16 offensive guards to be named to the prestigious list.

The 2016 AP All-American as started all 37 games at the left guard position during his career, while he’s part of an offensive line unit that has surrendered only 47 sacks in 37 contests (1.3 sacks allowed per game).

The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner.

Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.

The list will be trimmed to six or seven semifinalists on Nov. 15Six days later, three Outland Trophy finalists will be named by the FWAA. The winner of the 72nd Outland Trophy – named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the 20th century, will be announced live on ESPN at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 7. For the third straight year, the show will air from the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 10, 2018 in Omaha, Neb. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the same banquet.

The Outland 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 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.

The Miners open the 2017 campaign at Oklahoma on Sept. 2 (1:30 p.m. MT), followed with their first home contest and Conference USA opener against Rice on Sept. 9 (6 p.m.).

Phil Steele’s College Football Preview: UTEP’s O-Line Ranked No. 1 in C-USA

In the latest edition of Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, the respected publication recognized seven Miners to the Preseason Conference USA team and ranked UTEP’s offensive line as no. 1 in C-USA and no. 40 nationally.

Will Hernandez (guard), Greg Long (tackle) and Alvin Jones (linebacker) were honored as 2017 Preseason C-USA first team selections. Terry Juniel (punt returner) garnered a third team selection, while freshman Joshua Fields (running back), Jayson VanHook (linebacker) and Alan Luna (punter) received fourth team selections.

Steele also rates UTEP’s linebackers as the fifth-best in C-USA.

As far as UTEP’s offensive line, Steele rated it as no. 1 in C-USA heading into the 2017 campaign. The Miners ranked tied third in sacks allowed (22.0) and ranked fourth in sacks allowed per game (1.83). Overall in the country, the Miners’ offensive line unit is ranked no. 40 by Steele in his top 56. UTEP is one of five schools not from a Power Five conference to make the top 40.

Hernandez is ranked no. 6 as one of the top 61 guards in the Top Draft Eligible Players. Hernandez was also named second team All-American on Steele’s 2017 Preseason All-American team.

UTEP opens the 2017 campaign at national power Oklahoma on Sept. 2 (1:30 p.m. MT). Then the Miners rev up C-USA action in the Sun Bowl on Sept. 9 against Rice (6 p.m.).

UTEP’s Hernandez Named to Athlon Sports Preseason All-American Team

Offensive lineman Will Hernandez was named to the 2017 Athlon Sports Preseason All-American third team on Tuesday.

The senior comes back after a stellar season where he garnered AP All-American second team, FOX Sports’ All-American second team, All-Conference USA first team and Pro Football Focus Best Pass Protector honors. The lineman has started all 37 games in his career for the Miners at the left guard position.

He led the offensive line that paved the way for Aaron Jones to rush for a single-season program-record 1,773 yards, while Jones also became UTEP’s all-time leading rusher last season. The Miners averaged 185.5 rushing yards per game and scored 20 touchdowns on the ground.

Hernandez is one of two student-athletes from C-USA that makes an appearance on the Athlon Sports All-American team. The Las Vegas, Nev., native also was named to the Athlon Sports Preseason All-C-USA first team.

Teammate Alvin Jones also garnered Athlon Sports All-C-USA first team recognition, while Devin Cockrell and Terry Juniel received second team honors. Jones was appointed to the 2016 All-C-USA second team after leading team in tackles 93 (44 solo). He ranked fourth in the league in tackles per game (9.3) and added 6.0 tackles for loss (28 yards), 2.5 sacks (22 yards) and a pass breakup.

Cockrell started all 12 games last season and ranked fourth on defense, while leading all defensive backs with 58 tackles (31 solo). He added 3.0 tackles for loss, a pass breakup, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery. The senior led team with 10 special team’s tackles (seven punt return tackles)

Juniel returns to the Miners special teams unit as the starting punt returner. The specialist was the team’s leading punt returner, tallying 203 yards on 22 returns (9.2 avg.), with a pair of long returns of 43 yards. Juniel led C-USA in punt returns and return yards. The junior returned nine kickoffs for 164 yards (18.2 avg.) with a long of 26 yards.

UTEP’s center Derron Gatewood and punter Alan Luna also received recognition on the All-C-USA Preseason fourth team.

UTEP Athletics Introduces 2017-18 Marketing Theme

For over 100 years, UTEP has been El Paso’s university and the Miners have been El Paso’s team.  And while the student-athletes and coaches have driven the success on the field, the support of the community and a passionate fanbase have made the game day experience in the Sun Bowl and Don Haskins Center truly unique.

This year, UTEP Athletics celebrates not only its rich history, but the people who are proud to call themselves Miners!  “We Are Miners” is UTEP’s athletics marketing theme for 2017-18.

WeAreMinersThe “We Are Miners” theme will be prevalent across town and branded in everything produced by UTEP Athletics, including social media content, posters and schedule cards.  “We Are Miners” merchandise will be available at the UTEP Bookstore.  Game day will be enhanced for 2017-18, with more interactive fan experiences.

UTEP’s food service, Sodexo, will introduce new premium burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and nachos in the Sun Bowl this fall.

Fans will also be allowed on the field after all five football home games.

UTEP’s annual “Fan Day” at the Larry K. Durham Center on Aug. 26 will be family-oriented with activities for kids, meet and greets with the coaches and players and an autograph session.  Fans will also have the opportunity to interact with the coaches and players, as well as tour the Miners’ Larry K. Durham Center, at the brand-new season ticket pickup event on Aug. 4.

Keeping up with the “We Are Miners” theme, each of UTEP’s football home games will celebrate a different faction of the El Paso community.  The Rice game (Sept. 9) is “Hometown Heroes Night,” Arizona (Sept. 15) is “Military Night,” WKU (Oct. 7) is “Youth Football Night,” UTSA (Oct. 28) is “Spirit Night” and LA Tech (Nov. 18) is “Teacher Education Night.”

The Homecoming game is on Oct. 7 versus WKU.

Additional UTEP Football game day details will be announced later this summer.  UTEP Football Season Tickets, starting at just $55, are available now by calling (915) 747-6150.  Family packs are just $190 for two adults and two youth.

UTEP’s home schedule features a visit by Arizona from the Pac-12 Conference for the first time since 1977, as well as matchups with both 2016 Conference USA division champions in WKU and LA Tech.

2017 UTEP Football Home Schedule

Sept. 9            Rice*                        6 p.m.

Sept. 15            Arizona                        8:15 p.m.

Oct. 7            WKU* (Homecoming)                        6 p.m.

Oct. 28            UTSA*                        6 p.m.

Nov. 18            LA Tech*                        TBA

News conference video: Part One | Part Two

UTEP Updates 2017 Football Schedule

With the release of Conference USA’s TV schedule on Wednesday, UTEP’s 2017 football slate has been updated.

The Miners will appear on television six times over the course of the season, including five road games – at Oklahoma (Sept. 2, FOX), at Army (Sept. 30, CBS Sports Network), at Southern Miss (Oct. 14, STADIUM), at Middle Tennessee (Nov. 4, beIN Sports) and at North Texas (Nov. 11, ESPN3).  STADIUM is formerly ASN and Campus Insiders.

UTEP’s home matchup with Arizona (Sept. 15) will air on ESPN with an 8:15 p.m. Mountain start time.

Times are set for nine of the 12 games, the exception being the final three games in the month of November, which will be announced at a later date.

UTEP’s home games versus Rice (Sept. 9), WKU (Oct. 7) and UTSA (Oct. 28) will all kick at 6 p.m. Mountain time.  UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150.

2017 UTEP Football Schedule

Date            Opponent            Time            Network

Sept. 2            at Oklahoma            1:30 p.m.            FOX

Sept. 9            Rice*            6 p.m.

Sept. 15            Arizona            8:15 p.m.            ESPN

Sept. 23            at NM State            6 p.m.

Sept. 30            at Army            1:30 p.m.            CBS Sports Network

Oct. 7            WKU*            6 p.m.

Oct. 14            at Southern Miss*            5 p.m.            STADIUM

Oct. 28            UTSA*            6 p.m.

Nov. 4            at Middle Tennessee*            5:30 p.m.            beIN Sports

Nov. 11            at North Texas*            TBA            ESPN3

Nov. 18            LA Tech*            TBA

Nov. 25            at UAB*            TBA


* Conference USA game

All times Mountain

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