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Home | Tag Archives: utep football (page 2)

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UTEP Senior DB Rogers relishing opportunity to lead as Team Captain

UTEP senior defensive back Justin Rogers followed in his father Jeff’s footsteps to El Paso.

Sort of.

“He was recruited to play basketball here,” Justin Rogers said.  “He actually signed, and he was part of the last recruiting class of coach [Don] Haskins.  But he had some issues with his SAT and never made it here.”

Fortunately, there were no such issues for Justin Rogers and he has settled in as a leader in the UTEP secondary.  The Los Angeles native has also acclimated nicely to his new home in the Sun City.

“I love El Paso,” he said.  “The pace is much slower.  And people treat each other well here.  I think sometimes in L.A., it’s so fast that people don’t care about doing the little things, like opening the door for somebody.”

Rogers was well-traveled before making El Paso his home for the last four years.  He actually attended three different high schools.

He passion for the game of football started in a Pop Warner league at a very young age.

“I think a lot of times parents put kids in a bunch of sports, as many as they can,” he said.  “But I only wanted to play football.”

Rogers attended Serra High School in Gardena, Calif. his freshman year.

“I was on the freshman team, but we had an ‘A’ team and a ‘B’ team, so I didn’t play much,” he said.  “There are a lot of reputable players that have come out of that school.  [Arizona quarterback] Khalil Tate was on our team.  One of our coaches said that he thought I’d have the best chance of playing varsity the following year.  That was funny to hear, because I didn’t consider myself, nor did anybody else consider me to be a really good player on the team.”

Rogers never got a chance to make an impact on the Serra varsity team, as he ended up transferring to Cabrillo High School in Long Beach for his sophomore campaign.

“I was the second nickel guy, and my friend got hurt in game four and the next thing I knew, I was starting three games when he was down,” Rogers said.  “So I got to play early in my career.”

He spent the final two years of his prep career at Los Angeles High School, where he really made a name for himself.  Slotted in at both the cornerback and wide receiver positions, Rogers led the team to its first CIF Los Angeles City Section Championship in 49 years in 2014.  A year later, he was named All-City on both sides of the ball.

“I remember that the summer going into my senior year was where I gained a lot of confidence with my play,” he said.

However, he attracted only mild recruiting interest.  His high school coach, Eric Scott, was a former assistant at UCLA and got him in the mix with the Bruins, Fresno State, San Diego State and UNLV.  But Rogers’ only scholarship offer came from a program down in the West Texas town of El Paso.

“UTEP was the only school to offer me, which I think was a blessing because I couldn’t have imagined having 35 offers and trying to decide between Alabama and Clemson,” he said.  “The decision was made for me and I accepted.  I figured this would be the best place for me.”

Rogers played immediately as a rookie in 2016, and was appointed to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team after ranking second on the team with seven pass breakups.  He registered 109 tackles, four interceptions and 15 pass breakups in his first three seasons with UTEP, while earning 14 starting assignments.

The last two years have been tough on the Miners, as they’ve had to deal with coaching changes and a dearth of victories.

It took Rogers a little time to embrace his position coach, Remington Rebstock.

“When I was first around him, I kind of had the mentality that I liked my last coach,” he said.  “And then I softened, learned about him and we spent the season together.”

What Rogers learned was that he and Rebstock embraced the same guiding principles.

“He shows the same dedication that I show, and he wants to win as bad as I do,” he said.  “I can expect the same thing from [defensive coordinator] Mike Cox.  I really respect them as men.  They not only show us how to play football, but how to handle a lot of stuff.  I really love the coaching staff.  They’re all my boys, and I appreciate everything that they’ve done.”

The Miners made progress in 2018, winning a game for the first time in nearly two years and enjoying staunch improvement on defense.  Rogers knows that if UTEP is going to continue its upward trajectory and increase its victory tally in 2019, the defense will need to stand tall once again.

“Our defense was pretty good last season, but I think we can take another step just by creating more turnovers,” he said.  “To be as good of a defense as we’d like to be, we have to get the ball.”

Rogers finds himself in a different position this year as one of the grizzled veterans on the team, and a co-captain to boot.

“Being an old guy is funny,” he said.  “I talk to [former Miners] Nik Needham, Alvin Jones, Kalon Beverly, Kahani Smith and A.J. Hotchkins about how I can affect the team and the program.  I think it’s really important that our culture changes, and being in a position of leadership, I can voice that.

“This year coach [Dana] Dimel allowed us to vote for captains earlier, and I think that was important.  The previous year, we voted for captains before the season.  This year, captains were named at the end of the spring.  So being a captain and having the team with me going into the summer was huge.”

Rogers has imparted a lot of knowledge on his fellow Miners over the last few months.

“Early in our careers we struggled, so we know what’s it’s like to lose and we can point out what made us lose,” he said.  “We can fix that and try to change the culture.  Defensively, I just try to emphasize to the guys what’s important.  And base level, what’s important is being respectful to the coaches.  Everybody gets here and wants to play immediately, and I just try to tell them that it’s important they learn the defense.

“Knowing what you’re doing is super important.  That’s what wins and loses games.  On third down, 10 people do their job and one doesn’t, and we lose.  I try to emphasize to the newer guys that I know coach Reb and coach Cox.  They may be killing you about something that you think is super duper small, but I promise you it’s huge.  I think everybody is starting to understand the importance of doing their job.”

The Miners did their jobs in the season opener against Houston Baptist and came away with a 36-34 victory.  It may not have been pretty, but it was big for a program thirsty for a win.

“You learn something about yourselves when you play in close games, make plays late and show perseverance and fight,” Rogers said.  “You don’t get a lesson in adversity from blowing somebody out.  Granted, I hate sloppy play and sloppy play is definitely what we put out there at times.  But it’s something that we needed to progress.  We showed we have guys that aren’t going to quit, and that’s great.”

Author: Jeff Darby – UTEP

Miners set to battle Nevada Saturday at Sun Bowl

After resting up during an early-season bye week, UTEP returns home Saturday to play hosts to the Nevada Wolf Pack out of the Mountain West at the Sun Bowl.

“This is a Mountain West opponent coming in to our stadium, which is really exciting for our fans,” head coach Dana Dimel said.

“We had a great turnout at our first game and we are excited to play at home again. This will be a big test, a big challenge and opportunity for us to get back and play well and put all the pieces of our football program together offensively, defensively and on special teams. This Nevada team is going to be a big test for us. They are obviously a team that went 8-5 last year and has beaten a Big 10 opponent already this year. They are just a well-coached, good football team that plays physical football on both sides of the ball.”

UTEP enters the game with a 1-1 record after notching a season-opening win over Houston Baptist and falling to Texas Tech two weeks ago on the road. As for the Wolf Pack, they come into the contest with a 2-1 overall mark with wins over Purdue and Weber State. Nevada’s one loss came on the road at Oregon in week two.

UTEP and Nevada last met on the gridiron in 2002 in a game the Wolf Pack won, 23-17 in Reno, while the all-time series dates back to the 2000 season when both teams were members of the Western Athletic Conference.

Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m. MT on Saturday at the Sun Bowl. The game will be streamed on ESPN3 with Andy Morgan (play-by-play) and Trevor Vittatoe (analysis) calling all the action on Saturday night. Fans can also tune in to the radio broadcast on ESPN 600 El Paso to hear Jon Teicher (PxP), Bernie Ricono (analysis) and Mando Medina (sideline).

PREGAME NOTES

  • UTEP is currently one of only 20 FBS teams in the nation to put up perfect numbers in the red zone through the first three weeks of the college football season. The Miners enter Saturday’s home game versus Nevada a perfect 7-for-7 inside the 20-yard line. In two games, UTEP has three touchdowns (3 rushing) and four field goals for a total of 32 points put on the board in the red zone thus far.
  • For the first time since 2002, UTEP and Nevada will meet on the gridiron, only this time it will be a non-conference showdown between the Miners and Wolf Pack. From 2000-02, the two programs met as conference foes as UTEP and Nevada were both members of the Western Athletic Conference at that time. In the first meeting between UTEP and Nevada, the Miners came out on top, 45-22, but the Wolf Pack owned the next two contests in 2001 and 2002. The Sept. 21 matchup between the two teams will be the first meeting on the gridiron since the 2002 season and the fourth meeting in the all-time series.
  • The Miners own a 6-4 all-time record in games played on Sept. 21. The first meeting on that date came during the 1940 season when UTEP won, 28-7, at Northern Arizona. UTEP went on to win the next four contests on Sept. 21 in 1957 (W, 14-13 vs. North Texas), 1963 (W, 34-7 vs. North Texas), 1968 (W, 44-15 vs. New Mexico) and 1974 (W, 34-7 vs. Utah)

GAME DAY CENTRAL

Tickets: The UTEP 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. Single-game tickets can also be purchased online at www.utepminers.com, or by calling (915) 747-5234.

Pregame Activities: Prior to each home game this fall, team buses will drop off the Miners at the GR2 parking lot off of Glory Road. With the UTEP band, cheerleaders and spirit teams leading the way, the student-athletes will walk to their locker room in the Larry K. Durham Sports Center. Fans are invited to the drop-off point at 4 p.m. to cheer on the team as it starts the “Miner Walk.”

Also new in 2019 is a spectacular chrome pick that will be on display in the North concourse of the Sun Bowl Stadium, adjacent to the Durham Center. Fans can take pictures with the pick as a new UTEP game day tradition is forged.

Video+Gallery+Story: Texas Tech tops UTEP in Lubbock 38-3

Alan Bowman completed 30-of-45 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns, including two to T.J. Vasher, leading Texas Tech to a 38-3 win over UTEP on Saturday night at Jones AT&T Stadium.

Vasher had six receptions for 78 yards for the Red Raiders (2-0), who compiled 424 yards of offense while holding the Miners (1-1) to 131 yards and 11 first downs.

The Miners were unable to convert a first down on their initial series, and the Red Raiders took over at midfield following a 31-yard punt by Mitchell Crawford.  Bowman completed four of his first five passes to get Texas Tech inside the red zone, before handing off to Ta’Zhawn Henry on three consecutive plays.

Henry closed out the drive with runs of eight, four and five yards, the last giving Texas Tech its first touchdown of the night.

The UTEP defense forced punts on the Red Raiders’ next two possessions, but the offense was held in check as the Miners were held to 11 yards in the first quarter.  Early in the second quarter, Texas Tech increased its lead to 14-0 as Bowman capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive with a 13-yard scoring toss to Vasher.

With the Red Raiders driving for another score late in the second quarter, USC transfer Ykili Ross stepped up with a big interception at the UTEP 17-yard line, keeping it a two-possession game momentarily.

But, following a three and out for the offense, Bowman found receiver Dalton Rigdon streaking down the left sideline for a 49-yard touchdown and a 21-0 advantage.

After Trey Wolff’s 45-yard field goal early in the third quarter made it 24-0, Kai Locksley relieved UTEP starting quarterback Brandon Jones.

Locksley gave the Miners an offensive spark, as they crossed midfield for the first time.  However, Gavin Baechle’s 47-yard field goal attempt was wide left.

Bowman’s 30-yard TD pass to Vasher late in the third quarter extended the Red Raider lead to 31-0.  The lead reached 38-0 with 12:51 left in the game after Armand Shyne rushed for a seven-yard touchdown.

UTEP put points on the board with 5:32 remaining, as Baechle nailed a 45-yard field goal to make it 38-3.  Baechle improved to 4-for-5 on field goal tries this season with a career-long make.  The key play on the 12-play, 48-yard drive was a 25-yard pass from Locksley to Devaughn Cooper.

The Miners gained 77 of their yards on the ground with three players – Josh Fields (27), Treyvon Hughes (27) and Locksley (21) – responsible for 75 of those yards.

Jones completed 4-of-12 passes for 21 yards, and Locksley finished 3-of-7 for 33 yards.

The Miners played a turnover free game.

Justin Prince led the Miners in tackles for the second time in as many games with 10 stops, including nine of the solo variety.

The Miners have an early-season bye week coming up and they’ll return to the field to host Nevada in two weeks on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. MT.  Tickets, starting at just $12, are available by calling (915) 747-5234.

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.

Photo gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post | Video courtesy UTEP

Miners face first road test at Texas Tech

The UTEP Miners hit the road for the first time this week to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 6 p.m. MT on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.

“It is going to be a fun challenge for us to go play in Lubbock, which is always a good environment to play in,” head coach Dana Dimel said at his weekly press conference. “It has always been a tough place to play and they always play well at home. They are a good home football team.”

UTEP and Texas Tech last met on the gridiron in 2015 in a game the Red Raiders won, 69-20 in Lubbock, while the all-time series dates all the way back to the 1930 season. The first meeting between the two programs resulted in a 31-0 win for the Miners in Lubbock.

Texas Tech leads the all-time series 16-6-1 over UTEP, including having won seven straight contests over the Miners. The Red Raiders own an 8-3 record over the Miners in games played in Lubbock.

The game will be broadcast to a regional audience on FOX Sports Net with Mark Followill (play-by-play), Brian Baldinger (analysis) and CT Steckel (sideline) on the call.

The game can be seen locally on FOX Sports Southwest or on any streaming device using the FOX Sports Go app.

Fans can also tune in to the radio broadcast on ESPN 600 El Paso to hear Jon Teicher (play-by-play), Bernie Ricono (analysis) and Mando Medina (sideline).

PREGAME NOTES

  • UTEP compiled 508 total yards of offense against the Huskies on opening weekend, which is the most under head coach Dana Dimel and most in a game since the 2016 season finale versus North Texas (555). UTEP has posted six consecutive wins when tallying 500 yards or more dating back to the 2013 season.

  • Senior RB Treyvon Hughes was a force to be reckoned with on the ground for the Miners in the 36-34 win over HBU after recording a career-best 23 carries for 144 yards and two rushing TDs. His previous UTEP best was 76 yards rushing. UTEP pounded out 240 yards on the ground in the season-opening win, marking the first win in the Sun Bowl for the Miners since the 2016 season.

  • Gavin Baechle was a key component for the Miners last weekend with a total of 12 points after booting a career-best three field goals in as many attempts, including the eventual game-winning 35-yard field in the fourth quarter. Baechle also added three PATs to finish the night with 12 points. He became the first Miner to make three field goals in a game since Oct. 15, 2011. He is also the first UTEP kicker to connect on three field goals in the Sun Bowl since Sept. 25, 2010. Baechle connected on field goals from 30-, 21-, and 35-yards, while also recording 8 kickoffs for 517 yards (64.6 avg.) and 6 touchbacks.

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

Laufenberg Family collaborates with UTEP Athletics on Luke Laufenberg FIGHT Endowed Scholarship

The Laufenberg family has teamed with UTEP Athletics to establish the Luke Laufenberg FIGHT Endowed Scholarship, in honor of the former Miner who passed away at the age of 21 on August 22 following a two-year battle with cancer.

A tight end from Dallas, Laufenberg joined the Miners for 2019 spring ball after playing at Mesa Community College in 2017.  He played his senior season at Argyle Liberty Christian High School, where he was named 2016 Offensive Newcomer of the Year and honorable mention All-District.

He initially walked on at Texas A&M before continuing his football career at Mesa Community College, prior to being diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma.

“On behalf of Luke’s mom, Joan, and his brother, Joe Willie, we are incredibly grateful to UTEP and the entire Miners community for helping make our Luke’s dream of playing Division I college football a reality,” said Luke’s dad, Babe Laufenberg.  “We hope this scholarship will honor Luke’s legacy and allow other hardworking, dedicated athletes with big dreams and even bigger ‘FIGHT’ the opportunity to wear Miners’ orange and blue.”

“The scholarship endowment for Luke is really special because he is going to stay in our hearts and souls for many years,” UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said.  “He was a fighter, a champion and a wonderful person.  He was a very talented young man who left a huge mark on everyone he came in contact with.”

Contributions to the Luke Laufenberg FIGHT Endowed Scholarship are now being accepted online.  Multiple giving options are available.  For more information, please call (915) 747-6787 or email MAC@utep.edu.

 

Gallery+Story: Miners halt Huskies 36-34; 1st UTEP Home Victory since 2016

Treyvon Hughes rushed 23 times for a career-high 144 yards and two touchdowns, and UTEP pounded out 240 yards on the ground in a 36-34, season-opening win over Houston Baptist on Saturday night in the Sun Bowl.

“It is about finding a way to win a football game,” head coach Dana Dimel said. “That is such a big step for our football team right now because we had a ton of adversity. There is no better thing than a young football team to overcome adversity like we did and still find a way to scratch out a win. It was not perfect. We did not win the turnover margin, but we were able to establish a very physical run game.”

The Miners (1-0) rallied from a 28-20 third-quarter deficit, scoring 16 of the game’s final 22 points before a crowd of 34,646, the largest for a UTEP home opener in five years.

UTEP scored an emotional win while playing for the city of El Paso and fallen teammate Luke Laufenberg.

Gavin Baechle converted three field goals for UTEP, including a 35-yarder with 8:15 to go for the game winner.

After Baechle’s 30-yard field goal accounted for the only points of the first quarter and a 3-0 Miner lead, UTEP and HBU combined to score 34 points (17 each) in the second period.

The Miners extended their lead to 10-0 on an 80-yard TD pass from Brandon Jones to Tre’Shon Wolf with 12:57 remaining in the half. However, the Huskies accounted for 17 of the game’s next 24 points to knot the contest at 17 on a 47-yard field goal by Gino Garcia with 1:14 to go in the second quarter. Baechle connected on a 21-yard field goal right before halftime to send UTEP to the locker room leading 20-17.

UTEP compiled 289 yards of offense in the first half, including 75 on a nifty seven-play scoring drive that culminated in a three-yard TD run by Hughes late in the second quarter. Hughes and Jones did the heavy lifting on the drive, combining for 73 of the team’s 75 rushing yards.

The third quarter got off to an inauspicious start for the Miners as HBU reeled off 11 unanswered points to build a 28-20 lead. But UTEP responded by putting together back-to-back touchdown drives to take a 33-28 edge into the final frame.

First, Jones put the finishing touches on a 75-yard drive with a three-yard scoring run, then Hughes continued his big night by dashing for a 19-yard TD to conclude a 74-yard possession.

After HBU regained the lead, 34-33 early in the fourth quarter, Hughes went back to work. His 32-yard run on the first play of the next series set up Baechle’s 35-yard field goal with 8:15 remaining, putting the Miners ahead for good, 36-34 with 8:15 to go.

Jones, making his second start for UTEP under center, completed 10-of-20 passes for 268 yards. His ten completions went to eight different receivers, as Wolf led the way with 96 yards on two catches.

El Paso’s own Josh Fields supplemented Hughes in the ground game, as he racked up 61 yards on only seven carries (8.7 ypc).

The Miners outgained HBU (0-1) 508-413 in total yards. With UTEP clinging to a 36-34 lead midway through the fourth quarter and the Huskies driving for another score, the defense needed to make a big play and it did.

Chris Richardson sacked HBU quarterback Bailey Zappe inside the red zone and teammate Justin Rogers recovered the fumble to give the ball back to the Orange and Blue. The Miners were able to run out the final 5:57 on the clock.

A UTEP defense with a lot of new pieces was led by returning safety Rogers, who tallied 10 tackles.

The Miners will play their first road game of 2019 next Saturday (Sept. 7) at Texas Tech. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. MT and the game will be televised on FSN.

UTEP’s next home game is on Sept. 21 versus Mountain West foe Nevada at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale by calling (915) 747-5234.

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.

Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post

HP Sports In-Depth: UTEP Hosts Houston Baptist in 2019 Opener

UTEP is set to begin a new season on the gridiron today when the Miners welcome Houston Baptist to the Sun Bowl in El Paso for the 2019 opener, which is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

“We are looking forward to playing some football,” head coach Dana Dimel said at his weekly press conference. “It seems like fall camp went by really quickly for us, as it always does. We had a good trip up to Ruidoso and then came back, so the last couple of weeks we have been hitting it pretty hard. I have been happy with the way the team has been working and what we have been putting out on the field to this point. We invite everyone to come out and see us play. Our team is really looking forward to having a good crowd and a fun environment on Saturday.”

UTEP enters season No. 2 under head coach Dana Dimel, who directed the Miners to their first victory in two years with a 34-26 win at Rice on Nov. 3, 2018. Houston Baptist is led by sixth-year head coach Vic Shealy, while the Huskies are looking to rebound from back-to-back 1-10 seasons in 2017 and 2018.

The Miners and Huskies have met once before in 2016 when UTEP hosted Houston Baptist in a game the Miners won, 42-10, in the Sun City. HBU is 0-5 all-time against FBS opponents.

Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m. MT on Saturday at the Sun Bowl. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ for subscribers with Andy Morgan (play-by-play) and Trevor Vittatoe (analysis) calling all the action on Saturday night.

Fans can also tune in to the radio broadcast on KLAQ 95.5 FM to hear Jon Teicher (PxP), Bernie Ricono (analysis) and Mando Medina (sideline).

PREGAME NOTES

  • Last year, the Miners suffered multiple season-ending injuries early on that hindered the offensive line, but UTEP enters the 2019 season with more strength, returning eight players who have combined for 84 starts. Derron Gatewood brings the most experience to the line, having made 22 starts. Also adding depth at the line are seniors Ruben Guerra, Greg Long, Markos Lujan and Bijan Hosseini. Sophomore Bobby DeHaro was relied on the most last season, starting all 12 games. The El Paso native was the most consistent part of the offensive line, starting at left guard in 11 games.
  • The Miners increased their scoring average from 11.8 points per game in 2017 to 17.7 points per game last season. UTEP also increased its total offense per game from 230.5 ypg (2017) to 307.7 ypg (2018). Defensively, UTEP allowed 48 fewer points and 623 fewer yards in 2018 as opposed to the 2017 season, while the Miners were within 12 points of the opposition entering the fourth quarter in five of eight C-USA games in 2018.
  • Following the tragedy in the Sun City on Aug. 3, the UTEP football team will wear #ElPasoStrong decals on their helmets throughout the duration of the 2019 season, beginning against Houston Baptist on Aug. 31.
  • The UTEP football team will pay tribute to the late Luke Laufenberg at Saturday’s season opener versus Houston Baptist in the Sun Bowl. Laufenberg passed away at the age of 21 on Thursday, Aug. 22 after battling cancer for two years.  A tight end from Argyle, Texas, Laufenberg joined the Miners for 2019 spring ball after playing at Mesa Community College in 2017. The tribute to Laufenberg will take place between the first and second quarters at Saturday’s game.  A framed jersey will be presented to the Laufenberg family.  UTEP players will wear black “Luke” stickers on their helmets throughout the 2019 season.

GAME DAY CENTRAL

#ElPasoStrong: The HBU game will include recognition of the victims and heroes of the Aug. 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, Aug. 30 and a Khalid benefit concert scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 1 in the Don Haskins Center.

Tickets: 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.

Pregame Activities: Beginning this fall, team buses will drop off the Miners at the GR2 parking lot off of Glory Road. With the UTEP band, cheerleaders and spirit teams leading the way, the student-athletes will walk to their locker room in the Larry K. Durham Sports Center. Fans are invited to the dropoff point at 4 p.m. to cheer on the team as it starts the “Miner Walk.”

Also new in 2019 is a spectacular chrome pick that will be on display in the North concourse of the Sun Bowl Stadium, adjacent to the Durham Center. Fans can take pictures with the pick as a new UTEP gameday tradition is forged.

UTEP announces Football Friday Flash Sale – $5 Tickets Available

The UTEP football team will battle Houston Baptist on Saturday night in the Sun Bowl, and fans who haven’t gotten on board for the #OrangeRevival and the 2019 season opener can take advantage of a very special ticket offer on Friday.

For one day only, all seats in the Bronze Reserved section will be just $5 when purchased in person at the UTEP Ticket Center, located at 2901 North Mesa Street next to the Don Haskins Center.

The $5 tickets can also be purchased in person at the East Side UTEP Ticket Center store, located at 1452 N. Zaragoza Suite A-1500, or at the Union Building on the UTEP campus.

“Come out and see us play on Saturday!” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said.  “Tomorrow is another great day to buy tickets for the ball game with a special price in effect for one day only.  We’re going to play hard and we can’t wait to have you in the stands!”

UTEP Ticket Center hours of operation are 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and the flash sale is valid in person only during regular business hours on Friday.

Additionally, the $5 tickets will be sold at the Sun Bowl Stadium box office window during Minerpalooza on Friday night.  Minerpalooza launches the academic school year with live entertainment, carnival-style games, and delicious food.

Tickets to the football game will be sold at Minerpalooza from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets in all other sections will be regular price, $15 for reserved seating and $10 for general admission.

Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 6 p.m.

Miner Walk, Chrome Pick highlight new UTEP Football Gameday elements

When fans arrive at the Sun Bowl for the UTEP football team’s 2019 season opener versus Houston Baptist on Saturday, they’ll be treated to some exciting new gameday elements.

 Beginning this fall, team buses will drop off the Miners at the GR2 parking lot off of Glory Road.  With the UTEP band, cheerleaders and spirit teams leading the way, the student-athletes will walk to their locker room in the Larry K. Durham Sports Center. 

Fans are invited to the dropoff point at 4 p.m. to cheer on the team as it starts the “Miner Walk.”

Also new in 2019 is a spectacular chrome pick that will be on display in the North concourse of the Sun Bowl Stadium, adjacent to the Durham Center.  Fans can take pictures with the pick as a new UTEP gameday tradition is forged.

Keeping in tune with the “Orange Revival” theme for the 2019 season, Sodexo will be selling orange kettle corn and orange cotton candy in the Sun Bowl Stadium. 

Gourmet hot dogs are also being introduced this fall, one featuring macaroni & cheese and bacon, and the other with chili, onions and cheddar cheese. 

Orange margaritas will be sold in the all-new Party Patio, located in the North end zone.  Season passes to the Party Patio are just $99 (plus a game ticket) and are available by calling (915) 747-6150, visiting UTEP online ticket site or emailing seasontickets@utep.edu.

Fans can purchase all their orange gameday gear from the UTEP Bookstore, located at 2201 Sun Bowl Drive or online.

Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 6 p.m.  Fans will want to arrive early to pick up their #ElPasoStrong t-shirt while supplies last.  The t-shirts are compliments of the gameday sponsor Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare.

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 Football Team to honor Luke Laufenberg at Saturday’s season opener

The UTEP football team will pay tribute to the late Luke Laufenberg at Saturday’s season opener versus Houston Baptist in the Sun Bowl.

Laufenberg passed away at the age of 21 on Thursday, August 22 after battling cancer for two years.

“Luke Laufenberg touched our hearts and souls forever,” UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said. “His spirit and fight are reminders of what it means to play and coach the game of football. He was a fighter, a champion and a wonderful person. He was a very talented young man who left a huge mark on everyone he came in contact with. He was a wonderful individual and will not be forgotten on our football team. Our student-athletes learned from how he prepared himself and the way he handled adversity. I know Luke loved playing football for UTEP and he will forever be a Miner!”

A tight end from Argyle, Texas, Laufenberg joined the Miners for 2019 spring ball after playing at Mesa Community College in 2017.

The tribute to Laufenberg will take place between the first and second quarters at Saturday’s game. A framed jersey will be presented to the Laufenberg family. UTEP players will wear black “Luke” stickers on their helmets throughout the 2019 season.

Laufenberg played his senior season at Argyle Liberty Christian High School in Argyle, Texas, where he was named 2016 Offensive Newcomer of the Year and honorable mention All-District. He initially walked on at Texas A&M before continuing his football career at Mesa Community College, where he appeared in six games prior to being diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma.

Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 6 p.m.

UTEP Football Fan Day set for Saturday, August 24

UTEP Officials are inviting the orange and blue faithful to attend Miner football practice, then interact with players and coaches as part of the team’s annual “Fan Day” festivities on Saturday, August 24.

“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.”

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.

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 at www.utepminers.com, 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 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.

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