UTEP football camp 2016 came to a close as the Miners had their final scrimmage on Saturday morning in the Sun Bowl before taking the practice field next week to prepare for the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 against rival NM State on Sept. 3.
Though the session opened with a Zack Greenlee 32-yard pass completion to Warren Redix, the defense kept the offense out of the end zone a good chunk of the morning. The Miners’ offense hit pay dirt once, a Tyrone Nelson 10-yard touchdown rush.
In four move-the-ball possessions (starting from the 25-yard line), the offense didn’t convert any of the drives into the scores. Greenlee moved the ball first, getting stopped at the opponent’s 44-yard line. Freshman Mark Torrez, out of Eastwood High School in El Paso, gained the most yards (69) on the offense’s fourth drive.
Sophomore defensive lineman Mike Sota tallied a defense-leading five tackles and a quarterback hurry. Leon Hayes, Lawrence Montegut, Cooper Foster, Makana Fraser and Foster Dixson each registered three tackles. Freshman defensive lineman Christian Johnson scored a touchdown for the ‘D’ on a forced fumble/fumble recovery near the end of the scrimmage. Gene Hopkins and Sky Logan notched a sack a piece.
The offense ran four other drives from the opponent’s 23-yard line. The first three were stopped, but Johnson led the drive that resulted in Nelson’s score.
Overall, the quarterbacks were 25-of-34 for 279 yards and an interception. Greenlee finished 6-of-8 for 85 yards, while Metz led in yards (112) on 10-of-13 passing. Johnson was 4-for-8 (47 yards) while Torrez was a perfect 5-for-5 (35 yards.)
As far as pass receiving, freshman Eddie Sinegal had a nice morning, leading the offense in catches (four) and yards (60), including a 29-yard reception. Jaquan White tallied three receptions for 45 yards. White registered a pair of 16-yard catches, both for first downs. In a quarterback-to-quarterback connection, Metz hooked up with Johnson on a pair of receptions for 29 yards. Augie Touris added a 30-yard catch from Metz.
The rushing attack went for 182 yards on 50 attempts and a score. Freshman Kevin Dove led the way with 50 yards on 12 carries, while Nelson gained 35 yards on 11 rushes. Freshman Quadraiz Wadley recorded 46 total yards.
During the final drive of the scrimmage, where the ‘young players’ saw action, Desmond Davis gained 27 yards on 3 attempts, including back-to-back first down runs of 11 and 14 yards. Orion Prescott, also on the final drive, added a catch for two yards and 10 yard on a pair of rushes.
The 2016 season opens against the Aggies on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Sun City. UTEP will then travel to Austin to take on Texas in week two (Sept. 10), following with a contest against Army in the Sun Bowl, a 5 p.m. kickoff.