The UTEP football team played its final scrimmage at Camp Ruidoso, as the offense made major improvements from last week’s scrimmage.
The team will travel back to El Paso on Sunday after 12 days of camp, have Monday off and will continue two-a-days this week.
The offense, which is running with a new offensive system, looked out of sync during last Tuesday’s scrimmage. But the squad worked during this past week to make the necessary adjustments for Sunday’s session.
“I thought (the scrimmage) went really well,” fourth-year head coach Sean Kugler said. “I thought all three quarterbacks in the move-the-ball segment did a great job and led the team for touchdowns. It was a good bounce-back segment for the offense.”
UTEP quarterbacks started the scrimmage 12-of-14 for 100 yards, as the field generals led their respective squads to the end zone on all three possessions.
Transfer Zach Greenlee went 2-for-2 on the first drive and ended the drive with a four-yard scramble to paydirt. Sophomore Ryan Metz went 4-for-4 on the second possession, as that concluded with an Orion Prescott 10-yard touchdown run. Sophomore Kavika Johnson led the offense on the third possession that resulted in a Sterling Napier 10-yard touchdown reception.
Overall, UTEP quarterbacks (Greenlee 7-7, 82 yards, 1 TD; Johnson 8-10, 71 yards; Metz 5-9, 39 yards; Mark Torrez 2-5, 9 yards) combined for 201 yards on 22-of-31 passing and a score. The offense also didn’t commit any turnovers during the scrimmage.
Aaron Jones sat the scrimmage out, as most of the players who suffered major injuries in 2015 did. But Jones’s backup’s grinded out yards with tough running.
Freshmen running backs Kevin Dove and Quadraiz Wadley impressed coaches and teammates with their aggressive rushing attack. Wadley ran for 63 yards on 10 carries, while Dove bruised his way to 62 yards on eight attempts. Prescott rushed for a pair of touchdowns on the day.
The defense, which has switched to a 3-4 set from the 4-2-5 set the last few seasons, did pick up their tempo later in the scrimmage. During the red zone portion, the defense stopped the offense on three of four attempts. During the two-minute drill session, the defense picked up a sack notched by Christian Richardson.
Senior defensive back Dashone Smith led the defense with six tackles, while sophomore defensive back Kalon Beverly tallied four stops. The defense combined for four hurries and a pair of pass breakups.
The offense concluded the scrimmage by picking up a first down – a Johnson completion to freshman wide receiver Eddie Sinegal – during the gotta have it portion (one play to get a first down on a fourth-and-five scenario). Sinegal hauled in four passes for 40 yards, while Tyler Batson recorded the same numbers. Plinke caught a pair of passes for 38 yards, while Cole Freytag tallied 27 yards on two catches.
The 2016 season will open at the Sun Bowl against I-10 rival NM State at 6 p.m. For season tickets call 915.747.6150