UTEP FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW
The University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) isn't known as much of a football powerhouse, but they made a few of their critics stand up and take notice in light of their 2011 finish. Although the Miners finished with a 5-7 overall record and a 2-6 record in Conference-USA (C-USA), they exhibited all the signs of a maturing squad with signature wins over Colorado State and C-USA rival East Carolina. Heading into the 2012 season, head coach Mike Price likely has high hopes for his squad, which has a number of veteran players that are coming into their own and are ready to make the leap to C-USA dominance.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Miners will once again turn to quarterback Nick Lamaison, who finished with 12 passing touchdowns during 2011. The position to watch on UTEP's offense is definitely at tailback, as the Miners will transition two new starters into the offense. Josh Bell and Nathan Jeffery look to be a power and speed combination that the offense has been sorely lacking in recent years. At the other skill positions, UTEP is blessed with three massive tight ends, as well as a mix of small, speedy receivers to give the team plenty of options in the middle of the field, as well as down by the end zone. The offensive line may have lost a few starters, but seniors Eloy Atkinson and James Nelson should be the anchors for a young group.
UTEP's defense is sure to keep it in many games during the 2012 season, as it has the greatest amount of returning starters from the 2011 campaign. Greg Watkins and Horace Miller will man the defensive end positions, while Marcus Bagley, Ruben Munoz and Germard Reed will form a formidable rotation at defensive tackle. All three senior linebackers - Jamie Irving, Aubrey Alexius and Josh Fely - will return to man the middle of the defense. Finally, the Miners' secondary will also return four starters from 2011, with coaches hoping that cornerback Darren Woodard and Drew Thomas can repeat their performances from last year.
Heading into the 2012 campaign, UTEP fans will have a lot to look forward to as the season kicks off. The Miners will face off against Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Wisconsin over the season's first four weeks, so the team will have a chance to prove itself immediately to jump into the national rankings.
UTEP MINERS TEAM INFORMATION:
Location: El Paso, Texas
Stadium: Sun Bowl Stadium
Conference: Conference USA
Rivals: NMSU Aggies, New Mexico Lobos
Mascot: Paydirt Pete
Notable Alumni: Roy Gerela, Duriel Harris, Fredd Young
Notable Bowl Games:
The UTEP Miners are working hard to put their football team on the national map. Coach Mike Price's experience and success at Washington State has brought a lot of attention to El Paso after he accepted the head coaching job at UTEP in 2004. The Miners managed to crack the top 25 for a short period that first season. Price's teams have also consistently led the Conference USA in various statistical categories, especially offensive production categories.
Visitors to a Miners game at Sun Bowl Stadium can feel the increased attention and excitement for this football program on the rise. The Sun Bowl will be at its 51,500 seat capacity this season as Miner fans watch with anticipation to see if their underdog team can make their big breakout into the national spotlight. Buy UTEP Miners football tickets and witness the drama of another incredible turnaround season at UTEP!
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UTEP Miners Football Season Preview History
UTEP Miners Ticket Information:
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UTEP FOOTBALL It is always so much fun going to utep football games. No matter what seats your in they are good. A lot of fun to watch them fly in the game ball also. July 20, 2012