VOL 1 ISSUE 28
NOVEMBER 11, 2011
Soccer Falls Short at C-USA Championship 13 WBB: Seniors Provide Leadership 15 noteWORTHY 17 The Final Word: Bowl Dreams Fading? 21
MINER ILLUSTRATED VOL I ISSUE 28
There is nothing worse than watching the Miners lose while on a road trip and then getting sick after the game. Sadly, this is exactly what has happened to me since traveling to Houston to cover the UTEP-Rice football game. Everything started great; covered the men’s exhibition game Thursday, was packed and ready to go Friday morning, and got to Houston with out any issue. I had a delicious lunch, a great Cajun dinner and when I went to bed, everything seemed fine. Then I woke up Saturday morning and there was a scratch in my throat, which semirunied my trip to Shipley’s Do-Nuts (If you’re in Houston, you have to stop by for some, they are pretty good), but drinking some orange juice helped things out and the day went by relatively well. Then there was Sunday and after getting back to El Paso, I thought I was going to die. Thankfully my wife is amazing and took great care of me and I pretty much slept for the next two days. The unfortunate aspect to all of this meant that most of the stuff planned for the website this week have pretty much been thrown to the wayside, which is why you are reading this week’s issue on Friday instead of the regular Wednesday. It forced me to scrap an article I was working on about the men’s team in addition to this week’s On Deck column. That said, Sal did a great job pushing himself to bring a different perspective on women’s basketball team and Josh, as always, does a great job with the Final Word. I’d like to congratulate the soccer team and their great run in the Conference USA tournament. Head coach Kevin Cross has a great team and I can’t wait to see where he takes this team next year. On a business note, I’d like to thank Alex Morales for everything he has done for Miner Illustrated. He stepped down since the last issue to take on a full time job. At the same time, I’d like to welcome Mykal Santana, our newest advertising manager who is excited and full of energy as he tackles the challenge of generating revenue. Welcome Mykal!
NOVEMBER 11, 2011
a publication of Shamrock Media LLC CHRIS AVILA PRESIDENT and EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JEFF TAYLOR CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER GUS CONTRERAS SAL GUERRERO ANGEL LUNA JOSH PUGA STAFF WRITERS DANNY LEVARIO DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS MYKAL SANTANA ADVERTISING MANAGER SUZETTE THOMPSON MAGAZINE DESIGN
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Cover photo: Freshman Julian Washburn drives the lane as he made his Miner debut during UTEP’s exhibition against Eastern New Mexico. Photo: Jeff Taylor
THE BIG PICK
Junior quarterback Nick Lamaison barks out orders to his linemen and receivers during the Souther n Miss game on October 29, 2011 in the Sun Bowl The Miners went on to lose the game 31-13. Jeff Taylor
Nick Lamaison had a hard night when Souther n Miss came to town, as seen here when he was sacked by Golden Eagle lineman Cordarro Law. Jeff Taylor
The Miners had some hard hits of their own as senior def ensive back Antwon Blake hit Souther n Miss quarterback Austin Davis. Jeff Taylor
Junior college transf er Malcolm Moore charged the hoop, but ran into a little problem in the process -- the arm of a def ender. Jeff Taylor
Head coach Tim Floyd spoke with freshman Julian Washbur n during the Easter n New Mexico exhibition game to discuss his play on the court. Jeff Taylor
M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M
Miner Illustrated Magazine: Vol. 1, Issue 27 I would say the miners are more than worthy of a bowl game this year. For a team who has started from scratch with a limp to one who is now in full stride you can only look and marvell. CMP and the staff have done an excellent jobin recruiting and enabling the players to succeed.
up. Pathetic! People say they can’t afford it, well leave the Chicos and beer alone for 1 week!!
John, I agree they are looking the part and have been playing well. However, Tulane and Colorado State haven’t exactly been lighting the world on fire with their play. The Miners did what they should have done versus lesser opponents and now the real push for bowl eligibility begins. Southern Miss will be a huge challenge but games against Rice, ECU, Tulsa and UCF will show how far this team has really come. If somehow they can pull the shocker this Saturday, eight wins are not out of the question.
Guerrero: In the Wake of Allegations, Joe Paterno Needs to Step Down. He didn’t cover it up, he reported it to his superiors and they were the ones that chose to cover it up. should he have gone to the police about it? yes, but he did nothing to cover it up. he should not have to step down if he is not ready when he is not the ones that are truly responsible. if he were, he would have been charged as well. he has earned the right to leave whenever he chooses
Josh Puga, staff writer Josh I believe you have to take the SMU , USF and Houston games into consideration as well, the Miners played some very good football and without all the starters, which on a positive note players gained experience, however the way they played against those teams should give you some positive vibes looking forward. No doubt Southern Miss will be tough and we may lose but I feel the team has shown how far they have come since game one and if anything confidence should be high and 7-9 wins is not an impossible task as I see it. GO MINERS!!!! KiddMiner UTEP Drops Game to Southern Miss, 31-13 El Paso you all suck. Top 25 team coming into the Sun Bowl, Miners playing good ball, & great weather but only 25k show
clpbrd Wtf? this isn’t nittany lion illustrated, I follow you guys for miner news. Everyone has an opinion on this topic but it doesn’t relate to UTEP. Louis Cepeda (from MI Facebook page) Football Media Luncheon: Nov. 7, 2011 I still believe the team can somehow attain the fifth and sixth win needed to become bowl eligible. The El Paso Times (Joe) sports column have labeled the final three times as the better teams; obviously not looking at the defense side of the house. I do not know how the Miners continue to play the far better teams with a sense of urgency, and the others softly. However, this is a home game and it should help to have the crowd to pick up the fifth win of the season. They have already surpassed the expectation of many by winning four. jjimenez3272
Scouting Mine: Nov. 8, 2011 I think UTEP is getting a steal in Dustin Watts out of Seattle. The Miner fans will be pleasantly surprised with this addition to the BB team. He has great ball skills and shots at a very high percentage. He’s unselfish yet knows when to take control. I expect to see him get lots of playing time next year as a freshmen. He hasn’t gotten a lot of press but don’t let that fool you, he’s the real deal. CW Miners Still Strive for Bowl Eligibility The stadium should be packed as personnel from my unit have been told all you need to do is show your military to gain access into Saturday’s game. If this is true, then it will make for a very large crowd of military that will help in noise and cheering against ECU in 3rd down situations. Let’s just hope this Saturday’s game will be result in a victory for the Miners to help them in becoming one game away from being bowl eligible. jjimenez3272 This is a joke!!! The Miners do NOT deserve to go to a Bowl game, 6 wins or not!!!!! The ONLY reason they went to one one last year is cause there’s so many of them! But really? Do you expect them to win 2 more games? They will be lucky to win 1 more game, and with no support from the community even less, our 30,000 fan base had now shrunk to about 20,000. They had Rice in the cooker and look what happened, is this really the same team that knocked the dog crap out of Tulane????? Or was that a fluke? Bowl game get real!!!!!!!!! Ruben R. Ramirez (from MI Facebook page)
M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M
by the NUMBERS 67-33
UTEP has been outscored 67-33 in the fourth quarter this season. In the other three periods, the Miners have tallied 215 points to opponents’ 192. UTEP has been outscored in the fourth quarter in six of nine games this season, including in five of the last six. The Miners haven’t scored more than seven points in the fourth quarter in 22 straight games since putting 10 on the board in the final period of the 2009 finale versus Marshall.
0-2 East Carolina is the only team that UTEP hasn’t beaten since joining Conference USA. The Miners are 0-2 versus the Pirates with losses during the 2007 (4542 in overtime) and 2008 (53-21) seasons. UTEP is 4-3 versus SMU, 4-3 versus Tulane, 3-3 versus Tulsa, 2-2 versus Marshall, 1-1 versus
downs, including two touchdowns. Edwards leads the receiving corps in “money receptions” totaling 22 in 2011. Nine of those receptions have come on first downs including two against Rice.
UCF, 1-2 versus Southern Miss, 2-5 versus Houston, 2-5 versus Rice, 1-3 versus Memphis and 1-3 versus UAB.
Vernon Frazier has 709 kickoff return yards this season, a figure which already ranks fifth in school history. Within striking distance are Luther Johnson and Cedric Johnson, who rate third and fourth with 725 and 710 yards in 1985 and 1996 respectively.
Senior RB Leilyon Myers may not be the flashiest runner on the team, but he is the go-to-guy when UTEP needs to move the chains. Myers paces the squad with 22 “money rushes,” including eight on third down and six on fourth down conversions. Nine of Myers’ money rushes have resulted in touchdowns. Three of Myers’ seven runs at Rice resulted in first downs including two touchdowns. Mike Edwards also has a “22” in his numbers. Edwards finished with 187 yards against the Owls including a 74-yard reception. In fact, five of Edwards’ seven receptions were for 10 or more yards (74, 13, 50, 26, 14) and six of the seven resulted in first
100+ UTEP had three players with 100 all-purpose yards at Rice, as Mike Edwards (192), Nathan Jeffery (151) and Vernon Frazier (120) all went over the century mark. The last time the Miners achieved the feat was on Nov. 13, 2010 at Arkansas, when Marlon McClure registered 166 yards, Kris Adams 148 and Joe Banyard 103.
By averaging 46.2 yards on four punts last week at Rice, Ian Campbell maintained his standing as the national leader with a 47.61 average. Idaho’s Bobby Cowan is second with a 47.10 average. Campbell is attempting to become the fourth Miner to lead the country in punting, joining Owen Price (1940), Fred Wendt (1946) and Ed Bunn (1992). Price owns the school record with a 48.0 average in 1940. UTEP is second in the country in net punting (42.6 avg.) behind Oregon (44.2). The Miners have allowed 5.5 yards per punt return this season to rate 34th in the FBS.
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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M
OH SO CLOSE! UTEP Edged At No.4/6 Memphis,2-1,
In Double OT In C-USA Championship UTEP ATHLETICS MEMPHIS, TENN. – The UTEP soccer team pushed No. 4/6 and unbeaten Memphis to the brink before being edged out on a golden goal from Kaitlyn Atkins at 102:50 in double overtime in the 2011 Conference USA Championship at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex Sunday afternoon. The Tigers (21-0-1) struck first on a tally by Christabel Oduro at 58:25 but the Miners (11-8-4) showed great resolve in rallying to force extra time thanks to Brittany Kindzierski’s equalizer off a feed from Tess Hall at 74:30. Freshman Sarah Dilling was spectacular in net for the Miners (11-8-4), delivering multiple-highlight reel saves on the way to finishing with a career-high 10 stops. Her effort was aided by the play of UTEP’s team defense, which made Memphis work for every shot it generated and contributed a team save from senior Jessie Pettit at 69:38. Tiger netminder Elise KuharPitters was credited with three stops, including a nice save on a header by sophomore junior Azia Nicholson during the first OT period. Dilling, Kindzierski and senior Katie Dorman, who had two of UTEP’s three tallies during the tournament, were each tabbed to the all-conference tournament. “I am super proud of our team,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “They showed the heart and character that we knew that they had. During conference we had a few tight games and tied a few that we were winning so we put it all together and got healthy in the tournament. I told them that I was really proud of them and I couldn’t ask any more of them. They had an
excellent season.” The setback brings to a close the Miners’ tremendous run at the tournament, in addition to their 2011 campaign. UTEP toppled secondseed Colorado College, 2-1, in the quarterfinals on Nov. 2, advanced into the finals on penalty kicks (00;3-1) over Rice on Nov. 4, before ultimately coming up just shy vs. the homestanding Tigers Sunday. The future appears bright for the Orange and Blue, who have piled up 136 victories while posting 10 straight winning seasons. Thirteen individuals started 10-plus matches for UTEP in 2011, with nine of them being either freshmen or sophomores. But the focus on Sunday for the Cross-in his 11th year-, was entirely on locking up with Memphis on its home pitch. The Miners had a great chance in the early stages off a set piece. A bouncing ball was half-volleyed by Dorman with ample pace. It was blocked by the arm of a Memphis defender, in what was deemed to be an unintentional touch at 7:23. Dilling was called upon for the first time in the 15th minute, and she came up big. She stoned Oduro on a pointblank try before robbing Kylie Davis’ rebound shot with a diving stop to her left. UTEP quickly countered, earning a corner kick on its ensuing possession but Hall’s foray into the area was snatched out of the air by KuharPitters. Oduro generated a great look in the 21st minute, with Dilling using pictureperfect form to record the stop. Seven minutes later it was the Orange and Blue on the attack, earning back-toback corners but they couldn’t convert. Good defensive shape by each side limited chances for the duration of the
stanza, and the match was scoreless at the break. The Tigers pressured almost immediately in the second half, but Dilling showed great reflexes with a quick dive to her left to keep out a low, hard shot by Davis at 48:08. She then utilized a dive to the right to tip a shot by Oduro before pouncing on the rebound it in the 53rd minute. Memphis finally broke through a few minutes later, with a pass into the box that led to Oduro being able to turn. She bested Dilling with a shot that snuck into the far corner. UTEP kept its composure after the strike, refusing to let the Tigers pad their advantage. The hustle and effort paid dividends with the match-tying tally with a little more than 25 minutes to play. Hall deftly touched a nice ball into the area which ended up at the foot of Kindzierski. She took one dribble before rifling the shot past a helpless Kuhar-Pitters to pull the Orange and Blue even. The teams traded chances down the stretch, with both netminders posting a pair of stops to send the match to OT. It was a similar story in the first extra session. Oduro found some space to work with in the 91st minute but Dilling was there to make the save. In the waning minutes of the period some quality passes set up Nicholson with a golden chance, but her header on net was handled by Kuhar-Pitters. The lone shot second OT period proved to be the match winner. Oduro won the ball in the corner and fed a cutting Atkins who finished the chance.
Senior Brianna Green will make her retur n to the hardwood after missing half of last season due to a knee injury. Michael P. Reese
M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M
SENIORS LEAD CHARGE AND PROVIDE LEADERSHIP FORWBB SQUAD SAL GUERERRO
On any other afternoon, the Don Haskins Center would be empty. Last Friday was a bit different as five basketball players trickled onto the court as they awaited their other teammates and the start of practice. The buzz coming off the fluorescent lights drowned out the thumps of the basketballs hitting the floor and the distinct clunking sound as they hit the rim. The players, with their contemplative faces that never flustered for one moment, did not realize it was the last Friday practice they would have as a Miner before an exhibition game. Like any other year, head coach Keitha Adams will lead a group of players that are more than likely seeing their last days on the hardwood. A senior year, at any level, is a coveted season where player’s expectations are at the highest as games are numbered for most them. Only but a selective few of talented athletes from the college ranks move on to play professionally, for every other player they move on with life outside the court. The Miners are gearing up for the first game of the regular season on Saturday against Idaho State. With just six seniors on the squad—five of them active players—their roles on the team have become increasingly larger with the addition of six new players to the roster. “We’re just looking for the seniors to bring it everyday and understand what is we are trying to accomplish this season,” Adams said. “We want for them to obviously have a great experience and it’s a big year. We’re looking for them to be leaders and go out and do things the way we do things and step out and produce.” With this year’s group of seniors it took effort for them to get where they are. All of them with their own unique stories of mishaps and stumbles, but somehow each one of the players made it to the last leg of their college career, ready to embark on a season that has many fans dreaming of Conference USA championships. “Our seniors, you can sit down with all of them and
talk about how they have all gone through some different challenges and they have had things happen,” Adams said. “They are all pretty resilient and thick skinned … you really want to see the seniors have a healthy and fun year.” Although at times seemingly quiet and well kept, senior guard Briana Green has let her shooting do the talking in her tenure as a Miner. Her roots may lie in the blue grass state of Kentucky, but she became a leader at UTEP. Green burst onto the scene during her freshman year filling in for former point guard Jareica Hughes when she went down with a shoulder injury. She staked her claim early on starting in 14 games that season and playing in 21, but as luck would have it she would go down in the second half of the season with torn ACL that kept her form finishing out her freshman year. Green would make a remarkable comeback her sophomore year living up to the hype of the first 21 games of her freshman season averaging 8.2 points a game and accounting for 87 assists on the year. With all things going her way, her junior year was surely going to be one to watch, but with one injury in the history books, another would rear its ugly head. Just 10 games in her junior season, Green blew out her knee for the second time in three years, sidelining her once again putting a mental and physical strain on her career as a Miner. Coming into her senior year it seems as if her knee injuries have been the story of her career more than that of her 500 plus points. “My senior year has come so quickly. I was just a freshman the other day,” Green said. “We haven’t had the years that we’ve been wanting to have so as a senior I am more than determined to have a winning record, to go out with a bang.” Green said that she never doubted her abilities when returning from either injury in her career. It was the strength and support of her family and teammates that have helped her find her way back to the hardwood. “It has been tough, but god would not put me through anything I could not handle,” Green said. “I just use it as a drive and I want to prove to myself. No one knows what I am capable of yet except my family, and me but it’s time that I show it and knock on wood nothing else will happen.” Along with Greens problems with injuries, is senior guard Baiba Eglite who has battled back from more than just physical hardship throughout her career. When she arrived at UTEP her freshman year she was stunned to find
out she had to sit out an entire season because of NCAA rules regarding her participating with a professional team in Europe. The following summer, before even playing a single minute as a Miner, Eglite blew out her knee playing for the U-20 Latvian national team, causing her to miss most of her sophomore season. The struggles for Eglite continued through her junior year when the summer before the season her mother passed away due to complications from stroke. It struck the Latvia native hard because she was in El Paso when it happened. That season (2010-11) she appeared in 19 games shooting just under 46 percent coming off the bench. With her injuries behind her and her family always on her mind, Eglite is setting up to go our on a positive note her senior year. “It means a lot because of the injuries and also just because it is my senior year,” Eglite said. “I just want to finish strong and finish college with something positive so I can remember something good.” Eglite has found a home at UTEP since leaving her country some 8,000 miles away. But that goes for many of the players on the team. Forward Erika Warren, one of the transfers from last season, said she considers El Paso a second home, more than she would her first school Midland College. “I just want to go out and have my last year be the best year,” Warren said. “At my junior college I felt like I could have done better and now I want to play hard my senior year and have no regrets.” Warren averaged just five points a game last season while putting in 14.9 minutes a game. She had maturity issue at times last season that set her goals back as a junior.
M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M
Warren said that she has grown up more in the past year being at UTEP then she ever did during her freshman and sophomore seasons at Midland College. “I didn’t want to change, I didn’t feel like I had a problem but coach Adams, and the other coaches helped me with that,” Warren said. “There were some things in my life that I needed to change and I listened to them and I did.” Warren’s career has been highlighted with stats and accolades
ranging from being tabbed a McDonald’s All-American Nominee, to helping her lead her junior college team to a 61-7 mark over a two year period. Even after all of these achievements, Warren has not been able to find her ground at times, but says this season will change that. “I want to do 10 times more than I did last year. I want to score more, rebound more, have better leadership, just everything has to be better than it was,” Warren said. “I’ve changed my
attitude and character. I did a lot of growing up over the summer.” For these seniors the one constant in their life beside struggle has been the coaches at UTEP. They have been there for the players when they needed it and even when most of them did not want to hear it. “Coach Adams is always looking out for us, she wants us to get better. She loves us and we love her,” Green said. “Adams has been a great coach. This is my second family out here and we just have fun.” Along with Eglite, Green and Warren, seniors Gloria Brown, Kim Smith and Whitney Houston are in their last year at UTEP. Brown and Smith both put in productive years with Brown being named the C-USA Newcomer of the Year. Smith played in every game last season, averaging 16 minutes a game sharing duties at both point guard and two guard. Smith had an impact right away her junior year filling in for the injuries racked up at the guard position. As for Houston, her tenure has been plagued by knee injuries. She came to UTEP in 2009 before injury her knee and redshirting the rest of the season. Then last season she reinjured the same leg and sat out the entire season. This year has started off the same for the Houston. With just five seniors with experience and an array for new faces and second year players, this season could be one to watch. Warren said she thinks this will be an interesting year with all the new players, but it will take some time for them to learn the offense. “I am just going to put them under my wing and set good examples for them so when we leave they can do the same thing,” Warren said.
Erika Warren Photo: Michael P. Reese/UTEP Athletics
M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M
Volleyball Notes: Xitlali Herrera (left) has become the “net factor” in blocks for the Miners. UTEP has always been a force at the net, ranking in the top-75 nationally over the past three seasons. However, Herrera has proven herself, ranking first on the team, fourth in Conference USA and 51st nationally in blocks per set, averaging 1.18. The sophomore transfer posted a career-high 12 blocks (2s/10a) against SMU. Herrera has already put up 123 total blocks (11s/112a) this season. Herrera is the only Miner to average over one block per set. Herrera as left a mark on UTEP’s season assists block charts. The sophomore ranks fourth among UTEP’s all-time block assists leaders with 112 and counting. Herrera surpassed Cynthia Rueles-Macias record of 111 that has been held since 1996. Macias holds the top-two spots with a season-best of 122 in 1993 and 1997. Stephanie Figueroa has climbed back on the digs leaderboard leading the Miners with a total of 490 digs and has only had 10 serve recieve errors out of 585 total attempts registering a .983 percentage this season. Figueroa is averaging 4.71 digs per set besting her 2010 campaign of 4.29 digs per set. The senior has had 25 matches in double-digit figures out of 28 matches this season. Figueroa tallied a match-high 29 digs against UAB this past weekend. The Miners are ranked seventh in C-USA averaging 15.35 digs per set. Photo: UTEP Athletics Men’s Basketball: UTEP tips off the 2011-12 campaign against UT San Antonio on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center. The Roadrunners were 20-14 last season, won the Southland Conference tournament title and went 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament, beating Alabama State (70-61) before losing to top seed Ohio State (75-46). Nevil Shed, a member of UTEP’s (then Texas Western College) 1966 national championship team, will be in attendance when the Miners host UTSA on Friday. Shed, however, will be a member of the Roadrunners’ official travel party. He is a former UTSA assistant coach and also worked in student activities on campus prior to retirement. Tim Floyd is 10-7 both in season openers and home openers during his collegiate coaching career. Four of his last five teams dropped their season and home opener -- USC to Cal State Northridge in 2005 (81-76), USC to South Carolina in 2006 (80-74 in overtime), USC to Mercer in 2007 (96-81) and UTEP to Pacific in 2010 (66-61). While many of the faces are still the same, the responsibilities have changed for several members of the UTEP Basketball staff. Ken DeWeese (Director of Basketball Operations last season) and Greg Foster (Student Assistant Coach) have been elevated to assistant coaches. Keith Wilkinson has been elevated from Assistant Director of Basketball Operations to the director role. New to the staff is assistant director of basketball operations J.A. Anglin, who formerly played at Northwestern State and LSU Shreveport. Photo: Jeff Taylor
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M I N E R I L L U S T R AT E D. C O M
THE FINAL WORD: Bowl Dreams Fading Fast for the Miners JOSH PUGA After a devastating 41-37 loss to the Rice Owls this past Saturday it became more and more apparent to me that the Miners will be home for the bowl season. I have to be honest and say I was on board and felt UTEP would get over the Houston hump and defeat the Owls. After starting out slow in the first half and closing the second quarter on the high note taking a 24-20 lead into the locker room I felt the Miners would make the proper adjustments, especially on defense and shut the door on Rice. Unfortunately, Nick Fanuzzi did his best Case Keenum impersonation with 405 yards passing and 3 touchdowns as he destroyed the Miners pass defense sending the Miners to 4-5 on the season with three to play. I know the season isn’t over and there is still a chance UTEP can win two more games to become bowl eligible. I just can’t see how Coach Mike Price can turn this thing around after such a poor performance against a team they should have beat. November has been a house of horrors for Price and the Miners and why should this year be any different. This team has shown a lot of fight after a loss and even did their best to rally at the end of the game with the Owls, but in the end they came up short. Maybe I am off base and the team will bounce back versus East Carolina, believe me I hope the Miners prove me wrong. However, after a hard fought loss to Southern Miss the team seemed to regress against a very beatable Rice team. Yes, it was a road game and we all know how the Miners fare on the road. Usually the outcome is not good especially late in the season so what is it
going to take. I mean Price himself was searching for answers following the loss to the Owls. “I don’t know (where we go from here), I’m not in a real good mood right now … we have a chance; we are playing at home. It used to be a real advantage for us, and it would be an advantage for us if we would win at home, but we haven’t won at home either like we are supposed to. So, I don’t see them, the advantages, right now. I’m a little pessimistic,” Price said immediately after the game. Forgive me for pointing out the truth, but that doesn’t exactly give me a lot of
I was ready to throw my preseason predictions in the trash and start predicting where the Miners would go bowling. Now a bowl game seems so far away. So could there be any good news? Winning two out of three games to end the season is not impossible and if there is any glimmer of hope it has to be the fight this team has shown this season. I am not sure what to expect after what I just saw this past weekend in Houston, but I have been wrong before. Actually it might be safe to say that this team has already overachieved after many of the college experts felt UTEP would win four games at most with some predicting as little as two wins. Not sure that provides much comfort to the Miner faithful, but it is what it is. The Miners have been in must win mode for a couple weeks now starting with the Tulane win and now the season rests on a home matchup with East Carolina who ironically sits at 4-5 (the same record as UTEP). Like they say this is “where the rubber meets the road” and here’s hoping the Sun Bowl will be the great equalizer with two more games in El Paso for the Miners to try and right the ship. Personally, I am not sure the Miners have enough to get back into the bowl picture, but based on the unpredictability of this season I guess anything is possible. Let’s hope Price and his team proves the doubters wrong once again. Not many more chances left as time is running out on the Miners season. Tick Tock.
I was ready to throw my preseason predictions in the trash and start predicting where the Miners would go bowling. Now a bowl game seems so far away. confidence going into the last three games of the season. I get it; emotions are high right after a loss, especially after a game that should have resulted in a UTEP win. But could Price be preparing us for the worst? At the beginning of the season I was part of the majority from Miner Illustrated staff that felt UTEP would struggle this year and end up with a losing record. After some hard fought losses early in the season and then with a dominating performance in Tulane followed by a home win versus Colorado State I was on board feeling this team would win at Rice and even have a shot at a winning record prior to a bowl invite.
Raw emotion. Jeff Taylor
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