Low Price: UTEP Coach Frustrated By Lack of Offense vs Ole Miss [OPINION]
You could tell this loss stung Mike Price just by looking.
More withdrawn. Fewer smiles. The kind of attitude you might expect less than 48 hours after getting so over-and-over close to a 10-by-55-yard stretch of lush, green Mississippi grass, but only getting to roll in it once.
And just that one offensive touchdown in eight quarters of football. For a team coached by a man known as a spread-option guru. For Mike Price.
Not that something else couldn’t have taken a whiz in his Wheaties Monday morning; spat with the wife, bad breakfast burrito, but that wasn’t it.
Bottom line: there’s no way a machine-gunner is happy firing only one round in 120 minutes of battle.
Price’s whole press conference felt like a half-hour-long sigh. You could tell he smelled a win in Oxford, sailing in on the breeze like a whiff of barbecue from The Grove. A first-ever win against a BCS conference foe, against an SEC team close to where he never got to coach a game. And so it goes with Price at UTEP. He finally gets a defense that holds two consecutive BCS opponents under 30 points for the first time ever and the offense goes out like the transmission of a car for which he just bought new brakes.
Forget Price’s mere Monday moodiness, he may have been sitting in his office that morning stifling the urge to go all Chuck Norris on the furniture. Maybe make a new window with that pickaxe. Anyone check too see if a dry wall specialist paid a visit to the Durham Center this week?
Price says UTEP will be working out the kinks in the Miners’ red zone offense all week. I’m assuming that puts trainer Dawn Hearn on point to deal with the Miners’ worst kink — the one in RB Nathan Jeffery’s pulled groin muscle.
The Miners can’t just put ice on their passing game, though. Getting held to 48 yards of passing offense against Oklahoma is one thing, but 10 points the next week against a team that finished 2-10 last year is another, especially considering the number of trips inside the Ole Miss 20-yard line.
The Miners need a healthy Jeffery, but they also need their quarterbacks and receivers to shoulder the burden, if for no other reason than to keep those ice packs off the young man quickly emerging as a star at running back.
Price says there is no extra urgency this week. His players should be fired up enough playing their Battle of I-10 rival, New Mexico State, but if UTEP’s offense slips out of gear again Saturday… keep that dry wall guy’s number handy just in case.
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