UTEP Loses Running Back Aaron Jones For the Season with Broken Ankle
If there is any good news about this injury, Jones will be eligible for a medical redshirt. The team has elevated safety LaQuintus Dowell to third string running back.
Without Jones, UTEP has huge shoes to fill on offense. The team tried three other running backs after Jones’ injury, but Jeremiah Laufasa, Darrin Laufasa, and Treyvon Hughes were stuffed by the Tech defense. All of them will need to step up in a huge way if this team is going to have any chance to win football games this season.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Mack Leftwich has looked good at times in the two games he has quarterbacked the Miners. However, the coaches have not allowed him to throw the deep ball in either game. UTEP has always preached a run first offense, but Arkansas and Texas Tech concentrated on stopping the run so Leftwich would have to put the ball in the air. Leftwich, Ryan Metz, and Kavika Johnson were a combined 19 of 31 for 187 yards against the Red Raiders. Will UTEP offensive coordinator Patrick Higgins open up the playbook a little more now that Jones is out for the season? He might not have much choice given the circumstances.
The Miners will have a tough matchup this weekend in Las Cruces against NMSU. If they are able to pull out the win, the team does get to host FCS Incarnate Word next Saturday at the Sun Bowl in another tuneup before they begin conference play. It looks like they will need to two games to help get some answers on offense.