Texas Tech 30 UTEP 26–What We Learned
After two games, there is no question that the 2014 Miners are light years ahead of last season's squad. Their defense is much improved, they tackle better, and are more disciplined. If UTEP continues to improve each week, six or seven wins should be a given.
Sophomore and former Burges Mustang Aaron Jones is a star. The scary thing about the Miners' running game is that they have five or six guys capable of starting at tailback. Nathan Jeffery is healthy and is the perfect 1-2 punch with Jones. The Laufasa brothers (Jeremiah and Darrin) look like a pair of battering rams and then the Miners still have senior Josh Bell and junior Autrey Golden to ram through opposing defenses.
The UTEP defense might have given up over 500 yards of total offense to Texas Tech, but the team held tough all night and came within one series of winning their biggest game in years. They were making plays all night long, and look like a much more confident bunch on the field. The only knock against them was zero pass rush last night. Webb had plenty of opportunities to get rid of the ball without any pressure, and the Miners need to do a better job in that department. Otherwise, it's going a tremendous amount of pressure on UTEP's linebackers and defensive backs.
It is easy to second guess a team's coaching after a loss, but two offensive series by UTEP left fans wondering about the decisions being made on the field. The first was when the Miners elected to run out the clock at the end of the first half. The team had two minutes to try and get into field goal position or better, but instead decided to go into the locker room at halftime down three points. Texas Tech looked a little surprised by this and had the momentum at the start of the third quarter. The other drive in question was UTEP's final possession of the game. They started in great field position at the Red Raider 33 yard line, but elected not to run the ball, instead giving Jameill Showers a chance to win the game. The Miners' senior quarterback completed just 9 out of 25 passes in the game, and UTEP had just run the ball down Texas Tech's throat in their previous possession. Even if the Red Raiders were putting 8 or 9 guys in the box, why not take a shot with Jones, Jeffery, and Laufasa than Showers at that point in the ballgame?