UTEP Football Defensive Report Card – North Texas
Following UTEP's 52-26 loss to North Texas, question marks still hovered over the Miners' inconsistent defense that has allowed an average of 42 points in their last three games.
Here's a breakdown of UTEP's defensive report card versus North Texas:
Defensive Line: C-
Things started out rough for the guys up front as senior defensive tackle Chris Richardson was inactive due to illness in this game. It meant that the Miners needed big games from their key contributors, Denzel Chukwukelu and Praise Amaewhule, while needing depth from guys like Josh Ortega, Dedrick Simpson and Sani Buckingham.
The depleted unit was not able to get after North Texas quarterback Mason Fine, seeing their lone sack come at the hands of Amaewhule. Ortega had a pass break up and tackle for loss but this group was simply trying to stay afloat against North Texas and was simply out-matched.
The linebacker corp was overwhelmed by Mean Green speedy receivers and a balanced run game by tailback Tre Siggers (22 carries, 85 rushing yards). The linebackers helped to contain the run for most of the night though, providing support to the defensive line.
When asked to cover the pass, though, the linebackers could not keep up with North Texas. This may have been the best game this season from Dylan Parsee, who had four tackles for the Miners.
Yet another game where the Miners secondary gets absolutely torched against a seasoned quarterback. Fine threw for 332 passing yards and a whopping seven touchdowns against UTEP and the secondary had no answer for the air raid attack.
The injury bug also hurt the secondary for the Miners as Josh Caldwell left the game with an injury and did not return. UTEP's top three leading tacklers came in the secondary with Michael Lewis leading the way at 10 total tackles.
In every shape, it felt like the North Texas offensive attack was simply that much better than UTEP's struggling defense. They could not adjust when North Texas would go at a rapid pace and they allowed the Mean Green to score five times in the red zone.
Now it will be interesting to see how UTEP can bounce back against a Charlotte team next week that has proven they can score points too.