UTEP Football Defensive Report Card – UAB
Saturday featured another tough finish for the struggling Miners (1-9) football team, who have lost nine straight games after losing 37-10 to UAB.
Here is the defensive report card following the game:
Defensive line: D-
There has been seldom a performance like the defensive front showed against a Blazers offense that ran all over the Miners on Saturday. In fact, UTEP's defense claimed that the rush defense was one of its strong points.
UAB quarterback Dylan Hopkins rushed for 163 yards and running back Jermaine Brown carried the ball 22 times for 116 yards. They both chipped in for UAB's 353 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.
And again, here was another game that the defensive line did not have a tackle in the game.
Hello Stephen Forrester! The senior linebacker stepped in this game and finished with a career-high and team-best 11 total tackles and a sack for the Miners in a coming-out party. He led the linebackers, along with Jayson VanHook (five total tackles), in trying to contain the run.
UAB did not get the passing game going under their quarterback Hopkins in this game, only throwing 96 passing yards, finally giving some rest to this struggling UTEP secondary. Michael Lewis was second on the team in total tackles with eight.
Still, the UTEP secondary allowed two big receiving plays of 45 and 40 yards, which has become a big problem in recent weeks.
Overall Defense: C-
The inexperience of this defense is scary for the future. The Miners have relied on a core group of seniors defensively and now it's time to start thinking about the future of this defense. They fell behind early against the Blazers and were not able to create a turnover or cause much of a headache to this UAB team.
Dana Dimel talks about how this team will return two significant secondary members back next year in Justin Prince and Broderick Harrell, but the defense as a whole still has not shown that they have the adequate depth to be confident in next year's defense.
Against NMSU and Rice, this defense will have a choice—get exposed or step up for the first time in over a month.