UTEP Football Offensive Report Card – Charlotte
For the half of Saturday's game against Charlotte, the UTEP offense looked better than it had all season. They scored 21 points and had a two touchdown lead going into the locker room. However, all of the success the Miners experienced in the first 30-minutes went south during the third quarter. By the time they moved the ball again, UTEP was down by a touchdown. Despite their eighth loss of the season, the Miners offense graded out the highest since their victory over Houston Baptist.
Kai Locksley played his best game of the season, despite throwing an interception on their final drive deep in Charlotte territory. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown. He added 84 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. As much as fans want to see sophomore Gavin Hardison play, Locksley had the Miners in position to win their second game of the season. He also is the logical choice at quarterback against UAB next week.
RUNNING BACKS: B+
Treyvon Hughes only had 48 yards on 13 carries, but he did rush for his 11th touchdown of the season. True freshman Deion Hankins finally made his season debut and rushed for 22 yards on six carries, while Josh Fields added 20 yards on three carries. If UTEP can run the ball as effectively as they did against Charlotte, it is hard not seeing them win games against Rice and NMSU.
WIDE RECEIVERS: A
Freshman Jacob Cowing had his best game of the season, catching six passes for 145 yards. Justin Garrett also had six receptions and a touchdown, while Tre'Shon Wolf and Alan Busey pulled in three receptions between them. Cowing, Garrett, and Wolf will be leading the way for the Miners next season along with Devaughn Cooper (out for the season with an shoulder injury).
OFFENSIVE LINE: B
This was the best game of the season for this unit, given the competition. They gave up just one sack, gave Locksley plenty of time to throw the ball, and opened up big holes for the running game all afternoon.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Mitchell Crawford had a good game, averaging 43.5 yards on four punts. The UTEP return game saw very little action and they only had one punt returned against them. Gavin Baechle made all three of his extra points but he did not attempt a field goal against Charlotte.
OVERALL OFFENSE: B
When UTEP registers 389 yards of total offense, they should score more than 221 points. However, they turned it over on downs at the Charlotte 4-yard line rather than settle for a field goal and later drove to the 49ers 20-yard line when Locksley threw his only pick of the game. Two of their final three drives could have ended differently and we would be talking about a rare UTEP win. Unfortunately, this team has yet to discover how to win ballgames and their search will continue next Saturday against UAB.