UTEP Offensive Report Card – Nevada
Saturday night, the UTEP football team started off their first game in two weeks with an impressive touchdown drive. Unfortunately for the Miners, turnovers doomed them against Nevada. The Wolfpack capitalized on three UTEP interceptions and handed the Miners a 37-21 loss at the Sun Bowl.
Brandon Jones outplayed Kai Locksley, but both quarterbacks threw ill advised passes that were picked off by the Wolfpack. Jones suffered an injured shoulder during the game and he missed most of the second half. He did complete 8-11 passes for 106 yards and added another 23 yards on eight carries. Locksley threw a pair of interceptions and only completed two of six passes for 10 yards. He ran the ball 11 times for 17 yards and a score. Jones did enough to earn the start next Saturday in Hattiesburg if he's healthy, but he did not impress enough to take control of the job. If both Jones and Locksley continue to struggle, it will be interesting to see when head coach Dana Dimel turns to sophomore Gavin Hardison.
RUNNING BACKS: B
It was another solid game for Treyvon Hughes, who carried 17 times for 80 yards and a pair of scores. Josh Fields added 44 yards on 10 carries and is providing a terrific complementary role to Hughes.
WIDE RECEIVERS: C
Graduate tight end Jess Trussell is becoming a more reliable target each week and he tied for the team lead with three catches for 53 yards. Devaughn Cooper also caught three passes for 35 yards and freshman Jacob Cowing had one catch for 23 yards. These three should continue to lead the way for UTEP's receiving game, but the Miners need a quarterback to capitalize on their talent. Tre'Shon Wolf added a 10-yard reception before getting hurt after the play. Locksley's second pick was a pass that should have been caught by Walter Dawn.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C-
The O-Line paved the way for the Miners running game, but they did little to help Jones and Locksley execute the passing game. They also allowed three quarterback sacks and a pair of hurries.
OVERALL OFFENSIVE GRADE: C
The Miners offense did score three touchdowns and they put 21 points on the board. However, 278 yards of total offense on 64 plays will not win too many games. They did dominate time of possession, keeping the football for nearly 35 minutes, including a 10-minute touchdown drive to begin the third quarter. If you take away the turnovers and penalties, UTEP was the better football team for three quarters last night.