Four Downs From The 63-16 UTEP Loss To Arizona

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Photo via Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA Today Sports

 

Miners Offensive Struggle Continues

With Ryan Metz injured, graduate transfer Zach Greenlee got the nod to start under center for the UTEP offense and right away the change in game plan was obvious. The Miners started to open up the offense by throwing the ball but they just had a difficult time getting anything going on the Wildcat defense.

The Miners had to punt on four of their first five possessions in the first half and even with the brief spark given with Mark Torrez coming in the second half, they still managed just 218 yards of total offense. After three games, it’s time to figure out a major fix for that side of the ball.

UTEP’s Running Woes

For the second straight game, the final count in the rushing yards was a lot to little. The Wildcats ran and ran some more on the Miners defense, outgaining UTEP 326-17 on the ground. For reference, Rice outgained the Miners 306-26 on the ground the week before.

For a team that tries to pride itself on running the ground and being more physical, that simply has not been the case for the first three games on both sides of the football.

Quarterback Debate Continues

Kugler entered the season very high on all three quarterbacks and what they could do: Ryan Metz, Zach Greenlee and Mark Torrez. With Metz injured and Greenlee and Torrez splitting time last year, there could be a real possibility of all three getting a start within the first four games.

Torrez entered the game in the second half once the game got out of hand but his mobility provided a spark for an offense looking for anything to get the wheels turning. In his postgame comments, Kugler said that he wasn’t sure who would start at quarterback but we’ll find out and see what happens in Las Cruces next week.

Where Do The Miners Go From Here?

The Miners are now 0-3 and in all three of those games, they haven’t been all that close. In the postgame press conference, Kugler said that they’ll have to re-evaluate what they do moving forward. “We’ve got to get better in a lot of areas. The first thing I can do is figure out what I can do to help. You’ve got to look at yourself and see what I can do from a practice standpoint, from a schematic standpoint, personnel, anything that can help our team, and that starts at the top.”

The Miners will travel to New Mexico State next week and will try to get that first win of the year.

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