A few random thoughts after the Nevada game.

UTEPDefense

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Dimel has signed more 3 stars during his first 2 years here(13) than were signed during the 5 years combined(10) before he arrived.

One thing that I will give Dimel credit for, is that he is rebuilding for the long-term by redshirting almost everyone last year and everyone this year, except for Cowing and Boston. He is not panicking in the short term and burning redshirts, instead he is playing for the long run. In a lot of ways, Dimel is doing what Nord did and Nord did leave behind the talent for Price’s only 2 winning seasons.

When I watch us play, it is almost as if Dimel is just trying to grind out what he can with the players he has now, until he can start working with his recruiting classes.

Hardison is eligible to redshirt this year as a Sophomore, that is likely why he was not just thrown in on the final drive of the game.

I do wonder what games Goodwin, Hardison, and Hankins will play this year?

While watching them in warm ups, I think that Goodwin has the arm strength to play at this level.

Our O-line is terrible at pass blocking, but they made major improvement in run blocking against a possibly decent Nevada front. Nevada runs a 3-3-5 and 4 of their front 6 are seniors. The o-line absolutely must get better at pass protection, as Nevada got plenty of pressure rushing only 4. We currently have 4 Kugler recruits starting on the O-line. Is it possible or just wishful thinking that this might improve when Dimel gets his own recruits in there?

I still don’t feel comfortable with Canales at OC. He has a lot of experience on his resume, but he has had very little success on his resume. Here is a list of each offense that Canales coached in prior to coming to UTEP(he has not been part of a lot of success):

2017 - Canales was an offensive coach for the 124th worst offense in america.
2016 - Canales was an offensive coach for the 108th worst offense in america.
2015 - Canales was Offensive Coordinator and interim Head Coach for the 124th worst offense in america.
2014 - Canales was the Offensive Coordinator for the 79th worst offense in america.
2013 - Canales was the Offensive Coordinator for the 29th best offense in america(very good).
2012 - Canales was the Offensive Coordinator for the 105th worst offense in america.
2011 - Canales was the Offensive Coordinator for the 77th ranked offense in america.
2010 - Canales was an offensive coach for the 87th ranked offense in america.

We keep hearing about our players still learning the offense, some players not catching onto the offense yet, how complex this offense is, etc. Yet, when we play the actual games, we end up running the most basic offense in college football. Which is essentially just power up the middle about 70% of the time. I am confused how this offense is so complicated for our players to learn?

Richardson was getting a good push up front at the beginning of the game, but when he went down, it seemed like we lost a lot of effectiveness on defense.

We don’t have the same strength up the middle on defense that we had last year with Hotchkins and Smith. This was even more evident on Saturday night.

My biggest disapointment thus far on defense has been Joe Jay Smith. I really expected him to be an impact player, and he really looks like player physically, but he has not been highly effective yet.

I have a lot of faith in Coach Cox, so this is not a major concern for me yet, but I am not a big fan of the 3 d-line front and I would personally like to see us go back to more of a 4 down line look. A lot of Nevada’s biggest plays came when our 2 DE’s rushed up field leaving only one DT to block and the QB was able to just scramble up field for big yards.

I am not sure what to make out of the game on Saturday? In the prediction thread, about of 80% of the people on this board expected Nevada to handle UTEP easily. Yet after the game, people are suddenly mad that we lost to Nevada and some are even stating that we should have won the game? Isn’t that a sign of improvement? Had the game ended when Walter Dawn returned the kick-off to mid field and UTEP had the ball late in the game, at mid-field, only down 3, then I think most people would have been pleased with that performance. Was there enough improvement seen during the first 3 quarters to validate that we are improving? We had such a bad passing game, so many turnovers and penalties, yet we were only down 3 late in the 3rd quarter. Is that a sign that we are improving in other areas, which is allowing us to stay close even with such glaring issues in other areas?

The UTSA game is shaping up to be a must win for us and I personally think that Dimel probably needs a minimum of 3 wins this year if he is going to keep things together. Winning only 2 games or less against this schedule would potentially cause too much concern regarding the trajectory of the program.

Serious Question: Are we are a better team after the Nevada game than we were after the Tech game?
 
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utep2step

MI Miner Maniac
Jul 10, 2001
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Dimel has signed more 3 stars during his first 2 years here(13) than were signed during the 5 years combined(10) before he arrived.

One thing that I will give Dimel credit for, is that he is rebuilding for the long-term by redshirting almost everyone last year and everyone this year, except for Cowing and Boston. He is not panicking in the short term and burning redshirts, instead he is playing for the long run. In a lot of ways, Dimel is doing what Nord did and Nord did leave behind the talent for Price’s only 2 winning seasons.

When I watch us play, it is almost as if Dimel is just trying to grind out what he can with the players he has now, until he can start working with his recruiting classes.

Hardison is eligible to redshirt this year as a Sophomore, that is likely why he was not just thrown in on the final drive of the game.

I do wonder what games Goodwin, Hardison, and Hankins will play this year?

While watching them in warm ups, I think that Goodwin has the arm strength to play at this level.

Our O-line is terrible at pass blocking, but they made major improvement in run blocking against a possibly decent Nevada front. Nevada runs a 3-3-5 and 4 of their front 6 are seniors. The o-line absolutely must get better at pass protection, as Nevada got plenty of pressure rushing only 4. We currently have 4 Kugler recruits starting on the O-line. Is it possible or just wishful thinking that this might improve when Dimel gets his own recruits in there?

I still don’t feel comfortable with Canales at OC. He has a lot of experience on his resume, but he has had very little success on his resume. Here is a list of each offense that Canales coached in prior to coming to UTEP(he has not been part of a lot of success):

2017 - Canales was an offensive coach coach for the 124th worst offense in america.
2016 - Canales was an offensive coach for the 108th worst offense in america.
2015 - Canales was Offensive Coordinator and interim Head Coach for the 124th worst offense in america.
2014 - Canales was the Offensive Coordinator for the 79th worst offense in america.
2013 - Canales was the Offensive Coordinator for the 29th best offense in america(very good).
2012 - Canales was the Offensive Coordinator for the 105th worst offense in america.
2011 - Canales was the Offensive Coordinator for the 77th ranked offense in america.
2010 - Canales was an offensive coach for the 87th ranked offense in america.

We keep hearing about our players still learning the offense, some players not catching onto the offense yet, how complex this offense is, etc. Yet, when we play the games, we run the most basic offense in college football. Which is essentially just power up the middle about 70% of the time. I am confused how this offense so complicated for our players to learn?

Richardson was getting a lot of push up front at the beginning of the game, but when he went down, it seemed like we lost a lot of effectiveness on defense.

We don’t have the same strength up the middle on defense that we last year with Hotchkins and Smith. This was even more evident on Saturday night.

My biggest disapointment thus far on defense has been Joe Jay Smith. I really expected him to be an impact player, and he really looks like player physically, but he has not been highly effective yet.

I have a lot of faith in Coach Cox, so this is not a major concern for me yet, but I am not a big fan of the 3 d-line front and I would personally like to see us go back to more of a 4 down line look. A lot of Nevada’s biggest plays came when our 2 DE’s rushed up field leaving only one DT to block and the QB was able to just scramble up field for big yards.

I am not sure what to make out of the game on Saturday? In the prediction thread, about of 80% of the people on this board expected Nevada to handle UTEP easily. Yet after the game, people are suddenly mad that we lost to Nevada and some are even stating that we should have won the game? Isn’t that a sign of improvement? Had the game ended when Walter Dawn returned the kick-off to mid field and UTEP had the ball late in the game, at mid-field, only down 3, then I think most people would have been pleased with that performance. Was there enough improvement seen during the first 3 quarters to validate that we are improving? We had such a bad passing game, so many turnovers and penalties, yet we were only down 3 late in the 3rd quarter. Is that a sign that we are improving in other areas, which is allowing to stay close even with such glaring issues in other areas?

The UTSA game is shaping up to be a must win for us and I personally think that Dimel probably needs a minimum of 3 wins this year if he is going to keep things together. Winning only 2 games or less against this schedule would potentially cause too much concern regarding the trajectory of the program.

Do you think we are a better team after the Nevada game than we were after the Tech game?
I know one thing that is happening at Marshall football coaches meeting again this year; a collective "Whew! He is Dimel's challenge." (KL was committed and ready to attend Marshall but for reasons that are still not fully clear, he flipped after a Canales visit and decided UTEP).

UTEP has a serious problem at QB as of this last game. Hughes and Fields can put points on the board. Dimel now has some very capable WR's. The O line is not as good as billed but they are getting Hughes and Fields some openings. The D turns in workman like manner daily lunch pail work (Ross is getting smoked to often) but are tuckered out by the fourth. It's squarely on Canales, KL and Jones. Canales makes calls that create ones recidivism to alcohol rear it's ugly head and the qb's make bad reads, period.
 

Lil_Train

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The defense has not been good this year either. Nevada played without their starting QB and moved the ball at will against UTEP, at home. Receivers ran free all night, there was no pressure on the QB, and the defense could not stop the run. In my opinion, that side of the ball has been worse than last year. Let's hope they can turn it around against some beatable teams at home.
 

nattybry

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I watched a little not all. Defense was a disappointment, Brandon Jones doesn't go down we have a chance and Walter down tipped pass turned interception was the key players in the game. It was what I expected and surprised UTEP had a chance going into 4th still.
 
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UTEPDefense

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BTW, Houston Baptist is now 3-1. I only mention this because there was a joke over the summer that HBU would probably have a dream season this year, since they were appearing on our schedule(the same way that Buffalo happened to get really good during the time that scheduled them). After a quarter of the season, this kinda actually appears to be happening again...

Of course we also signed a home-and-home with San Jose State in August and they go out and beat a SEC team on the road just a month later. If I was a Bethune Cookman fan, I would be really happy about their team likely having a really good season when they play us in a few years.
 

nattybry

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Sticking with my 3 win prediction. I see improvement. Brandon Jones is by far the better passer and leader of this team. If he stays healthy I think we beat UTSA and NMSU and have a shot with Charlotte and Rice.
 

utep2step

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Sticking with my 3 win prediction. I see improvement. Brandon Jones is by far the better passer and leader of this team. If he stays healthy I think we beat UTSA and NMSU and have a shot with Charlotte and Rice.
If UTEP beats UTSA, Wilson is toast.
 
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pay4dirt

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The Miners are underperforming for sure, but it is possible that we could win four to five games this season. Three at the least. We should expect better out of the team, but winning as many as five games would be a definite improvement. Go Miners.
 

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