My Thoughts about UTEP Football.

UTEPDefense

MI Hall of Famer
Oct 8, 2002
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Per 1966's request, here are my random thoughts:

- First, to be honest, I have really been down since the Rice loss. I simply did not have a good time at the game, it sucked. After this year, I will have sat through 11 losing seasons in the past 12 years and this weekend it really started to wear on me. For these 11 losing seasons, I have attended nearly every game, I have attended every Spring Game, listened to nearly every weekly Coach's radio show, I have read every daily UTEP article that I can find. I have been a supporter of Kugler, but more importantly I am a UTEP fan and I will be a UTEP fan long after Kugler is gone, so for me my sad feelings haven't been for Kugler, they have been for me seeing my program and my team in such a bad place. I hate seeing only 15k people in the stands and I hate watching football that leaves me feeling upset. This reminds me of when I attended bad UTEP games as a kid. At least then as a kid, I could cheer for my favorite player Barron Wortham, but now seeing it first hand just leaves me depressed.

- What causes a lot of gloom for me at this moment is knowing that a new Coach is going to need 2-3 years to change systems and also get his own players. You can rarely buy into the hype that a first year coach or coordinator will be able to convert a team, especially at UTEP. This means that I will be sitting through more crap for a minimum of a few more years at best.

- Back in April, during the Spring Game, I remember being disapointed and telling my Wife that Kugler is going to get fired. I then began my Spring Summary on this board with this exact quote: "I have been a Kugler supporter, but I am concerned for him after this Spring Game." Basically everything that I wrote and feared after that Spring Game has come true. You can read exactly what I wrote here at this link:

https://utep.forums.rivals.com/threads/spring-game-roll-call.7138/#post-81367

- It upsets me that I can sit in the stands at a Spring Game and see glaring problems, yet nobody in our football program neither see's their importance or make any adjustments towards these problems in the 5 months since.

- I had an old High School Coach tell me that we were bigger and more athletic on defense after seeing us in Ruidoso this year. I began to buy the hype that we were going to be improved and looked for reasons for optimism. I posted that I wanted to wait until after the Rice game before forming my opinion on this team. The obvious answer now is that Kugler can not get it done on the field.

- Firing Kugler mid-season is probably not an option. The money is one issue, the best interest of the kids is another issue. Additionally, who would we leave the program to for the remainder of the year? In my opinion, Pease would need to be fired at the same moment as Kugler and that type of change is just too extreme for the kids. It will probably wait until after the season.

- What I don't understand is why doesn't Kugler see the importance of isolating his O-Line? I will give you a basketball analogy, in basketball you want to get your best player in one-on-one situations. If you have a really good post player, you want to get him the ball in isolation and let him work. You don't throw it to him in the post when he is double-teamed and force him to go against the double team. So taking this analogy to Kugler, he has built an O-Line that is a strength of this team. Why not spread the WR's wide and let the O-Line block only against the D-Line and second level LB's, isolate them and let them work, instead of bringing everybody into the box so they have more guys to block and no longer have one-on-one battles. Go back to the WKU game 3 years ago when we were running 3 WR's our isolated 5 O-Line formation was pounding against the 4 WKU dlinemen in the box. That worked great and we controlled the game until we threw a pick 6. Doesn't it make more sense to isolate your strength and letting your best unit work one-on-one with opposing d-lines, instead of bringing more defenders into the box and forcing your O-Line to block more guys while you try to slam a 5'6" running back behind them? Go back to Aaron Jones long TD runs at Texas Tech and then again at the Longhorns. It was a similar set to what we did in that WKU game. It created success. Have you seen UTEP try to run that same play once this entire year? I haven't.

- We went the ENTIRE first half without trying to stretch the field in our passing game even once.

- Our outside LB's are very poor. They got directly run over twice and they didn't have the speed to keep contain. So basically we have outside LB's that aren't big enough to tackle heads-up and they aren't fast enough to run down an outside play. If you can't do either then you have a bad situation.

- I wanted to walk out of the stadium when we gave up a draw play for a first down on 3rd and 18. Does anybody remember when La. Tech did the exact same thing against twice in the same game during Kugler's first year.

- I know that there were other factors involved, but I believe that our defense might be better had we kept Stoker and not switched to Mason.

- I have never seen a team run so many succesful shovel passes in one game as Rice did. It was a part of their option and Mason has proven that he has no clue how to prepare a defense against an option. After the OU game, I said that we need to just not show up to the Army game this year and I think that is even more true after the Rice game.

- Our defense does not have the ability to stop off-tackle runs. Seeing the replays of this yesterday made me feel more hopeless.

- Our 3 d-linemen are handled too easily. It appears to me in my opinion, that a 4 down linemen set would work better for us based on the type of d-linemen that we have on this team. I just don't see how our 3 d-linemen are going to be effective enough this year to be succesful, it's basically the same bad upfront defense that I have been watching for the past 12 years. An adjustment to 4 d-linemen could possibly force other teams to do something different.

- Our CB's are decent, but it doesn't matter because teams are having so much easy success in other areas that they don't need to throw it their way.

- Our defense only gave up 10 points in the first half, but don't let that fool you. We are not a good defense at this moment.

- I hated hearing Greg Long screaming in pain on the field and I wish the best for him and his recovery.

- If Kugler has any loyalty and remaining motivation within this program, then I would expect a good early showing against Arizona. Another terrible or flat start would tell us something about what's going on inside.

- I would really hate to lose to NMSU this year, but at this moment that looks highly likely. At this point, finding a miracle to win that game would be the most that we can hope for this season.

- I can remember following UTEP football since 1987. I have never seen us have a football season where we lost every single game. I truly hope for the best, but avoiding that seems to be the only possible goal at this moment.
 
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unihorn

MI Miner Maniac
Dec 1, 2007
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Per 1966's request, here are my random thoughts:

- First, to be honest, I have really been down since the Rice loss. I simply did not have a good time at the game, it sucked. After this year, I will have sat through 11 losing seasons in the past 12 years and this weekend it really started to wear on me. For these 11 losing seasons, I have attended nearly every game, I have attended every Spring Game, listened to nearly every weekly Coach's radio show, I have read every daily UTEP article that I can find. I have been a supporter of Kugler, but more importantly I am a UTEP fan and I will be a UTEP fan long after Kugler is gone, so for me my sad feelings haven't been for Kugler, they have been for me seeing my program and my team in such a bad place. I hate seeing only 15k people in the stands and I hate watching football that leaves me feeling upset. This reminds me of when I attended bad UTEP games as a kid. At least then as a kid, I could cheer for my favorite player Barron Wortham, but now seeing it first hand just leaves me depressed.

- What causes a lot of gloom for me at this moment is knowing that a new Coach is going to need 2-3 years to change systems and also get his own players. You can rarely buy into the hype that a first year coach or coordinator will be able to convert a team, especially at UTEP. This means that I will be sitting through more crap for a minimum of a few more years at best.

- Back in April, during the Spring Game, I remember being disapointed and telling my Wife that Kugler is going to get fired. I then began my Spring Summary on this board with this exact quote: "I have been a Kugler supporter, but I am concerned for him after this Spring Game." Basically everything that I wrote and feared after that Spring Game has come true. You can read exactly what I wrote here at this link:

https://utep.forums.rivals.com/threads/spring-game-roll-call.7138/#post-81367

- It upsets me that I can sit in the stands at a Spring Game and see glaring problems, yet nobody in our football program neither see's their importance or make any adjustments towards these problems in the 5 months since.

- I had an old High School Coach tell me that we were bigger and more athletic on defense after seeing us in Ruidoso this year. I began to buy the hype that we were going to be improved and looked for reasons for optimism. I posted that I wanted to wait until after the Rice game before forming my opinion on this team. The obvious answer now is that Kugler can not get it done on the field.

- Firing Kugler mid-season is probably not an option. The money is one issue, the best interest of the kids is another issue. Additionally, who would we leave the program to for the remainder of the year? In my opinion, Pease would need to be fired at the same moment as Kugler and that type of change is just too extreme for the kids. It will probably wait until after the season.

- What I don't understand is why doesn't Kugler see the importance of isolating his O-Line? I will give you a basketball analogy, in basketball you want to get your best player in one-on-one situations. If you have a really good post player, you want to get him the ball in isolation and let him work. You don't throw it to him in the post when he is double-teamed and force him to go against the double team. So taking this analogy to Kugler, he has built an O-Line that is a strength of this team. Why not spread the WR's wide and let the O-Line block only against the D-Line and second level LB's, isolate them and let them work, instead of bringing everybody into the box so they have more guys to block and no longer have one-on-one battles. Go back to the WKU game 3 years ago when we were running 3 WR's our isolated 5 O-Line formation was pounding against the 4 WKU dlinemen in the box. That worked great and we controlled the game until we threw a pick 6. Doesn't it make more sense to isolate your strength and letting your best unit work one-on-one with opposing d-lines, instead of bringing more defenders into the box and forcing your O-Line to block more guys while you try to slam a 5'6" running back behind them? Go back to Aaron Jones long TD runs at Texas Tech and then again at the Longhorns. It was a similar set to what we did in that WKU game. It created success. Have you seen UTEP try to run that same play once this entire year? I haven't.

- We went the ENTIRE first half without trying to stretch the field in our passing game even once.

- Our outside LB's are very poor. They got directly run over twice and they didn't have the speed to keep contain. So basically we have outside LB's that aren't big enough to tackle heads-up and they aren't fast enough to run down an outside play. If you can't do either then you have a bad situation.

- I wanted to walk out of the stadium when we gave up a draw play for a first down on 3rd and 18. Does anybody remember when La. Tech did the exact same thing against twice in the same game during Kugler's first year.

- I know that there were other factors involved, but I believe that our defense might be better had we kept Stoker and not switched to Mason.

- I have never seen a team run so many succesful shovel passes in one game as Rice did. It was a part of their option and Mason has proven that he has no clue how to prepare a defense against an option. After the OU game, I said that we need to just not show up to the Army game this year and I think that is even more true after the Rice game.

- Our defense does not have the ability to stop off-tackle runs. Seeing the replays of this yesterday made me feel more hopeless.

- Our 3 d-linemen are handled too easily. It appears to me in my opinion, that a 4 down linemen set would work better for us based on the type of d-linemen that we have on this team. I just don't see how our 3 d-linemen are going to be effective enough this year to be succesful, it's basically the same bad upfront defense that I have been watching for the past 12 years. An adjustment to 4 d-linemen could possibly force other teams to do something different.

- Our CB's are decent, but it doesn't matter because teams are having so much easy success in other areas that they don't need to throw it their way.

- Our defense only gave up 10 points in the first half, but don't let that fool you. We are not a good defense at this moment.

- I hated hearing Greg Long screaming in pain on the field and I wish the best for him and his recovery.

- If Kugler has any loyalty and remaining motivation within this program, then I would expect a good early showing against Arizona. Another terrible or flat start would tell us something about what's going on inside.

- I would really hate to lose to NMSU this year, but at this moment that looks highly likely. At this point, finding a miracle to win that game would be the most that we can hope for this season.

- I can remember following UTEP football since 1987. I have never seen us have a football season where we lost every single game. I truly hope for the best, but avoiding that seems to be the only possible goal at this moment.

That draw play was a dagger in the heart -- unbelievable.
 
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Vegasminer

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Jul 5, 2001
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I'm one of those UTEPdefense type fans. Long-suffering, loyal and now depressed. I think that UTEPdefense and the Bloomquist editorial stated my exact feelings. It's depressing now but it was maddening in the Sun Bowl Saturday night. Three suggestions for the coaches VS Arizona: 1) if you win the toss, take the G'damn ball. 2) Give your team a chance to succeed by play calling with courage and style. 3) Show your players that you believe in them by calling a game that doesn't look like the coaching staff doesn't trust their team to create some magic.
 

UTEPMiners8106

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Jul 15, 2013
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I'm one of those UTEPdefense type fans. Long-suffering, loyal and now depressed. I think that UTEPdefense and the Bloomquist editorial stated my exact feelings. It's depressing now but it was maddening in the Sun Bowl Saturday night. Three suggestions for the coaches VS Arizona: 1) if you win the toss, take the G'damn ball. 2) Give your team a chance to succeed by play calling with courage and style. 3) Show your players that you believe in them by calling a game that doesn't look like the coaching staff doesn't trust their team to create some magic.

That is a very good point. I wonder how much confidence these players have in their coaching staff.
 

utep-piggy

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Why not spread the WR's wide and let the O-Line block only against the D-Line and second level LB's, isolate them and let them work, instead of bringing everybody into the box so they have more guys to block and no longer have one-on-one battles. Go back to the WKU game 3 years ago when we were running 3 WR's our isolated 5 O-Line formation was pounding against the 4 WKU dlinemen in the box. That worked great and we controlled the game until we threw a pick 6. Doesn't it make more sense to isolate your strength and letting your best unit work one-on-one with opposing d-lines, instead of bringing more defenders into the box and forcing your O-Line to block more guys while you try to slam a 5'6" running back behind them? Go back to Aaron Jones long TD runs at Texas Tech and then again at the Longhorns. It was a similar set to what we did in that WKU game. It created success. Have you seen UTEP try to run that same play once this entire year? I haven't.

For the last 3-4 years, posters here and on other sites have been begging this coach to open up the offense and quit running between the tackles against 10-12 man defensive fronts. HE WILL NOT DO IT! UTEP only had 50 yards of total offense at half time and 26 rushing yards for the entire game from a run based offense! HE NEEDS TO BE FIRED NOW! Nice to see Bloomquist on board, finally.
 
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UTEPMiners8106

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I agree with everyone here blocking comes down to numbers and it doesn't make sense to run when you're outnumbered. But hey what do we know? Ha ha.
 

LaserCoog

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Feb 5, 2002
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@UTEPDefense, big ups for manning up, it's tough when reality hits, I will ALWAYS remember the year Houston went 0-12 under Kim Helton (Clay's dad). That said, you're the guy who for weeks before the season started crowed about how Kugler had built a deeper, bigger, better football team. This was the best UTEP defensive line in years. You raved about how Kugler had brought in mega size players on both sides of the ball, they were gonna be road graders and difference-makers. Well, two games certainly does not make a season, but after playing one really good team and one really not good team, the stats say UTEP is rushing for an average of 49.5 yards per game (2.2 ypc) and giving up 243 yards on the ground per game (5.6 ypc). Oldest adage in college football is that to win, you have to run the football and stop the run. After 2 games, that report card would be F and F-.

Bottom line, you can't make Chablis wine with well water. In his fifth season, your head coach has fully met expectations - he cannot coach, cannot recruit, cannot motivate, and cannot compete, even in a grossly watered down C-USA. He has blamed everybody, including himself, used every excuse in the book, and rode the nepotism hire that he always was into the ground. His guardian angel is leaving. Time for him to man up and do what he said he would do after three years.
 

UTEPDefense

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@LaserCoog Yep. I felt that we were doing some good things off the field within our program. Kugler had also been a part of success here; UTEP has been to 6 Bowl games while I have been alive and Kugler was part of 3 of them(as a Player, as an Assistant Coach, and as a Head Coach). Kugler also coached our only winning season in the past 11 years. I fully believed in giving him 4-5 years to build his program. Because of these reasons, I defended the man as long as I could. I was wrong.
 

MineroFanatico

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@LaserCoog Yep. I felt that we were doing some good things off the field within our program. Kugler had also been a part of success here; UTEP has been to 6 Bowl games while I have been alive and Kugler was part of 3 of them(as a Player, as an Assistant Coach, and as a Head Coach). Kugler also coached our only winning season in the past 11 years. I fully believed in giving him 4-5 years to build his program. Because of these reasons, I defended the man as long as I could. I was wrong.

Hope you don't think Laser is rubbing it in. In fact I read it as him giving you props for coming to terms with "it is what it is". Nor do I think he was trying to gloat about being right. It's just that his pre season assessment happened to be the opposite side of the coin from yours and he isn't shy about expressing his opinions/knowledge. Not saying you do, but I wouldn't take the Coog part of his handle as him being an "outsider". He knows his UTEP fb well.

I thought your post was damn good. Almost heart breaking (I half kid and half not). Truthful, raw and echoes the sentiments of so many on here. I can't speak for Laser but pretty sure his post to you was a gesture of respect and acknowledgement.

Am I way off Laser?
 
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UTEPDefense

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Thanks FanatiCoog. LaserCoog and me have battled often. In regards to this season, he certainly was right and I was wrong. I incorrectly believed and thought there were reasons for hope. As you said, "it is what it is" and we'll move on. Thanks.
 
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LaserCoog

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Feb 5, 2002
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Hope you don't think Laser is rubbing it in. In fact I read it as him giving you props for coming to terms with "it is what it is". Nor do I think he was trying to gloat about being right. It's just that his pre season assessment happened to be the opposite side of the coin from yours and he isn't shy about expressing his opinions/knowledge. Not saying you do, but I wouldn't take the Coog part of his handle as him being an "outsider". He knows his UTEP fb well.

I thought your post was damn good. Almost heart breaking (I half kid and half not). Truthful, raw and echoes the sentiments of so many on here. I can't speak for Laser but pretty sure his post to you was a gesture of respect and acknowledgement.

Am I way off Laser?

100% spot on. I respect UTEPDefense and acknowledge anybody who supports their program. If I didn't care about UTEP football I wouldn't waste my time on this board. I have always thought El Paso was the best kept secret in Texas. In fact, I sometimes think I have higher expectations for the program than some UTEP boosters. I am admittedly intolerant toward complacency and a "poor me" attitude of acceptance of losing. It simply doesn't have to be that way. In sports as in life, you don't "deserve" anything. You earn it. And if you're not willing to pay the price for winning, nobody - NOBODY - is going to feel sorry for you. I just hate that this fan base has been sold a bill of goods for years, especially the last five years.

Your name doesn't have to be Hunt or Foster to make a difference. You just have to care and be passionate. Like UTEPDefense, FanatiCoog, and others...
 

pay4dirt

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Feb 21, 2007
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All very insightful posts. UTEP has always had trouble recruiting. A given. Kugler wanting to recruit more locally is fine. The discipline he brings to the program is good. I want to see him succeed. But so far, what he brings to the program has certainly not shown up on the field. His play calling is the opposite of Coach Price. Price was pass, pass, pass, punt. Kugler is run, run, run, punt. Easiest thing in the world to defense. And our defense acts like tourists watching the running of the bulls in Barcelona. Watch them run by and run along with them and try not to get trampled. If we can lose at home against one of the two easiest teams on the schedule, an 0-12 season in a real possibility. I wish it was better. But what can we really do right now? A new AD needs to come onboard soon and make a solid effort to change things. Well, on to basketball.
 
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unihorn

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If your philosophy is run, run, run why not run the wildcat or option or zone read where the QB must me accounted for as a runner?
 

miner1liner

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Feb 10, 2014
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All very insightful posts. UTEP has always had trouble recruiting. A given. Kugler wanting to recruit more locally is fine. The discipline he brings to the program is good. I want to see him succeed. But so far, what he brings to the program has certainly not shown up on the field. His play calling is the opposite of Coach Price. Price was pass, pass, pass, punt. Kugler is run, run, run, punt. Easiest thing in the world to defense. And our defense acts like tourists watching the running of the bulls in Barcelona. Watch them run by and run along with them and try not to get trampled. If we can lose at home against one of the two easiest teams on the schedule, an 0-12 season in a real possibility. I wish it was better. But what can we really do right now? A new AD needs to come onboard soon and make a solid effort to change things. Well, on to basketball.
Congrats on a "right on" classic post
 

utep2step

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After listening to the local radio yesterday there really is no point on piling on. This is now Lee era bottom of the barrel depressing. I realize UTEP got 80 points hung on them in the 70's but the coaching and heads held low first hand accounts of other players is low UTEP is way to familiar with.

["A Tout Le Monde" from Megadeth intro.....]
 
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