Our "boring" offense

MinerManiac

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Jun 28, 2001
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This is a subject that I meant to bring up last football season, but just never took the time. As I'm currently sitting at Discount Tire awaiting a tire repair, I figured that I had nothing better to do.

Whenever I hear someone complain about how Dimel's boring offense is keeping fans away I think back to a conversation I had years ago about a different Miner sport. In the early 90s, when I was working in San Diego, a new coworker discovered that I was a UTEP alumnus. She asked if Don Haskins was still coaching. When I assured her that he was, she started talking about the time she had spent in El Paso, and complaining about how boring Haskins' style of play was. I looked at her as if she was speaking another language. The Miners had just recently finished their stretch of playing in the NCAA Tournament for 8 out of 9 years, and the upset of Kansas was still fresh on my mind. Sure, we didn't play a fast break, run and gun style game, but we won - a lot. And I find winning to be exciting. I'm personally much more excited watching the Miner hoops team win a game 53-48 than I am watching the Miners lose 93-91. Winning trumps style of play every time in my book.

Which brings me back to the football team. I do realize that I'm different, but I don't care if our offense is four yards and a cloud of dust or if we're passing for over 400 yards every game - I just want to win. Does this mean that I'm defending our offense? Not at all. I definitely have issues with our offense, but it's not because I find it to be "boring."

Probably my biggest complaint about our offense is the way we played when having a lead. There were several situations during those seven games we won where we had a lead either early or mid way through the 4th quarter, and a score would have put the game away. Usually, at least in my perception last year, we seemed to fail almost every time, often going three and out. Then there were times, typically in the same games, when it was late in the 4th quarter and all we needed was a first down or two to put the game away, and again going three and out seemed to be the norm. Fortunately our defense was up to the task in these games, propelling us to our 7 wins.

Now I know in the situations above that the players on the other side of the ball also have college scholarships, and the other coaches also get paid, and it's their job to stop us. So I don't expect to get those early 4th quarter scores every time, nor do I always expect to get those late game 1st downs every time we need them. But I do expect the offense to produce some of those times, and it rarely did.

The most frustrating part for me is that in every game the offense went through a period where it really clicked and was able to move the ball, either on the ground, through the air, or both. If we got a lead, however, Dimel would go super conservative, with no imagination in either his running or passing games, and we would stagnate. Thankfully our defense played well.

So there's my problem with our offense. It's not that it's boring, it just doesn't produce after acquiring a lead. Well that and the fact that the red zone play calling often sucks, but that horse has been beaten into glue.
 

Minerforlife

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I'm always confused when people complain we don't throw the ball. Last season we were 50th on the country in passing offense. 80th in rushing offense. We are probably in the top 20% of schools when it comes to number of pass attempts over 25 yds. We take a ton of deep shots. If we had an average qb we would be in top 25 in passing offense. Where Harsison has always struggled is the short and intermediate passing game. He's struggles with accuracy. I have no issue with the passing game the team under Dimel definitely stretch the field vertically.

I think most people think our offense is vanilla because if we get a lead we go very conservative and try to bleed the clock. There are games this team could have put away in third quarter but to borrow a basketball analogy went into a Dean Smith 4 corners offense in the third quarter. I do hope we develop an all gas no brakes philosophy and finish teams off when we have a chance.
 
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axingfools1

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I think the offense works with good players and a true dual threat QB. Kansas State won a lot of big games using this offense. It just comes down players and coaching (decision making when we have the lead, etc..)
 
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utep-piggy

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Plenty to criticize about the offensive play calling, passing scheme, lack of in-game adjustments by the coaching staff. Any decent team that scores more than 21 points against the miners will likely win the game. No reason for the miners not having a dynamic passing game, especially with two great rb in the backfield to setup the pass.
 

Minerforlife

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Passing and rushing yards don’t win games, lot’s of points on the scoreboard usually do. UTEPs offense was ranked 89th nationally in points per game (25.1). That’s terrible.
Part of it is playing to your strength. The strength of this team in front seven. Specifically the front four. The worst thing you can do is get a lead then get quick 3 and outs and not let your defense rest. If you tire out the pass rush, you effectively neutralize the strength of the team. They are still too conservative for my liking with the lead especially in the third quarter, however I understand it. The defense will be even better this year.
 
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utep-piggy

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Part of it is playing to your strength. The strength of this team in front seven. Specifically the front four. The worst thing you can do is get a lead then get quick 3 and outs and not let your defense rest. If you tire out the pass rush, you effectively neutralize the strength of the team. They are still too conservative for my liking with the lead especially in the third quarter, however I understand it. The defense will be even better this year.
The Dimel and Kugler approach of running the clock and stealing possessions is only effective against mediocre football teams. It was successful last year largely due UTEPs strength of schedule. I doubt it will be as effective this season.
 

pay4dirt

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Clock control should equal first down control. Pick up some first downs, not always go three and out. Put the ball into your opponent's end of the field. Keep your offense on the field and theirs off. Let that get boring while we win some games. Coach Price got to be too pass oriented toward the end. Defenses always knew what the Miners were going to do on every down. Under Kugler, it was run every down. Same easy decisions by the defense as to what to do. You've got to mix the plays up enough to make the defense take that extra second figuring out what was coming. This is all simplistic for sure, but the coaches shouldn't outsmart themselves on the play calling.
 

Lil_Train

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Clock control should equal first down control. Pick up some first downs, not always go three and out. Put the ball into your opponent's end of the field. Keep your offense on the field and theirs off. Let that get boring while we win some games. Coach Price got to be too pass oriented toward the end. Defenses always knew what the Miners were going to do on every down. Under Kugler, it was run every down. Same easy decisions by the defense as to what to do. You've got to mix the plays up enough to make the defense take that extra second figuring out what was coming. This is all simplistic for sure, but the coaches shouldn't outsmart themselves on the play calling.
I agree. I will add the lack of a dual threat QB in this offense puts even more pressure on the O-line especially on first down. The offense faced 2nd and 10 situations way too often last year, often against d-lines that stacked the box daring UTEP to try to run. Make no mistake, the O-line needs to be better this year running the ball, but the play calling also needs to account for the lack of a running threat in Hardison.
 

jq_miner

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I’m sure it’s a great sign that…yes indeed…guess who’s back for that 20th year of eligibility . A Man amongst boys…the one the only Walter, I can’t get a job so I’ll guess I’ll stay at UTEP till I’m 40, Dawn Jr. Fr dude stop.
 
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denverutep

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I’m sure it’s a great sign that…yes indeed…guess who’s back for that 20th year of eligibility . A Man amongst boys…the one the only Walter, I can’t get a job so I’ll guess I’ll stay at UTEP till I’m 40, Dawn Jr. Fr dude stop.

I hope he graduated by now!
 
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unihorn

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I’m sure it’s a great sign that…yes indeed…guess who’s back for that 20th year of eligibility . A Man amongst boys…the one the only Walter, I can’t get a job so I’ll guess I’ll stay at UTEP till I’m 40, Dawn Jr. Fr dude stop.
Don’t be a dick.
 

UTEPMiners8106

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F*ck looking good and loosing, I’d rather look like sh*t and win. - That should be the team motto this year. They need to embrace that mentality and make every game into a dog fight.

With that being said as much as the offense couldn’t hold a lead they’re not very good playing from behind either. Once teams get 14 on them they’re toast.

So really as much as we hard on the offense it’s the defense that’s key. If you’re going to put up 25 a game you’d better have a defense who can hold at under 24 a game and unfortunately those are few and far between.
 

MineroFanatico

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I’m sure it’s a great sign that…yes indeed…guess who’s back for that 20th year of eligibility . A Man amongst boys…the one the only Walter, I can’t get a job so I’ll guess I’ll stay at UTEP till I’m 40, Dawn Jr. Fr dude stop.
Dawn Jr. and his son Dawn III in a Miner uniform together?
 

utep2step

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Jul 10, 2001
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Good offenses will score on us. Have to be able to answer in crunch time.
Bingo! Now in all fairness, Dimel has new JUCO transfers in the secondary but the new secondary has to be giddy about UTEP’s D line which is the anchor of this team.

Dimel’s offense has not been boring. It has been inefficient, period. #70 by the time all was said in done [https://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fbs]. Stupid drive killing penalties. Dropped (short yardage) passes. Questionable game plan against opponent weaknesses. UTEP’s own inefficiency in moving the ball.

We have personally seen what the Dimel led RPO can do when running on all cylinders when UTEP played KSU (Kugler era). Dimels’ last year at KSU sliced and diced the UCLA D in their bowl game (Snyder & Dimel decided to part ways and Snyder was very influential in getting Dimel the UTEP HC job). UTEP fans have not seen that. I have not seen it. It’s shown spurts and big strikes, but not to the consistency it was intended. However, the NM Bowl showed that it can “strike back” when facing a good quality opponent.

Will it be consistent to win those big games?
 
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