UTEP vs. SFA Game Thoughts.

UTEPDefense

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From a simple eye test, I thought that UTEP looked like the more talented team last night and that talent gap is not something that I saw during the NAU or Houston Baptist games. So there appears to possibly be some program improvement in that area. When you have a talent gap between two teams, then you would expect that the longer that the game goes on, that the more talented team would eventually begin to show itself(settle in, if you will) and that is exactly what happened last night. After intially falling down 14-3, I don’t think that there is much doubt that UTEP controlled the remainder of game. After the first 18 minutes, UTEP won the remainder of the game 21-0 which frankly is a level of dominance that UTEP football has rarely shown.


Dana Dimel has presented an interesting dilema, in that I do believe that he has increased the talent level on this team(which is usually more than half the battle when recruiting to El Paso), yet it appears that he is also not getting the most out of his offense through his own play calling. Last year, we mentioned that him swallowing his pride, retiring the play calling duties, and letting an actual offensive coordinator come in to run the show(while he focuses on just being the Head Coach and recruiting) might be the best way to to go. After 1/12th of this season, I still feel like this change would probably be the best option. I am not going to pretend that we are suddenly a super talented team, but I do feel like we now have enough assets to produce more effectiveness than what is being shown.


The biggest concern for me is that Dimel’s offense is still consistently putting itself in tough 3rd down situations. We appear to waste 1st and 2nd down too many times. The only difference between last night and last year is that Hardison and the WR’s bailed Dimel out with a number of great 3rd down throws and catches.


Like the Kugler days, there are still too many times when UTEP runs right into a stacked defensive front. My small hope is that if Hardison eventually gets audible authority(again last night was barely his frist ever start), then he should start having a field day audibling into passing plays when he gets these atacked fronts, instead of just smashing our RB’s into them for a 2 yard gain.


Dimel needs to get rid of the Brownholtz QB run. Dimel has shown a bad habit of wasting a couple of drives by running his QB, just so he can set up a QB read pass later in the game. It’s not worth wasting a drive or two, just so you can sneak your TE or FB out for a 15 yard gain later in the game.

Hardison, Hankins, and Cowing all have a chance to be really good players for our conference level.

Overall, I am not as down on the defense as a lot of the posts that I have read. They held SFA to only 97 total yards rushing and only 133 total passing yards. Those are elite numbers and frankly that is exactly what a solid defense should do to a lower level team. There is a consistent soft spot in pass defense, that is located about 8 yards down field on both hashes. That correction will need to be identified. I can certainly foresee a number of defensive issues from our defense this season, but last night was not a bad overall performance.


I thought that Moss was as good as advertised and I was really pleased with Knight as well. Kmight looks like a very interesting player. After Ortega got ejected, we only had 2 D-linemen in our rotation who had ever played in a D1 game before last night.


I posted last week to look out for Hankins in the wildcat on the goal line and we scored a TD last night with that exact same play. I also mentioned that there was some cautioness with Wadley and he surprisingly finished with only 3 carries last night, but my fear is that his missing the 2nd half might be more of a concern than just being cautious.
 

NoNCAAWinsSince1992

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After intially falling down 14-3, I don’t think that there is much doubt that UTEP controlled the remainder of game. After the first 18 minutes, UTEP won the remainder of the game 21-0 which frankly is a level of dominance that UTEP football has rarely shown.

I wouldn’t use “controlled” and “dominance”. SFA was squarely in the game except for the last few minutes of the 4th. Keep in mind, we played a 3-9 FCS team coming off probation. Not exactly beating North Texas or FIU.
 
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utep-piggy

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NoNcaa1992 makes a valid point. SFA was 1-2 plays from winning the game late in the fourth quarter. If you want to see what domination looks like, look at North Texas did to their opponent. While UTEPs defense stepped up and dominated the second half, Canales and DD anemic offense kept SFA in the game and within striking distance of a win. Same crap on offense, different year.
 
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MineroFanatico

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From a simple eye test, I thought that UTEP looked like the more talented team last night and that talent gap is not something that I saw during the NAU or Houston Baptist games. So there appears to possibly be some program improvement in that area. When you have a talent gap between two teams, then you would expect that the longer that the game goes on, that the more talented team would eventually begin to show itself(settle in, if you will) and that is exactly what happened last night. After intially falling down 14-3, I don’t think that there is much doubt that UTEP controlled the remainder of game. After the first 18 minutes, UTEP won the remainder of the game 21-0 which frankly is a level of dominance that UTEP football has rarely shown.


Dana Dimel has presented an interesting dilema, in that I do believe that he has increased the talent level on this team(which is usually more than half the battle when recruiting to El Paso), yet it appears that he is also not getting the most out of his offense through his own play calling. Last year, we mentioned that him swallowing his pride, retiring the play calling duties, and letting an actual offensive coordinator come in to run the show(while he focuses on just being the Head Coach and recruiting) might be the best way to to go. After 1/12th of this season, I still feel like this change would probably be the best option. I am not going to pretend that we are suddenly a super talented team, but I do feel like we now have enough assets to produce more effectiveness than what is being shown.


The biggest concern for me is that Dimel’s offense is still consistently putting itself in tough 3rd down situations. We appear to waste 1st and 2nd down too many times. The only difference between last night and last year is that Hardison and the WR’s bailed Dimel out with a number of great 3rd down throws and catches.


Like the Kugler days, there are still too many times when UTEP runs right into a stacked defensive front. My small hope is that if Hardison eventually gets audible authority(again last night was barely his frist ever start), then he should start having a field day audibling into passing plays when he gets these atacked fronts, instead of just smashing our RB’s into them for a 2 yard gain.


Dimel needs to get rid of the Brownholtz QB run. Dimel has shown a bad habit of wasting a couple of drives by running his QB, just so he can set up a QB read pass later in the game. It’s not worth wasting a drive or two, just so you can sneak your TE or FB out for a 15 yard gain later in the game.

Hardison, Hankins, and Cowing all have a chance to be really good players for our conference level.

Overall, I am not as down on the defense as a lot of the posts that I have read. They held SFA to only 97 total yards rushing and only 133 total passing yards. Those are elite numbers and frankly that is exactly what a solid defense should do to a lower level team. There is a consistent soft spot in pass defense, that is located about 8 yards down field on both hashes. That correction will need to be identified. I can certainly foresee a number of defensive issues from our defense this season, but last night was not a bad overall performance.


I thought that Moss was as good as advertised and I was really pleased with Knight as well. Kmight looks like a very interesting player. After Ortega got ejected, we only had 2 D-linemen in our rotation who had ever played in a D1 game before last night.


I posted last week to look out for Hankins in the wildcat on the goal line and we scored a TD last night with that exact same play. I also mentioned that there was some cautioness with Wadley and he surprisingly finished with only 3 carries last night, but my fear is that his missing the 2nd half might be more of a concern than just being cautious.

What was the caution with Wadley? I know he came in for another couple plays afterwards, but he seemed to go MIA after his drop on that first drive. Is the caution physical injury, or are there “other” issues?
 
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shyminer81

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A few bad breaks with Hardison, and the game would have looked more like a typical FBS over FCS game.The horrible QB sneak fumble, and the play where Hardison throws the INT. Both times, they looked liked they would score. I honestly thought UTEP would lose after watching that 1st quarter. The Miners stepped it up, and did enough to win. Texas will destroy the Miners, lets just hope, none of the starters get injured.
 

unihorn

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From a simple eye test, I thought that UTEP looked like the more talented team last night and that talent gap is not something that I saw during the NAU or Houston Baptist games. So there appears to possibly be some program improvement in that area. When you have a talent gap between two teams, then you would expect that the longer that the game goes on, that the more talented team would eventually begin to show itself(settle in, if you will) and that is exactly what happened last night. After intially falling down 14-3, I don’t think that there is much doubt that UTEP controlled the remainder of game. After the first 18 minutes, UTEP won the remainder of the game 21-0 which frankly is a level of dominance that UTEP football has rarely shown.


Dana Dimel has presented an interesting dilema, in that I do believe that he has increased the talent level on this team(which is usually more than half the battle when recruiting to El Paso), yet it appears that he is also not getting the most out of his offense through his own play calling. Last year, we mentioned that him swallowing his pride, retiring the play calling duties, and letting an actual offensive coordinator come in to run the show(while he focuses on just being the Head Coach and recruiting) might be the best way to to go. After 1/12th of this season, I still feel like this change would probably be the best option. I am not going to pretend that we are suddenly a super talented team, but I do feel like we now have enough assets to produce more effectiveness than what is being shown.


The biggest concern for me is that Dimel’s offense is still consistently putting itself in tough 3rd down situations. We appear to waste 1st and 2nd down too many times. The only difference between last night and last year is that Hardison and the WR’s bailed Dimel out with a number of great 3rd down throws and catches.


Like the Kugler days, there are still too many times when UTEP runs right into a stacked defensive front. My small hope is that if Hardison eventually gets audible authority(again last night was barely his frist ever start), then he should start having a field day audibling into passing plays when he gets these atacked fronts, instead of just smashing our RB’s into them for a 2 yard gain.


Dimel needs to get rid of the Brownholtz QB run. Dimel has shown a bad habit of wasting a couple of drives by running his QB, just so he can set up a QB read pass later in the game. It’s not worth wasting a drive or two, just so you can sneak your TE or FB out for a 15 yard gain later in the game.

Hardison, Hankins, and Cowing all have a chance to be really good players for our conference level.

Overall, I am not as down on the defense as a lot of the posts that I have read. They held SFA to only 97 total yards rushing and only 133 total passing yards. Those are elite numbers and frankly that is exactly what a solid defense should do to a lower level team. There is a consistent soft spot in pass defense, that is located about 8 yards down field on both hashes. That correction will need to be identified. I can certainly foresee a number of defensive issues from our defense this season, but last night was not a bad overall performance.


I thought that Moss was as good as advertised and I was really pleased with Knight as well. Kmight looks like a very interesting player. After Ortega got ejected, we only had 2 D-linemen in our rotation who had ever played in a D1 game before last night.


I posted last week to look out for Hankins in the wildcat on the goal line and we scored a TD last night with that exact same play. I also mentioned that there was some cautioness with Wadley and he surprisingly finished with only 3 carries last night, but my fear is that his missing the 2nd half might be more of a concern than just being cautious.

Good post. Hope Hankins stays healthy. I’m not disappointed at trying to run it down their throats, as long as they have some new tricks for Texas.
 

MinerInWisconsin

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SFA only had 98 total yards of offense after the first 18 minutes of the game.

That equates to roughly only 35 yards of offense per quarter, over the final 3 quarters.
I've watched the game twice and our defense is considerably better than last season. The offense needs to be more creative but we have the players to do some damage, just not the play calling. Always enjoy your reviews.
 
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JCorona

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NoNcaa1992 makes a valid point. SFA was 1-2 plays from winning the game late in the fourth quarter. If you want to see what domination looks like, look at North Texas did to their opponent. While UTEPs defense stepped up and dominated the second half, Canales and DD anemic offense kept SFA in the game and within striking distance of a win. Same crap on offense, different year.
Hbu almost had 600 yards of offense. They weren’t exactly dominated either.
 

UTEPMiners8106

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From a simple eye test, I thought that UTEP looked like the more talented team last night and that talent gap is not something that I saw during the NAU or Houston Baptist games. So there appears to possibly be some program improvement in that area. When you have a talent gap between two teams, then you would expect that the longer that the game goes on, that the more talented team would eventually begin to show itself(settle in, if you will) and that is exactly what happened last night. After intially falling down 14-3, I don’t think that there is much doubt that UTEP controlled the remainder of game. After the first 18 minutes, UTEP won the remainder of the game 21-0 which frankly is a level of dominance that UTEP football has rarely shown.


Dana Dimel has presented an interesting dilema, in that I do believe that he has increased the talent level on this team(which is usually more than half the battle when recruiting to El Paso), yet it appears that he is also not getting the most out of his offense through his own play calling. Last year, we mentioned that him swallowing his pride, retiring the play calling duties, and letting an actual offensive coordinator come in to run the show(while he focuses on just being the Head Coach and recruiting) might be the best way to to go. After 1/12th of this season, I still feel like this change would probably be the best option. I am not going to pretend that we are suddenly a super talented team, but I do feel like we now have enough assets to produce more effectiveness than what is being shown.


The biggest concern for me is that Dimel’s offense is still consistently putting itself in tough 3rd down situations. We appear to waste 1st and 2nd down too many times. The only difference between last night and last year is that Hardison and the WR’s bailed Dimel out with a number of great 3rd down throws and catches.


Like the Kugler days, there are still too many times when UTEP runs right into a stacked defensive front. My small hope is that if Hardison eventually gets audible authority(again last night was barely his frist ever start), then he should start having a field day audibling into passing plays when he gets these atacked fronts, instead of just smashing our RB’s into them for a 2 yard gain.


Dimel needs to get rid of the Brownholtz QB run. Dimel has shown a bad habit of wasting a couple of drives by running his QB, just so he can set up a QB read pass later in the game. It’s not worth wasting a drive or two, just so you can sneak your TE or FB out for a 15 yard gain later in the game.

Hardison, Hankins, and Cowing all have a chance to be really good players for our conference level.

Overall, I am not as down on the defense as a lot of the posts that I have read. They held SFA to only 97 total yards rushing and only 133 total passing yards. Those are elite numbers and frankly that is exactly what a solid defense should do to a lower level team. There is a consistent soft spot in pass defense, that is located about 8 yards down field on both hashes. That correction will need to be identified. I can certainly foresee a number of defensive issues from our defense this season, but last night was not a bad overall performance.


I thought that Moss was as good as advertised and I was really pleased with Knight as well. Kmight looks like a very interesting player. After Ortega got ejected, we only had 2 D-linemen in our rotation who had ever played in a D1 game before last night.


I posted last week to look out for Hankins in the wildcat on the goal line and we scored a TD last night with that exact same play. I also mentioned that there was some cautioness with Wadley and he surprisingly finished with only 3 carries last night, but my fear is that his missing the 2nd half might be more of a concern than just being cautious.

A+ breakdown. One thing that we need to acknowledge is the fact that this team did not complete spring practice, and fall practice was also altered because of COVID. Yes they were not 100% perfect but they looked good considering the circumstances and their performance the last three years.
 

picks up

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Does anyone else hate the wildcat? I also agree with the OP about bringing in QB2 for a QB draw. Both of these play formations are dead giveaways for defenses on what's going to be called. In most games we are already in a talent disadvantage, do we need to really be giving our players more of a disadvantage? I don't understand Dimel's logic
 

UTEPMiners8106

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Does anyone else hate the wildcat? I also agree with the OP about bringing in QB2 for a QB draw. Both of these play formations are dead giveaways for defenses on what's going to be called. In most games we are already in a talent disadvantage, do we need to really be giving our players more of a disadvantage? I don't understand Dimel's logic

I don’t think I can recall a time where The Miners passed out of one of The Wildcat or when they have subbed in a running QB.
 

utep2step

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Does anyone else hate the wildcat? I also agree with the OP about bringing in QB2 for a QB draw. Both of these play formations are dead giveaways for defenses on what's going to be called. In most games we are already in a talent disadvantage, do we need to really be giving our players more of a disadvantage? I don't understand Dimel's logic
I personally do not like it but it is a headache if you have a Josh Freeman (K State) or Collin Kaepernick (Nevada) who froze linebackers and made defensive coaches pull their hair out.

My thinking is now that UTEP has a legit gunslinger not seen since Jameill Showers if...if, Hardison can perfect his reads he can be effective but just not as good as a Josh Freeman because Hardison doesn't have the athleticism.

You can throw the ball in wildcat formation. Expect too see that a few small handful of times in goal line situations or 3rd and short as a trick play. The rb makes like he is running to the line, stops and dunks it to the TE who slips under the attacking line and LB's. If a D has a solid Mike LB (a Hotchkins or Alvin Jones type LB) that's when it is effective.
 

NoNCAAWinsSince1992

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SFA only had 98 total yards of offense after the first 18 minutes of the game.

That equates to roughly only 35 yards of offense per quarter, over the final 3 quarters.

And the game was still in doubt for most of the 4th quarter. Not really domination IMO
 

Taco1977

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Pass rush is non-existent and the secondary plays too soft. Both of those issues will be a real problem as the season progresses.
 

NoNCAAWinsSince1992

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We could go 12-0 and there would be fans that would say things like, 'until we get better TE play, we'll never win a bowl game.'

Just enjoy the W, its a rare experience. There will be plenty of things to complain about after Saturday.

False. We’re not talking about the basketball team with wins over Pine Bluff, Western New Mexico, UTPB, Florida A&M, and other scrub teams.

I would be ecstatic if the Miners went 12-0 in football. Losing a bowl game would be disappointing, but the Miners have never really been successful in football. There would only be complaints if 12-0 became the norm, and we’re long ways away from that being possible.
 

MineroFanatico

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We could go 12-0 and there would be fans that would say things like, 'until we get better TE play, we'll never win a bowl game.'

Just enjoy the W, its a rare experience. There will be plenty of things to complain about after Saturday.

I’m happy about the win. I saw improvement in a couple key areas. So glad we have a qb who can put the ball where it needs to be on a simple screen pass, or keep the ball on a rope going downfield. I also saw similarities to the last few years in a couple areas. I don’t think it’s a negative thing to recognize and point out where we will likely experience our deficiencies.

Most of those perceived deficiencies fall on the coaching staff and play calling as far as I’m concerned.

Right or wrong, in this day and age everybody is a coach and knows what’s best for the team they root for, including myself. I think my outlook fits somewhere in between where your’s and NoWins’ is.
 

NoNCAAWinsSince1992

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I’m happy about the win. I saw improvement in a couple key areas. So glad we have a qb who can put the ball where it needs to be on a simple screen pass, or keep the ball on a rope going downfield. I also saw similarities to the last few years in a couple areas. I don’t think it’s a negative thing to recognize and point out where we will likely experience our deficiencies.

Most of those perceived deficiencies fall on the coaching staff and play calling as far as I’m concerned.

Right or wrong, in this day and age everybody is a coach and knows what’s best for the team they root for, including myself. I think my outlook fits somewhere in between where your’s and NoWins’ is.

My outlook is “okay, acceptable win”, “but still ways to go”. Definitely not “dominant performance” or “bowl here we come”. As long as Texas doesn’t hang 70 by halftime, I don’t care how badly they lose on Saturday. Just hope the starters don’t get hurt and we see less “run up the middle plays”
 

nattybry

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52-14 I'm on board with that as the Texas score. Only because the starters are pulled at 45-7 going into the 4th
 

JCorona

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52-14 I'm on board with that as the Texas score. Only because the starters are pulled at 45-7 going into the 4th
In the last three most recent games, UTEP hasn’t scored in the second half. It would be interesting if we can break that streak on Saturday.
 
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UTEPDefense

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The ACU game is looking like it will be true indicator if Dimel has really improved he program or not(assuming we don't lose a number of guys due to injury or covid). The new guys will have a couple games under their belt, negating the lost spring and camp practices. Produce a win and a decent looking performance and we will obviously all believe in things a little more.

However, another sluggish performance, like NAU, HBU, or the first quarter against SFA(all 3 games we were behind by 8 or more points) will leave us feeling like nothing has changed.


FWIW, I don't know if our team last year could have come back and won against SFA, after being down 14-3? And I certainly don't think that last year's team could have come back from 14-3 down to win by double digits.
 

JCorona

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Deion could be #1 if he had the same amount of carries as the top 2.
 

Hot For Keitha

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"We started him because we care so much about him and he’s such a leader for our team, but he’s just not healthy."

Dimel added that Wadley’s injured made it difficult for him to get up to speed during UTEP’s shortened fall camp.


https://www.ktsm.com/sports/college...y-indefinitely/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Dimel sure is a nice guy, and it comes at the expense of smart football decisions. Wadley hasn't been healthy, wasn't up to speed in camp... but started because Dimel "cares" about him.
 

kickballpro

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"We started him because we care so much about him and he’s such a leader for our team, but he’s just not healthy."

Dimel added that Wadley’s injured made it difficult for him to get up to speed during UTEP’s shortened fall camp.


https://www.ktsm.com/sports/college...y-indefinitely/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Dimel sure is a nice guy, and it comes at the expense of smart football decisions. Wadley hasn't been healthy, wasn't up to speed in camp... but started because Dimel "cares" about him.

Or could it be actually views his athletes as students/human and not just chess pieces.
 

JCorona

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We’re technically lost three starters on the offense. TJ, Wadley, and Wolf.
 

utep2step

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That sucks.

Looks like UTEP football season is on the backs of a southern New Mexican kid and two El Pasoans, literally.

Many contrarians in this area wants UTEP to go local, well here's the proof in the pudding. Hopefully Hardison, Hankins and Fields (and D lineman Ortega who anchors the line) are up to the task?
 
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Roy_Bigwood_05

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Only thing I was impressed with was Hankins, and #12's poise.

Play calling is still suspect just like UTEPD mentions, if not for that questionable turnover before the half, it would have been a way closer game and I think its possible the Miners take a close L.

Cowing is a decent WR, but no one else can get open consistently, plus the o-line did not get a consistent push against a weak D-line, averaging less than three yards per carry in the first half is unacceptable. Also, Josh Fields just doesn't have the explosion to be an effective FBS RB in my opinion.

Defenisvley, this team is so undisciplined and basic techniques were terrible, maybe it was the first game, but any competent C-USA offense could have put up 30 points easily. Luckily SFA's offensive line wasn't very good at all.

I will not use the I (improvement, impressed) word with this program until they push around a C-USA team, until then, Dimel squeaked out a win against a lesser opponent who was one or two plays away from winning, still a lot of work to do but a positive step with a win.
 

Lil_Train

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Only thing I was impressed with was Hankins, and #12's poise.

Play calling is still suspect just like UTEPD mentions, if not for that questionable turnover before the half, it would have been a way closer game and I think its possible the Miners take a close L.

Cowing is a decent WR, but no one else can get open consistently, plus the o-line did not get a consistent push against a weak D-line, averaging less than three yards per carry in the first half is unacceptable. Also, Josh Fields just doesn't have the explosion to be an effective FBS RB in my opinion.

Defenisvley, this team is so undisciplined and basic techniques were terrible, maybe it was the first game, but any competent C-USA offense could have put up 30 points easily. Luckily SFA's offensive line wasn't very good at all.

I will not use the I (improvement, impressed) word with this program until they push around a C-USA team, until then, Dimel squeaked out a win against a lesser opponent who was one or two plays away from winning, still a lot of work to do but a positive step with a win.
Pretty much agree with everything you mentioned Roy. I think the offense could use a major infusion of speed at both the running back and wide receiver positions. With Wadley out maybe a guy like Willie Eldrige could get an opportunity. Pounding Hankins and Fields up the middle won't work against decent teams, especially without the threat of the QB run option. Getting the TE's involved in the passing game is also a must. Defensively, I'm hoping that all the JC guys can adjust quickly to D1 speed; it appeared that the settled down a bit in the second half, so there may be some hope there.
 

MinerInWisconsin

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The ACU game is looking like it will be true indicator if Dimel has really improved he program or not(assuming we don't lose a number of guys due to injury or covid). The new guys will have a couple games under their belt, negating the lost spring and camp practices. Produce a win and a decent looking performance and we will obviously all believe in things a little more.

However, another sluggish performance, like NAU, HBU, or the first quarter against SFA(all 3 games we were behind by 8 or more points) will leave us feeling like nothing has changed.


FWIW, I don't know if our team last year could have come back and won against SFA, after being down 14-3? And I certainly don't think that last year's team could have come back from 14-3 down to win by double digits.
Some contributing factors are that UTEP did zero tackling in pre-season. UTEP had fewer practices for the start of the season than SFA by a bunch and had less than half of its spring football while SFA had a full spring season. SFA's coach has had 2 top 5 fcs recruiting classes and has a number of FBS transfers. UTEP should get better as the season goes on just based on this alone. UTEP's defense is better this year despite what some poster are saying. But the offensive play calling is still suspect.
 
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JCorona

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Some contributing factors are that UTEP did zero tackling in pre-season. UTEP had fewer practices for the start of the season than SFA by a bunch and had less than half of its spring football while SFA had a full spring season. SFA's coach has had 2 top 5 fcs recruiting classes and has a number of FBS transfers. UTEP should get better as the season goes on just based on this alone. UTEP's defense is better this year despite what some poster are saying. But the offensive play calling is still suspect.
Last year we held HBU to 413 yards and Zappe to 300. This last week HBU piled on 569 yards on UNT and Zappe went of for 480 yards and 3 tds. I definitely see an improvement in the defense.
 
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