It's time to take our weekly look at how UTEP ranks statistically and to identify individual players whose on field performances have placed them on the national radar. I do the Stat Shack because after the season, when we take a look back at the 2010 season, I think it will be interesting to see how the Miners have improved week-to-week in various areas on field. Obviously, wins are all we care about. But, the stats will tell a story that will help us get a handle on the back story behind the 2010 Miners.
UTEP's 2010 Team Offense Statistics Through Week 5
1.0 per game
The Top Half: Five games into the 2010 season, the UTEP Miners offense is doing just fine statistically. The Miners are in the top half of the league standings in each of the Big 5 statistical categories that show offensive success. Like we all thought, UTEP's offensive line has been truly dominant and has only given up 5 sacks this season which allows them to rank 21st nationally. UTEP has the nation's 36th most powerful offense.
Miners also doubled their sack total when they picked up 2 against the Tigers. The Miners are now 2nd in the C-USA in interceptions with 6.
UTEP's 2010 Team Defense Statistics Through Week 5
Simply Stunning: Five games UTEP has the C-USA's 3rd ranked pass defense without Braxton Amy? Who would have bet that would be the case even 6 weeks ago?UTEP is ranked 60th nationally in total defense? 45th in scoring defense? Andre Patterson for Mayor? Let me put this in perspective. Here are UTEP's end of season defensive rankings from a year ago:
Tackles for Loss
Now, do you see what I'm talking about? The Miners are giving up about 96 fewer yards a game. Ninety-six yards. UTEP opponents are scoring 12 fewer points a game. The Miners had the nations 110th ranked total defense. Now, the Miners have the 60th.
Osia Lewis. Sorry, you will not be missed.
1. Steady as He Goes: Joe Banyard is now the nations 80th leading rusher averaging 66 yards per game. Mr. Consistent has been one of the best surprises of the season's first five weeks.
2. Like a Rock: Trevor Vittatoe is now ranked 51st in the nation in passing efficiency (132.21) and 27th in total offense (269 yards per game).
3. Going, Going, Gone: Kris Adams is ranked 33rd in the nation in receiving yards per game. Right now, I don't see how he isn't first team All C-USA.
4. In Nixon We Trust: Travaun Nixon's two interceptions are good to keep him tied for 29th in the nation.
5. The Sparkplug: Marlon McClure is all alone. He's the only player in the nation ranked in the Top 20 in punt and kick returns. Marlon is ranked 17th in punt returns (14.0) and 18th in kick returns (30.73). Those numbers are good for second in each category in the C-USA. Again, right now I don't see how Marlon wouldn't be first team all C-USA. By the way, Marlon is averaging 134.5 all purpose yards a game which ties him up at 39th nationally.