In The Dig: Some notes from the hardwood, finally we wrap up the Marshall meltdown, and the Rush can't help but notice that SMU, Tulsa, and Houston all had significant wins this past weekend. Tulsa's stands alone.
The UTEP Miners
Wrapping Up the Marshall Meltdown: Mike Price faced the press and tried his best to put up a confident front and show a belief that this team will somehow avoid the fate of seasons past.
"First of all, I think this team is a group of winners. Now is the time for our leaders to step up and show the character that they have. Everyone is a good leader in August when the expectations are high. When you lose three in a row, that's the time to be a leader and prove to yourself and the rest of the team that you are winners. I believe in this team. We had a team meeting yesterday and I told them, `The same group of guys that were 5-1 are in this audience right now.' We still have a lot of weapons on offense. We have an improved defense and an improving defense. And we're sound and explosive in special teams. If you have all three of those things, then you can win the game. If you have two of those things, then you have a chance to win. That's what you want in life, a chance. And the next thing you need is an opportunity."
Taking the Bullet: Mike Price explained that it was his decision to spike the ball on the infamous third and 19 play. Clearly, CMP was confused inthose final seconds.
"That was my fault," Price said, acknowledging UTEP should have run a third down play to try to get some of the 19 yards back. "I couldn't tell if it was an incomplete pass or a fumble recovery. I had a lot of trouble getting the referee's attention. I was at midfield trying to get his attention, 'Is it a fumble?' I was watching the clock and we lost 20 seconds. I didn't know exactly where the ball was. "I knew it would be fourth down (if he spiked it), but I didn't know if it would be fourth-and-20, fourth-and-15, fourth-and-10. I called the spike. (Vittatoe) didn't do it on his own."
At Least One Miner is in the Postseason: Paydirt Pete, the mascot, is still in the Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge. Pete will actually participate in a live chat on ESPN.com. It will be HERE Tuesday at 2:00 pm MST.
Donald Brown knew what was going to transpire. "They ran it earlier in the game and I tried to tell Ahmed Shakoor to get out there on it," Brown said. "As soon as (McClure) came in motion, I knew what was coming. "So I just had to patiently wait on it and jump it. "I mean, he threw it right to me." Vittatoe sure did. Right in Brown's gut at the goal line. Now all there was left to do was run. Far.
Glad We Could Help: UTEP managed to make Doc Holliday look like a good coach despite his 1-6 start.
Farewell, Miner Class of 2010: The last three weeks have undoubtedly scarred the legacy of this 2010 UTEP football team but here's hoping that El Paso comes out to the Sun Bowl to give the seniors a proper send-off. Rod Huntley, Alex Solot, WIll Osolinsky, Braxton Amy, Kris Adams, Anthony McNac, Trevor Vittatoe, Donald Buckram, Jonny Moore, Elijah Goldtrap, and more. So many hours of hard work.
And, if you make it out, you'll get free popcorn, $2 hot dogs, and the first 5,000 will get foam fingers shaped like a Pickaxe. So, there's that too.
Enshrined: Ray Sanchez has a nice rundown of the UTEP Hall of Fame banquet.
Better than Channel Surfing: UTEP and Arkansas will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
On to the Hardwood
The Exhibition Season is Up and Running: Tim Floyd talked to the press after UTEP's 80-76 win over Eastern New Mexico.
Headed in Opposite Directions: UTEP's meltdown against Marshall and third straight blown chance at WIn No. 6 is especially compounded to Miner fans because we are saw Houston inch closer towards a West Title, SMU show what a superior team should do when they face adversity, and Tulsa get a huge win for their program.
SMU battled back to beat Tulane even though they trailed 17-3 late in the third quarter on the road. UTEP hasn't won a C-USA road game since October 4, 2008. SMU could have rolled over and died, but they fought back and got the win they needed to get closer to bowl eligibility.
Tulsa beat Notre Dame. At Notre Dame. That was easily one of the biggest wins in school history. While UTEP was bumbling away their chance at win No. 6, G.J. Kinne was conducting the Tulsa band to the school alma mater in South Bend.