In The Dig: No ECU. No SMU. The Dig is All About UTEP and New Mexico State. The Battle of 1-10 is upon us.
The UTEP Miners
Coach Mike Price has locked the media out of practice.
Coach Mike Price, though, gave a different reason for closing practice. "We're putting in all our trick plays," he quipped. "We're working on a little wishbone."
Soon to be 51-35-2
The Prospector has the some good NMSU coverage going too.
UTEP holds a 50-35-2 advantage in the series and are 34-16-1 in games played in El Paso. Last year’s game was postponed four hours due to a lightning storm, but the game eventually resumed and the Miners won 38-12. It was UTEP’s first win against the Aggies since 2006 when they won 44-38 in the Sun Bowl.
I Respectfully Disagree
The Prospector's Alex Morales has a nice feature up on Miner tight end Kevin Perry. He says that UTEP hasn't had a reliable tight end since Brian Natkin. Maybe, we haven't had a huge receiving threat there since him, but Jonny Moore has definitely had a career worthy of recognition.
UTEP has not had a reliable and solid tight end since 2000, when All-American Brian Natkin strapped on the pads for UTEP. That seems to have changed with the emergence of redshirt freshman tight end Kevin Perry in the spring and first game of the season.
Before the media was locked out of practice, Bret Bloomquist made his way out to Glory Road and noticed that the squad was getting loud.
UTEP's practice Tuesday was the loudest of the year and Mike Price clearly enjoyed it. The Aggie practice seemed a bit subdued by comparison.
More Rivalry Week
Bill Knight wrote an article highlighting the friendly, family atmosphere surrounding this rivalry. And, he notes how various UTEP coaches have fared against the Aggies. Bob Stull, man he was good.
UTEP athletic director Bob Stull probably wonders what the big deal is. He won 47-33 in 1986, 31-0 in 1987 and 37-3 in 1988. Few coaches, though, have found it that easy
UTEP does have a stable of people at the position. Brandon Miller will likely replace Amy in the starting lineup with Wiston Jeune and true freshman Chad Moncure as top reserves.
Double B is killing it this week and he points out a random stat that might be worthless or incredibly significant. It's definitely indicative of something, I'm just not sure what.
UTEP fell to 6-14 in the last 20 games in which it scored first. The Miners are 4-6 in the last 10 games in which the opponent scored first.
Onto The Aggies
BleedCrimson.net is a stellar NMSU fan site. The author, Swasson, talked football with DeWayne Walker this week. He asked Walker how NMSU will handle the environment at the Sun Bowl.
"Well I just think we've really got to prepare to play better football as a team. That's the most important thing. I think from a rivalry standpoint, our kids get it. They know what rivalries are all about. We'll talk a little bit about the rivalry today and then we'll leave it alone. We've just go to go and improve as a football team this week to give us a chance to win the football game."
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun News was disappointed with the Aggies defense against San Diego State.
With all that being said, the Aggies are a better team in 2010 than they were in 2009. For starters, from an entertainment standpoint, they are far more appealing. Mike Dunbar was a fine hire at offensive coordinator and has the savvy and gameplanning skills to vastly improve the offense during one offseason.
Random But Noteworthy
UTEP is kicking off the Centennial Campaign to raise money for University scholarships, fellowships, and research. President Natalicio is setting out a difficult, but obtainable goal. Great to see UTEP aggressively pursuing Tier 1 status. More on it here.
"In many cases the donor can designate what they would like for us to spend the money on. So, if someone is particularly interested in scholarships, they can tell us, ‘I’d like my money to go for scholarships,’ and we say, ‘OK, great.’" Natalicio said. "If on the other hand they say, ‘What do you think?’ then we give them a kind of menu to see what interests them. And if someone wants to just give us money to use at our discretion, then that’s wonderful too,"