Last week we took a look at the offensive line, and how critical their play is for UTEP's success this season. This week, I've been thinking about the wide receivers. Particularly Mike Edwards.
The #1 WR on UTEP's depth chart is undoubtedly Mike Edwards. The 5'10 Mt. San Antonio Junior College transfer, originally from Glendora, California, had a very good year in his first season as a Miner. He compiled 50 catches for 657 catches and 3 TD's. Some of his success can be contributed to the chemistry he developed with Nick Lamaison, also from Mt. San Antonio College.
Let's dig deeper and look at some numbers.
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Edwards was a very consistent offensive threat for the Miners, he caught 24 passes in the 1st half, and 26 in the 2nd half. Consistency. So we didn't have to worry about him disappearing from the game due to coverage. Going back to the chemistry he developed with Lamaison from Mt. San Antonio, it was obvious Lamaison was his favorite target on 1st and 2nd down, Edwards caught 21 passes for 233 yards on 1st down, and 17 for 204 on 2nd down. Consistency. Also worth noting, was 2 of Edwards' 3 touchdowns were on 3rd down. Lamaison's bail out target, clearly.
The only downside, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, of his season was that he only recorded one 100 yard receiving game, which came against Rice in a losing effort that saw him reel in 7 passes for 187 yards and a career long 74 yard TD catch and run.
It really is amazing how the Lamaison and Edwards duo transferred their success from the JUCO level to Conference USA. With Mike Edwards and emerging star Jordan Leslie (who we'll look at later) running the majority of the routes, the UTEP Miners have one heck of a trio in Lamaison, Edwards and Leslie that is on par with anybody in the conference.