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Rocky Start: UTEP Loses Starting OT James Nelson for 4 Weeks

What else is new?  Last year it was Donald Buckram that suffered a tough injury the week before opening day.  This year, it's starting offensive tackle James Nelson.  The 6'7, 330 pound veteran suffered a high angle sprain in the second half of UTEP's "mock game" scrimmage Saturday night.

Why was Nelson playing in the second half of a "mock game?"  Mike Price blames his "competitive juices."

"Everything I do, I think of injuries and the health of the players first. I’m kicking myself in the butt on why I didn’t stop it at halftime. I had that opportunity but my competitive juices were flowing and I wanted to do better.
"I should have closed it down at halftime. I’d feel better about myself and my team today. I’m gunshy, snake-bit because of all the injuries."

It looks like junior college transfer James Martin will get the bump into the starting line-up.  Martin, of course, played for Mt. SAC with UTEP's starting QB Nick Lamaison last year.

Bret Bloomquist also reports that linebacker Aubrey Alexius and guard Jerel Watkins will likely miss the team's season opener against Stony Brook.   This years season can't start soon enough.