This week is big, it's huge, and it's the perfect opportunity for UTEP to put together a solid all around performance. Who better to show out against than your hated rival? Here's what New Mexico State University Head Coach Doug Martin had to say about UTEP heading into this weeks matchup.
On UTEP and the Battle of I-10:
We're playing a very physical, tough, football team. I know Coach Kugler has done a great job down there. That football team is taking on his personality and they're going to play physical, tough and it's going to be a man's game here Saturday night. Our guys guys better strap it on tight.
On the rivalry with UTEP:
We've educated them about this rivalry ever since they got here this summer. The clock's running counting down on the UTEP game. You try to emphasize to them how important this game is to our alums, our students and our fan base and I think they understand that.
Martin on a having a good start in a rivalry:
We certainly need to get off to a better start offensively. You don't want to fall behind to a team like UTEP because i'll tell you what they'll do. They'll posses the ball and run the clock out on you too with that great running game they have.
On stopping the run:
They're averaging lower 300 yards a game rushing and Jones is a tremendous back. I mean, he's one of the best running backs i've seen in a long time, that can can play anywhere. He breaks tackles, has tremendous balance, he's got great vision so we better get a lot of people around the ball or you won't get him down. This is going to be a major test.
When it comes to the Miners' struggle passing the ball:
The thing about the quarterback is he's still dangerous, he's got a good deep ball. They have an excellent screen game. That's the thing that really worries us. They do a great job with the screen pass, they do it a variety of ways and get to a different variety of people. So that can be a problem if you stack the box and decide to blitz.
Martin comments on the Miner defense:
They've got tremendous team speed. Thats the first thing that jumps out at ya. You watch them and their front runs really well. I think the two corners are exceptional cover guys. They matched up man to man with Texas Tech in their face. Everybody knows how Texas Tech throws the ball and its surprising thing was Texas Tech couldn't get the explosion play on UTEP like they usually do on everybody else.