Low points: Aaron Jones injury
Final Grade: C
What they didn't provide production wise, the running backs showed heart, pride, and resolve through a rough season filled with injuries.
At one point, UTEP moved wide receiver Warren Redix over to the backfield just to have enough bodies for formations, and a quarterback also saw carries at running back displaying the adversity this group went through injury wise.
Jeremiah Laufasa ended up leading UTEP in rushing with 378 yards with a 3.7 per carry average. Kavika Johnson checked in second, while LaQuintus Dowell ran for 279 yards and two touchdowns.
One of the biggest stories out of the running back position came late in the season.
Walk-on running back TK Powell ran for over 100-yards against LA Tech who has one of the best run defenses in C-USA. Powell's two game appearances led to 136 yards with a 6.8 yards per carry average, also averaging 8.8 yards on big play opportunities.
LA Dowell if you're reading this, you will forever be known as a warrior and a name no Miner fan will forget due to his heart and toughness for four seasons on special teams, and the fact that NMSU's Aggie Memorial Stadium should renamed LA Dowell Stadium.
Aaron Jones was poised for big things in 2015 after strong fall camp rushing for 209 yards in six quarters of football, and even earned honorable mention honors from the conference. Expect a chip on the shoulder season in 2016 from #AJ29.
The heart and talent both Laufasa brothers' showed also needs to be recognized. Darrin has developed into an uber effective, and fearless blocker who isn't scared to bang heads. While Jeremiah played through knee issues, and single handedly ran over the FAU defense leading UTEP to a win.
Treyvon Hughes also battled injury throughout the season, and when fully healthy will become an asset in the back field, but only ran for 67 yards on 25 carries in his first season as a Miner.
With Aaron Jones returning in 2016, mixed with Hughes, Powell and possibly 2016 signee Peytton Pickett, the Miners appear to be okay for the immediate future at running back.
A lesson in adversity in 2015 could spark a 2016 resurgence in UTEP's run game.
Key losses: Jeremiah Laufasa, LaQuintus Dowell
Key Returners: Aaron Jones, Treyvon Hughes, TK Powell
2016 commits: Peytton Pickett
|Jeremiah Laufasa||RB||6'0, 225||SR||101||378||1||3.7||2.2||34.7%||1 (0)|
|Kavika Johnson||QB||6'1, 205||FR||68||252||1||3.7||3.0||33.8%||6 (4)|
|LaQuintus Dowell||DB||5'10, 205||SR||63||279||2||4.4||3.8||39.7%||1 (1)|
|Darrin Laufasa||FB||6'1, 250||JR||34||183||1||5.4||6.4||35.3%||1 (0)|
|Aaron Jones||RB||5'10, 205||JR||32||209||1||6.5||9.2||40.6%||0 (0)|
|Ryan Metz||QB||6'4, 205||FR||29||138||1||4.8||2.3||44.8%||0 (0)|
|Treyvon Hughes||RB||6'1, 225||FR||25||67||0||2.7||5.9||20.0%||0 (0)|
|Warren Redix||WR||5'10, 185||FR||23||136||0||5.9||4.4||47.8%||2 (1)|
|TK Powell||RB||5'11, 190||FR||20||136||0||6.8||8.8||40.0%||0 (0)|
|NOTE: Quarterback run totals above do not include sacks (which are counted toward pass averages below) or kneeldowns.
|Rushing Success Rate||37.9%||110||37.7%||30||42.3%|
|Adj. Line Yards||84.1||122||103.9||49||100.0|
|Power Success Rate||75.7%||18||66.7%||73||66.4%|