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UTEP football: Quarterback situation still unclear

News, notes, and observations from Tuesday's practice.

Alex Nicolas

After Tuesday's practice, Sean Kugler did not name a starter at quarterback, throwing a huge question mark in the biggest position battle on UTEP's depth chart.

"Not at this point," Kugler replied when asked who would be the starter, "And to be honest with you now that we're in preparation and camp's out and we're in closed practice mode, information we don't give out a whole about, injuries or anything we're doing specifically."

"Mack Leftwich took all the reps today, and I can't really give you an update on Garrett's injury status."

Leftwich indeed took most of the first team reps, with Ryan Metz and Kavika Johnson splitting the second team duties, while Garrett Simpson was in a walking boot rehabbing with the training staff.

"I'm just coming out and competing every day," Lefwtich said, "Coach Kugler hasn't named a starter yet, and the last we heard we still have to come out here and compete everyday, and I'm still trying to earn my spot."

"Right now at this point we're just in preparation for Arkansas and we're trying to get the best eleven out there, and you can read into that how you want."  Kugler said when talking about Leftwich getting the most reps today.

Signs are starting to point to Leftwich, but at this point, it's still a complete enigma.

Injury updates

Senior defensive back Traun Roberson was in a walking boot, and did not practice.  Kugler indicated he will be fine.

Back on the field today were defensive back Mookie Carlile, and wide receiver Brandon Moss. Junior wide out Elliott Oldham was also suited up, but did not participate in any drills after he missed Saturday's scrimmage.

Linebacker Alvin Jones was also back as a full go, working with the first and second team defense.

"I was a little rusty out there," Jones said, "I missed my first tackle, but I'm getting back to the hang of things, just got to get back in shape."

No jumping rule

In wake of Garrett Simpson's celebration injury, there is a no jumping policy now at UTEP when celebrating big plays in practice.

"That's a real thing," Mack Leftwich said when asked about the new rule. "Handshakes, and high fives for celebrations now."

Minimal depth chart movement

There weren't any major changes to UTEP's depth chart after Saturday's scrimmage.

The only noticeable change is true freshman Micheal Lewis working at free safety exclusively with the first team, although he has been there the past couple of weeks.

Freshman Desmond Davis will now play slot receiver, and showed off some good explosion in his breaks.

John De La Rosa continues to start at right tackle.

Scout team to be unveiled on Thursday

Today was thought to be first time we would see the green jerseys signifying this year's scout team, but Kugler wanted two more looks with the top guys going at it before things slow down with workouts in shorts later in the week.

"We'll start our scout preparation on Thursday," Kugler said, "We've already separated our scout teams.  Because we do similar styles on both sides of the ball we wanted to get some good Miners on Miners work the next couple of days for speed, and then we will break into our scout teams on Thursday."

Special teams look

UTEP worked on special teams in two periods on Tuesday, with Alan Luna as the main punter, and plenty of front-line guys on both sides off the ball used as punt protectors, and in the kickoff return game.

The Miners will have a two-deep on the punt team which was an area of concern last year

With plenty of depth to go round, this appears to be a spot where UTEP has greatly improved depth wise.

This week

The Miners will have one more fully padded practice tomorrow, then will go into shorts for Thursday, and Friday.

The Sean Kugler Radio Show is back for another season, and fans can get the inside scoop on UTEP Football direct from the coach starting on Wednesday night.

The season premiere of the Sean Kugler Radio Show will be on Wednesday (Aug. 26) at 7 p.m. at Border City Ale House, 1506 North Lee Trevino.  Joining coach Kugler and host Jon Teicher will be offensive coordinator Patrick Higgins and defensive coordinator Scott Stoker.

Fans who can't make it to the show can listen live on KOFX 92.3 FM.

The show will alternate on the East side of El Paso (Border City Ale House) and Central (Pershing Inn, 2909 Pershing Drive) over the course of the season.

A complete listing of the 2015 Kugler Show locations follows.

2015 Sean Kugler Radio Show Dates

Border City Ale House, 1506 N. Lee Trevino

Wednesday August 26

Wednesday September 9

Wednesday September 23

Wednesday October   7

Wednesday October 28

Wednesday November 11

Wednesday November 25

Pershing Inn, 2909 Pershing Dr.

Wednesday September   2

Wednesday September 16

Wednesday September 30

Wednesday October 21

Wednesday November   4

Wednesday November 18

Tuesday December 1 or a date TBD prior to bowl game