Quadraiz Wadley rushed nine times for 72 yards and two touchdowns to steal the show in the first spring scrimmage for the UTEP football team on a windy Friday morning at the Sun Bowl.
UTEP’s rushing attack accounted for six of the seven touchdowns on the day, with Kavika Johnson (17-yard TD, 5-yard TD), Walter Dawn (10-yard TD) and Terry Juniel (13-yard TD) also finding paydirt. The Miners averaged better than 5.5 yards per carry (25-141), aided by five gains of at least 10 yards.
Strong wind gusts made it tough to accomplish much through the air. Ryan Metz (4-10, 36 yards, INT), Zach Greenlee (2-9, 33 yards) and Mark Torrez (1-2, 20 yards, TD) combined to go 7-21 for 89 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The seven completions went to seven different receivers, with Richie Rodriguez hauling in a 20-yard toss from Torrez for the lone score through the air.
There were also some bright spots for the Miner defense, which produced two sacks (Dylan Parsee and Dedrick Simpson) and an interception (Lawrence Montegut). Montegut and Johnny Jones were also credited with a pass break-up.
Nik Needham finished with a team-high four tackles while Dante Lovilette (three), Justin Rogers (two), Stephen Forester (two) also had multiple stops.
But the day belonged to Wadley. After being halted for three yards on his first rush, the rising sophomore was practically unstoppable the rest of the way. Wadley scampered for at least five yards on each of his final eight rushes, including bursts of 12 and 15 yards. He also had both of his touchdowns (eight yards, five yards) in the stretch.
Sean Kugler told the El Paso Times this scrimmage would be weighed heavily, and it appears Wadley has took a huge step forward in attempting to replace Aaron Jones.