POSTED: Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 2:43pm
UPDATED: Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 10:36pm
A week after being kept out of the end zone by the stop troops, the UTEP offense exploded for 10 touchdowns - including seven of the passing variety - in a Saturday morning scrimmage at the Sun Bowl.
Quarterbacks Javia Hall, Nick Lamaison, Carson Meger and Tate Smith combined to complete 38 of 57 passes as the Miners aired it out for 454 passing yards. Seven different receivers and tight ends scored six points - Mark Jackson (68-yard pass from Smith), Eric Tomlinson (nine-yard pass from Smith), Kyle Morin (nine-yard pass from Hall), Vernon Frazier (three-yard pass from Lamaison), Anthony McGhee (29-yard pass from Meger), Lavorick Williams (30-yard pass from Lamaison) and Jordan Leslie (one-yard pass from Lamaison). Joe Banyard, who rushed 10 times for 55 yards, scored on runs of 21 and four yards. And redshirt freshman Nathan Jeffery had a spectacular 59-yard run late in the scrimmage en route to gaining a game-high 83 yards on 10 carries.
The question of who would stand out in UTEP's four-man quarterback derby was left unanswered. All four signal-callers had their moments of brilliance, as Smith led the way statistically by completing 10-of-15 passes for 133 yards. Meger finished 11-of-15 for 121 yards, Hall was 6-for-10 for 106 yards and Lamaison was 11-for-17 for 94 yards.
"They competed really well," UTEP coach Mike Price said. "I think everyone's in the picture. It was a really good offensive scrimmage, and it should be an exciting spring game [next Saturday]."
Lamaison threw for three touchdowns, Smith two, and Hall and Meger one each. Smith was picked off by Antwon Blake and Meger was intercepted by C.J. Haley.
UTEP's receiving leaders were Jackson (one catch for 68 yards), Williams (two catches for 50 yards), Davian Harper (three catches for 44 yards) and Julio Lopez (five catches for 44 yards).
Defensive standouts for the Miners included Hunter Nix (game-high seven tackles) and Adam Ayala, who posted six stops and a pair of sacks.
"The defense played hard but it looked like they were on their heels," Price said. "The offense took it to them. It was good to see the offense get some confidence."
UTEP will wrap up spring drills with practices on Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m., followed by the Orange and Blue game on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Sun Bowl.
The "Spring Bash" in the Larry K. Durham Center North parking lot will be the pre-cursor to the Orange and Blue game. Both events are free to the public.
The "Spring Bash" will be held from 4-6 p.m., where families can enjoy music, plus inflatable rides and games.
There will also be UTEP giveaways for the first 200 fans, and food & drinks for the first 500 students. Fans will also have the chance to win two sideline passes to a UTEP home game. The drawing will take place at the game.
Sodexho will have a concession special inside the stadium. Fans can purchase a hot dog, popcorn and drink for just $5. All fans in attendance will also receive a UTEP football schedule poster.