UTEP Football Caps Second Week of Spring Drills With Scrimmage
POSTED: Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 2:57pm
UPDATED: Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 6:37pm
Junior college transfer Nick Lamaison had the best day statistically of UTEP’s quarterbacks, completing 9-of-11 passes for 137 yards as the Miners wrapped up the second week of spring drills with a full-contact scrimmage on Saturday morning in the Sun Bowl.
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Jordan Leslie also had a big day offensively, reeling in five catches for 113 yards with two touchdowns – one off an 18-yard pass from sophomore Carson Meger, and another via a 38-yard reception from freshman Javia Hall.
Another redshirt freshman, Nathan Jeffery, was UTEP’s leading rusher with 35 yards on 13 carries. The Miners scrimmaged for about 100 plays – 20 more than expected – then closed out the nearly three-hour practice with work on the four-minute drill.
“Our playmakers made plays, both offensively and defensively,” UTEP coach Mike Price said. “We got the two-minute drill and the four-minute drill in. We blocked some kicks. We had too many penalties and our quarterback exchange was horrendous.”
Working in a lot of new players on offense, the Miners fumbled five snaps and were called for five false starts.
Overall, though, it was a productive first scrimmage of the spring. The Miners scored three touchdowns, with Lamaison’s 45-yard bomb to Leslie setting up the final score of the day – a one-yard plunge into the end zone by Joe Banyard.
UTEP’s four quarterbacks – Lamaison, senior Tate Smith, Meger and Hall – were on the field for an equal number of series. Smith finished 3-of-9 for 40 yards, Meger 5-of-9 for 63 yards and Hall 6-of-14 for 81 yards. Smith threw the lone pick of the day into the hands of sophomore cornerback Terr’l Mark.
“They all did pretty well,” Price said of the four signal-callers. “They’ve got to learn to look down the field and feel the rush, not look at the rush.”
Junior linebacker Aubrey Alexius and junior safety DeShawn Grayson were the Miners’ leading tacklers with five stops apiece. Freshman linebacker Michael Pickett delivered one of the biggest hits of the scrimmage, dislodging the ball from sophomore tight end Craig Wenrick’s hands.
Cornerbacks Darren Woodard (two) and Antwon Blake (one) combined to block three kicks.
The Miners will continue spring workouts with practices on Tuesday (4 p.m.), Thursday (4 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m.) next week. UTEP has 10 spring practices remaining, ending with the Orange and Blue game on April 30 in the Sun Bowl.