UTEP, Oklahoma Ready, Excited for Saturday's Matchup
The UTEP and Oklahoma Football teams will meet 8:30pm Saturday night in the Sun Bowl. Tickets still remain... here are some notes on UTEP football.
THE DEPTH CHART
- UTEP’s two-deep for the opener lists 12 seniors, four juniors and six sophomores in starting assignments.
- UTEP’s projected starters on defense are all upperclassmen (eight seniors/three juniors).
- There are five freshmen in the depth chart, all listed as reserves: center Paulo Melendez, tailback LaQuintus Dowell, ‘Z’ wide receivers Ishmael Harrison and Cole Freytag and right defensive end Roy Robertson. Freytag is the only true freshman in the group.
- UTEP averages 6-4, 302 pounds across the starting offensive line and 6-2, 268 pounds across the starting defensive line.
- If the depth chart holds, UTEP’s first-time starters against OU would be WR Malcolm Trail and RG Kyle Brown on offense and LCB Darren Woodard on defense.
- UTEP returns players who accounted for 13.8 percent (258-of-1,866) of the team’s rushing yards last season, 88.2 percent (2,387-of-2,707) of the passing yards and 60.2 percent (1,630-of-2,707) of the receiving yards.
- On defense, UTEP returns 60.7 percent (516-of-850) of its tackle production from 2011, 87 percent (20-of-23) of its sacks, 65.8 percent (39.5-of-60) of its tackles for losses, 61 percent (25-of-41) of its pass break-ups and 50 percent (6-of-12) of its interceptions.
- UTEP returns its regular punter (Ian Campbell), field goal kicker (Dakota Warren) and kickoff man (Steven Valadez), as well as players who accounted for 30.3 percent (391-of-1,291) of the kickoff return yards and 37.3 percent (82-of-220) of the punt return yards.
- UTEP lost its top three rushers from last season as Joe Banyard (832 yards), Vernon Frazier (434) and Leilyon Myers combined to run for 1,634 yards in 2011.
- The biggest loss in the receiving corps is Donavon Kemp, who was second on the team with 456 yards last year.
- Frazier also averaged 30.5 yards on 29 kickoff returns to rate seventh nationally a year ago.
- The Miners lost three of their top five tacklers from 2011 in LB Jeremy Springer (team-high 70 stops), LB Isaiah Carter (54 stops) and DB Travaun Nixon (50 stops).
- Another key loss from the 2011 squad is three-year long snapper Matt Camilli, who earned first team All-Conference USA honors as a senior.
THE RECEIVING CORPS
- Sixteen players registered a reception in 2011, eight of whom scored at least one touchdown. Of the 16, eight return for the 2012 campaign and five recorded multiple touchdown receptions in 2011.
- UTEP’s top-two receivers, Michael Edwards and Jordan Leslie return for the 2012 season.