Week 12: UTEP football press conference transcript

UTEP

Ruben R. Ramirez

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP head coach Dana Dimel spoke with the media Monday in advance of the team’s upcoming road game at UAB on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Legion Field in Birmingham.

Head Coach Dana Dimel

Recapping the Charlotte game:

“It was a really competitive, good football game to be a part of. We have made a lot of steps in the right direction as a football team. We played the best half of football that obviously we have played all year this year. We did many positive things on both sides of the football and on special teams. We put together a half of football with all three segments, which is the type of football I would love to see our team play each and every segment throughout the season. We ran the ball well on offense. We threw the ball well in the first half. Defensively, we did a nice job of creating a turnover and getting them off the field. Special teams were pretty consistent all day long. Our offensive line definitely played a good game early. We played five or six true freshmen in the game and that was nice to be able to get those guys some touches or plays. They really stepped up. We were really pleased with what Deion (Hankins) did. Deion came in and ran extremely hard and gave us some really good spark off the bench. I was very pleased with that part of it. I thought Kai (Locksley) did some positive things as well.”

“I thought our defense did a lot of positive things, again, in the first half, and even in the second half. At times we did some positive things on both sides of the football. We had a couple drives there at the end of the game that gave us a chance to get right back after we had the lead taken away from us.”

On individual performances the last two weeks:

“Jacob Cowing ended up setting the record for the most receiving yards for a freshman in the history of the school. Last week, with Duron Lowe having 204 return yards in a game and having the second-highest total [in history] reminds me of the times we spent at Kansas State when we were getting it turned around, and one of the first steps we started to make was to start setting some marks like that in school history. To be able to have that kickoff return last week and then for Jacob to set an all-time mark in school history for a freshman, that was really exciting and encouraging. He is going to be an outstanding player for us. His speed and ability to make plays was definitely exciting.”

On missed opportunities in the red zone versus Charlotte:

“We had the chance to take the lead and didn’t convert on the fourth and short situation on the goal line. It was a play where they actually did the exact same stunt against the same play and we scored on it, but we didn’t execute. It wasn’t anything they were doing. We just didn’t execute on that last play on fourth and short. I think at times when you are trying to get over the hump and we’re in a tight game like that, we just have to do a better job of learning how to win a football game there at the end. Again, it wasn’t anything they hadn’t already done. It was nothing we hadn’t already seen. It was a call that I felt was really good for us. We just put that concept in this week and it hadn’t been stopped yet. We ran it twice for really efficient plays and we came back to it. If we execute, it is going to be a good play. We just didn’t execute in that situation.”

“We got back down there behind by seven and didn’t execute again in the red zone. We had a play called that we had been setting up with all the other stuff we were doing. With the coverage they had, we had a great chance to be wide open and we mishandled the snap count, which caused us to not have the open receiver and then obviously we didn’t make a good decision with the ball.”

On the team’s improvement heading into the UAB game:

“Our guys are doing so many things better. There was much improvement in so many segments of what we did. I think we were hitting a hot team in Charlotte. They came in really high and we played them very, very well and should have won the ball game. As we move forward to this week’s ball game, it will be a challenge for us, but it’s one that we are excited about. We played this team really competitive last year and they had 37 seniors that they have lost, so we feel like we can definitely go down to Birmingham and have a very competitive game. Hopefully, games like this that we just lost the way we lost it where we played well enough to win, will give us that catapult in confidence that we need to win some games down the stretch.”

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