DALLAS – Following its huge road victory at FIU, UTEP punter Joshua Sloan was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week, while defensive end Maurice Westmoreland earned the CUSA Defensive Player of the Week as announced by league officials on Monday.
Westmoreland tallied a career-high 2.5 sacks during the Miners’ 27-14 victory at FIU on Oct. 11. ‘Mo’ added career-bests in tackles (six) and tackles for loss (3.5),while also tallying a quarterback hurry. Westmoreland got to the Panthers’ QBs during the second, third and fourth quarters of action.
Westmoreland leads the Miners with 4.5 sacks, while ranking tied first with WKU’s Kendrick Simpkins in Conference USA. He ranks tied 19th in FBS with nine other players.
Sloan hammered a punt for a career-best 65 yards at FIU, topping his previous best of 63 (at UTSA, Nov. 14, 2020). More importantly, the thunderous punt also helped flip field position in the process with the Panthers being forced to start a drive at their own 6-yard line. That 65-yard punt was one of two that ended inside the FIU 20-yard line. Sloan punted four times for 176 yards (44.0 avg.) including a pair inside the 20-yard line.
It’s Westmoreland’s first CUSA weekly honor, while he’s the second UTEP defensive player to be named player of the week this season. UTEP LB Tyrice Knight was honored on Sept. 11. For Sloan, it’s his first weekly award, while he’s the first UTEP special teams’ player to earn the honor in 2023.
UTEP will host NM State on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in Sun Bowl Stadium.