2009 UTEP Miners Football Preview
2009 UTEP Miners season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official UTEP Miners football preview as well as the 2009 UTEP Miners Football Schedule. Before leaving be sure and bookmaker our live college football odds page which offers up to the minute point spreads for this weeks games.
Coach: Mike Price (6th year at UTEP)
Team Name: Miners
2008 Overall Record: 5-7
Returning Starters: 15
In 2008, the UTEP Miners (5- 7 overall, 4- 4 Conference USA) tied for third in the West Division of Conference USA. Their record forced the team to miss a bowl bid for a third straight year. The last time the Miners made it to a post-season venue was in 2005 when they were beaten by Toledo 13- 45 in the GMAC Bowl. The last time this team won a bowl game was in 1967 when they beat Mississippi 14- 7 in the Sun Bowl.
Quarterback Trevor Vittatoe (418 ATT, 246 COMP, 3,274 YDs, 9 INTs, 33 TDs), now a junior, was spectacular last season. He led the 14th ranked passing game. His top receivers return, which means the sky is the limit when it comes to the passing game. Junior Kris Adams (50 REC, 958 YDs, 14 TDs) and senior Jeff Moturi (51 REC, 655 YDs, 9 TDs) are top receivers. The running backs are also deep. Junior Donald Buckram (75 ATT, 348 YDs, 3 TDs) gets the start this year in an attempt to replace the contributions of last year’s starter Terrell Jackson. The offensive line is deep and experienced.
Last year, while the offense was putting up 32.9 PPG (25th nationally), the defense was allowing 37.0 (112th nationally). It’s hoped that a healthy “D” in the second year under coordinator Osia Lewis and his 3-3-5 scheme the Miners will excel. The corners are manned by seniors Melvin Stephenson II (38 TKLs, 2 INTs) and Cornelius Brown (29 TKLs, 3 INTs). Senior safety Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith (77 TKLs, 2 INTs) returns as the leader in tackles. The linebacking squad is new but talented and the frontline needs a few pass rushers to step up.
On special teams, freshman placekicker Logan Barrett looks to take over for Jose Matinez, who last season nailed a 64-yard field goal. Those are big shoes to fill. Junior punter Kyle Peterson (46 Punts, 1,978 YDs, 43.0 YPP, 16 In20), a sound, two-year starter, returns for one more season. Moturi, who averaged a hefty 26.7 yards per kick return is back to field both kickoffs and punts. He’s a dynamo who can break one at any time.
Many feel that 2009 could be a big year for head coach Mike Price (30- 30 in five years at UTEP) and the Miners. For Price and company, their success depends upon the seven starters returning on offense and eight starters who come back on defense. This year, UTEP will be tested early when the Big 12’s Kansas visits on September 12. The Miners also visit Texas on September 26. UTEP has a shot at beating the Jayhawks and less than a prayer of staying on the field with the Longhorns. The good news concerning the team’s schedule concerns the fact that they won’t have to face the two best teams in the C-USA East—Southern Miss and East Carolina. The Miners could be a second place club and will most likely get back to the post-season by playing in a lower end bowl.
UTEP Miners Football Schedule
|9/19/2009||UTEP||New Mexico St.||away|
For more info on the 2009 UTEP football program, view the Miners website or read up on the rest of the non BCS ncaa football teams below.