Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the UTEP Miners season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 1-11 overall, 1-7
Head Coach: Dana Dimel, 2nd year, 1-11
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UTEP OFFENSE
– It doesn’t seem right to suggest that an offense that finished 125th in the nation averaging 308 yards and 18 points per game improved, but it did. The 2017 Miners failed to score more than 21 points in any game and only the 20 mark twice. The 2018 Miners scored 20 or more eight times.
– Eight starters return, with the offense needing senior QB Kai Locksley to grow into a difference-maker after getting banged up and seeing time in nine games.
The 6-4, 200-pounder had ankle issues, but if he’s right, there should be a decent passing game, even with four of the top five receivers done. The recruiting class should help a little bit, but the corps needs to find options around speedy senior Keynan Foster, whocaught 18 passes averaging over 17 yards per play.
– The line went way young with two freshmen starting and with underclassmen providing the depth. After taking a whole lot of lumps – UTEP was last in Conference USA in sacks allowed and ran for just 123 yards per game -the payoff has to start kicking in with four starters back.
If the blocking is okay, the ground game should take a big leap forward with a healthy Locksley able to take off, and with the backfield combination of Quardraiz Wadley and Treyvon Hughes returning.