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Miners on the road again

Going+into+the+their+fifth+game+of+the+season+the+Miners+stand+at+2-2.
Michaela Roman
Going into the their fifth game of the season the Miners stand at 2-2.

For the third consecutive week, the UTEP football team will be on the road. This time to the Miners will be traveling to Ruston, Louisiana to face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, after a disappointing 58-28 loss to Kansas State on Sept. 27.

The Miners showed little to no resistance on the defensive side of the ball against a more dominant offense in Kansas State. The Miners gave up a total of 451 yards against the Wildcats with 188 of them coming via the run game, as well as giving up six rushing touchdowns by four different running backs. The Wildcats also managed to throw for 263 yards and a touchdown against the Miners defense.

With such a lackluster performance from the UTEP defense against Kansas State the Miners are hoping to bounce back this week against a powerful team in Louisiana Tech. The Miners face a dangerous offense in the Bulldogs, one that threw for over 200 yards against a fifth ranked Auburn Tigers and ran for two touchdowns. Coach Kugler spoke about the Importance of getting out to a good start defensively against the Bulldogs and pressuring their quarterback.

“You got to get pressure on him number one, make him alter his throws, make him move in the pocket and make him make quicker decisions,” Kugler said. “That’s going to fall the defensive line or any secondary players to add pressure.”

The Miners gave fans little to cheer about against Kansas State as they were beaten in every facet of the game, but showed a glimpse of hope in the second half of the game. Quarterback Jameill Showers threw for four touchdowns and 201 yards in the losing effort, two of them going to Ian Hamilton who had a breakout game with five receptions for 112 yards.

When asked about the breakout performance the senior wide receiver Ian Hamilton had, head coach Sean Kugler said he plans to build off that success heading into conference play against Louisiana Tech.

“He had a break out game and he’s really been working hard putting in the time and I expect him to continue that.” Kugler said, “He’s a leader on the team and he was the team captain based on his performance last week.”

Ian Hamilton could become a potential weapon at the wide receiver position to an already explosive UTEP offense. With running back Aaron Jones ranked ninth in the nation for total yards with 596 yards off 89 carries; the addition of a receiver like Hamilton could help balance the offense for the Miners.

Quarterback Jameill Showers will look to take advantage of a balanced offense and open up the passing game through the use of play action against a defense that has struggled this year and have big game against the Bulldogs.

“We’re not going to switch up what we do,” Showers said. “We’re not going to switch up our tactics, we’re still going to run the ball it opens up the play action for us. Having the trust in Ian (Hamilton), and all our other receivers it just makes us a deadly offense.”

“You can just throw the ball up, you can trust him,” Showers said referring to Ian Hamilton. “Sometimes some plays you’re lucky where you just throw it up, but when you got a guy whose six-four, He’ll catch it.”

Hamilton proved to be a big addition to the Miners as his big body frame was beneficial especially in red zone situations. In his five receptions for 112 yards he managed to catch a touchdown pass from Jameill Showers coming off a four yard fade pass to cap off a 75 yard drive. Hamilton also caught another touchdown from Showers in the game against Kansas State, a 69-yard throw and run after the catch resulted in the Miner’s third touchdown of the day.

“I guess just trying to keep that up, try to go up and make a play and run after the catch. It’s what we’re trying to do and put points up on the board. If I can do that or help in any way, I will.” Hamilton said.

With his impressive performance against Kansas State, Hamilton for the first time in his college career received the high honor of being named team captain. The Miners will look to use him in the next game to replicate their offensive performance on the road, but for Hamilton another big game is not necessary for him to be happy with the offense.

“Whatever is in the game plan we are going to do it to the best of our ability,” Hamilton said. “Regardless of it being replicated or not, as long as we can get the win that’s all that matters.

 

Juan Carlos Navarrete may be reached at [email protected].

 

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About the Contributor
Michaela Roman
Michaela Roman, Editor-in-Chief
Michaela is a Senior Digital Media Production major at The University of Texas at El Paso. As the Editor-in-Chief, and former Photo Editor of The Prospector, she has learned to stay organized, manage a staff of writers and photographers, meet deadlines, cover events and network with others. She also has freelance experience and a personal photography business. Michaela aspires to work as an editor for a large media outlet and one day go to graduate school to teach photojournalism.
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Miners on the road again