UTEP football kicks off in camp Ruidoso

Isaiah Ramirez, Contributor

The UTEP Miner football team is out in Ruidoso, New Mexico, for training camp, which runs from Aug. 3 and ends Aug. 12. This will be the fourth year in a row that the team will head to Ruidoso for camp.

With a new head coach at the helm for the Miners, a new era in UTEP football has begun which also includes lots of excitement for this season. Here’s a few things to watch out for at Camp Ruidoso this year.

Bright Spots in the Offense

This is one of if not the most crucial parts in improving this football team from last year’s winless season. Being able to succeed on the offensive side will relieve a lot of stress on the defensive side of the game plan. UTEP was ranked last in almost every statistical offensive category, averaging only eleven points a game last season.

Quarterback Battle

With senior quarterback Ryan Metz returning some competition at his position in the form of JUCO talent Kai Locksley is set in front of him. Both quarterbacks are extremely talented, but who knows, maybe one might outshine the other at Camp Ruidoso and inch closer to the top spot on the depth chart.

Utilizing Talent

Returning receiver Warren Reddix, who had 128 receiving yards last season to go along with a touchdown catch, will definitely be utilized more this season if the Miners would like to improve on offense. Lastly the run game will need to be one major point of emphasis for this team as last season, where as a team the Miners only rushed for a total of 1,167 yards and only 3.3 yards a carry. The longest run all season for the Miners came from Walter Dawn Jr. with a run of 29 yards. Running back Joshua Fields will look to get more reps this season and produce big numbers for this offense. Last season, the El Paso back rushed for 362 yards averaging 4.1 yards a carry to go along with two rushing touchdowns and 89 carries.

Defense must be a focal point

In the 2016-17 season, the Miners allowed an average of 36 points a game and almost allowed 446 yards of total offense a game. With five returning defensive starters, such as Nik Needham, who shined in the secondary, and defensive back Kahaani Smith the defensive should see much improvement.