The UTEP football team ended its spring season under first year head coach Sean Kugler before a crowd of 2,581, the largest attendance since the 2004 campaign.
“I was pleased with the overall effort,” said Kugler. “I was proud of the team. The effort from the entire group was outstanding throughout the spring.”
The Miners held a situation-like scrimmage including short yardage and goal line settings.
Quarterback Blaire Sullivan finished 4-of-7 for 56 yards and an interception to A.J. Ropati. Sullivan also rambled for 17 yards including a 14-yard touchdown run.
Senior Carson Meger connected on 7-of-10 for 52 yards and redshirt freshman Garrett Simpson was 3-of-5 for 32 yards and had UTEP’s two passing touchdowns of the scrimmage.
UTEP made use of their tight ends as Craig Wenrick hauled in 2-of-3 passes for 35 yards and Eric Tomlinson finished with a 16-yard reception.
“I really like our tight ends,” Kulger said. “All four of them bring unique qualities that I think will help us.”
Running back Nathan Jeffery rushed 12 times for 40 yards and a touchdown and LaQuintus Dowell picked up 35 yards on five carries.
The defense came out strong, with Ropati intercepting a pass from Sullivan on the fourth play of the scrimmage.
DeAndre Little lead the Miners in tackles with six as the team combined for two pass break-ups an interception, a sack and a quarterback hurry.
“I thought the defense came out ready to go,” Kugler said. “The offense dominated the short yardage and goal line session but that’s how good teams are, give-and-take on both sides of the ball. If one team dominated the other I would be a little worried right now. I thought it was good on both ends, good effort and good intensity.”
UTEP opens the 2013 campaign against New Mexico on September 7 in the Sun Bowl. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (915) 747-6150.
Rushing - Nathan Jeffery 12-40-1, LaQuintus Dowell 5-32, Blaire Sullivan 2-17-1 Passing – Blaire Sullivan 4-7-56-0-1, Carson Meger 7-10-52 Receiving – Josh Bell 3-3-12, Craig Wenrick 2-35, Jaquan White 2-12-1.
Interception – A.J. Ropati (Sullivan)
Sacks – Cooper Foster and Devante Richardson