Scouting the UTEP Miners: Offense


Oklahoma’s defense could have an early season test with UTEP’s offense. I don’t think the Miners will light up the scoreboard, but they have some talent on the offensive side of the ball.

The Miners went 5-7 last year, which could have been improved if starting quarterback Nick Lamaison would have played in all 12 games. Regardless, he is back under center, and has a few weapons at receiver.

Expect UTEP to throw the ball, Lamaison was a national champion quarterback in JUCO, and looked solid in a few games for UTEP last season. He has a few targets that could challenge the secondary, but no one should really cause the sharks to look like clown fish.

The Miners ground game will be significantly inexperienced compared to UTEP’s air attack. They lost their three top rushers in Joe Banyard, Vernon Frazier, and Leilyon Myers, so the run game may be a bit less effective in past seasons. Sophomore Nathan Jeffry more than likely will get the start, and behind him will be fellow sophomore Josh Bell.

Overall, it was an offense that could score last season, and their line has some good size at tackle. However, the defense should be able to win this battle.

Players to Watch:

Nick Lamaison, Quarterback – The senior will look to make up for lost time last season. Lamaison, a JUCO who transferred from Mt. San Antonio Community College last season, should be an interesting test for the Sooners. Conference USA has seen a few quarterbacks come through and make noise, so can an undersized Lamaison be that next guy? He was hampered by injuries last season, but in eight starts threw for 1,718 passing yards, completing 58% of his passes. Lamaison threw 12 touchdown passes, though, tossed ten picks. He seems to have good pocket presence at times, but not sure how great of a decision-maker he is with a 6-5 touchdown/interception ratio. He will be an interesting test for the secondary, especially with three of UTEP’s top five receivers back.

Michael Edwards, Wide Receiver – Possibly Lamaison’s favorite target, do not be surprised if Edwards racks up a majority of UTEP’s receiving yards. At 5-11, 200 lbs., the senior wideout could become problematic. He attended Mt. San Antonio CC with Lamaison, who together helped the Mounties win a state and national championship, so their chemistry should be apparent Saturday night. Last season, the Cali product caught three touchdown passes, and had 657 receiving yards. Jordan Leslie is another receiver to watch out for this weekend, but I see this senior receiver challenging the secondary as a possible deep threat.