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November 17, 2008

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Toasted Whitebred

Here's how to beat Houston. The Cougs are somewhere around number 85-90 in total defense. That ain't good. They might be jacked up on Saturday but if they play normally, they will stink up the joint defensively.

Field management will be key to the Miners having a chance going down the stretch. Find a way to run the ball effectively and control the clock.

Our D is playing better and should come up with a couple of good stops at least.

We need to ride the backs of our Offensive Line and our now experience running backs.

Of course, taking care of the ball will be key also.

Escapista

Vittatoe is a stud, im glad he will be here 2 more seasons, but right now that injury is a concern, because miners offense revolves around him.

Two games left nothing is been decided anything is possible, been realistic is that UTEP best shot is at ECU, but as the old say goes thats why the games are played. If Vittatoe is out then forget it is 2 losses as simple as that.

But we will see, i will await the expert comments to follow from our in house experts, i want to see what they have to say, simply because Joe is basically for the most part negative versus UTEP but same old history hes getting paid to pist people off, and he sures makes a good coin there.

Early prediction

UTEP 28
Houston 38

that can change late friday!!!

PS: Congratulations to the Montwood Rams bar none the best high school team in El Paso!!!

Escapista

Anyone can answer this wheres Claude Britten?

Injured, suspended or gone?

Ultimate Miner Fan Ryan Guzman

Claude's still on the team, he just didn't play against TExas Southern. He did, however, play against Sul Ross in the exhibition. The reason you haven't seen him is because of newcomer Kareem Cooper, the 7 foot transfer from Memphis. UNfortunately for him, with Cooper, Portalatin and now Arnett Moultrie, you'll see less of Claude.

miner1

Is saturday's game on metrosports 24??

just a thought

Escapista I'm hardly an expert but I play one on Joe on Utepia (remember me saying UL-Laf was good?) And so much for my 4-8 prediction this year because this team has surpassed that with two games to play.

I will say this Houston though -- this team is stacked. Many of Houston's players hail from right in the neighborhood and were only a touchdown or 10lbs from being signed at A&M or Texas. If they don't have better athletes than UTEP they sure think they do.

Besides their blur of a scatback in Carrier (think Howard Jackson a few years ago), they have another great full-time RB and a stable of receivers to worry about. As Toasted mentioned the UH defense does not rank well but they clicked these last two games and will be very confident.

If Vittatoe does go down with the ankle thing, the option with James Thomas may be a GOOD thing seeing as Air Force beat UH by running, not passing all over them. In fact, Air Force did not complete a pass that entire game -- that is correct zero passing yards.

If anything our spread offense is similar to Tulsa's and you see what UH did to them last week.

Lowercase Ray

Escapista,

I, like JAT, will not claim to be anything close to an expert. I simply like to rely on the numbers to give me an objective picture of where UTEP is against an up-coming opponent. Then after looking at numbers, become subjective anyways. Unlike computers, we as fans tend to look for anything that might give our team an edge. We look at how our team looked in their last game, over the last two games and anoint them as being better. One might even convince ourself that they are on the cusp of breaking out. How I wish I could.

First let me start out with something that Toasted has brought up. Houston in the last cfbstats was #94 in overall defense, which might sound terrible except that most every CUSA team in the West Division are worst than 100. I understand what he was getting at, that perhaps UTEP's #17 passing offense going against Houston's #83 passing defense might be the means to beat Houston. In fairness you'd have to turn around and look at Houston's #2 passing offense going against UTEP's #104 passing defense. So I don't see that as our advantage.

It might be easier if I keep the rating numbers as ratings within CUSA. Also using those games played within the league will give a more accurate standing of CUSA teams against each other. In this way we see that the East Division teams lead all West Division teams in total defense except for HOUSTON. UCF is #1, ECU #2 and Houston is #3, while UTEP is #9. If we look at it in terms of total offense, the West is way out in front of the East in this respect. Tulsa #1, Houston #2, and Rice is #3; while UTEP is #6. If we were to breakdown total defense and total offense into their respective rushing and passing categories, we’d find that Houston beats UTEP in EVERY category, bar none. The only place worth mentioning where UTEP beats Houston is in turnover margin, UTEP is #1 while Houston is #6. Even this needs to be kept in perspective as UTEP has been unbelievable in TO margins in the last two games. The qualifier being it was against gimpy QBs with not much for passing games. The shoe may be on the other foot this next game, if indeed TV is now the one on a gimpy ankle. Another item someone mentioned was that Houston starts off slow, well he’s sort of right. In total points/quarter, Houston only beats their opponents by some 10 pts in each of the first two quarters. Then in the third quarter they really get started, beating opponents by almost 30 pts before almost tripling opponent scoring, some 123-45 in the fourth quarter. UTEP better save something for the final quarter. I’d love to say UTEP has a way of beating Houston. Nothing points to an advantage for UTEP, except for TOs. I’ll still be rooting the heck for them though.

If UTEP can save something for the final game, I would think their chances would look better. At least in that game ECU rules on defense but UTEP should be better on offense (#6 vs. #9). Should be a more even match.

Toasted Whitebred

Escapista,

If I may, I'd like to qualify what I wrote earlier but not before saying that most of us have either grown up watching or playing mutiple sports. Some of us have played and watched football with a more than just a casual interest. In that respect, we are all experts and have a valid opinion on what it takes to win - be it football, cards or checkers because so many intricacies of competition have similar qualities.

Anyways, I think the Miners have a very tough task at beating Houston and should be significant underdogs. However, Houston being a run and shoot type of team likes to strike fast and often(not a ball control, grind it out type of team). Their offense demands a rhythm.

I believe that the way to offset that rhythm is to limit their offenses time on the field. They will score...given. But the fewer opportunities they have to score, the more pressure it puts on their offense.

If this were a Miner team of the past I would say it was hopeless BUT, we have seen this Miner team control the clock and possession against the likes of Southern Miss, Texas, UCF etc, etc.

Like Sun Tsu says, strike at what is weak, avoid what is strong.

CLEOFITZWITZ

Most true competitors do not look at numbers. They don't worry about offensive and defensive rankings. If they hope to win, they go out and try to execute their game plan and overcome adverse situations. A true competitor doesn't hope for injuries or suspensions to the opposition. They don't hope to be overlooked or taken lightly. A true competitor's hope is that both teams bring their A game. They accept the challenge at hand and treat the game like a fight. That is what the Miners must do to beat Houston and ECU. Ignore the numbers.

just a thought

UTEP 34
Houston 45

Have we had anyone hit a prediction on the nose yet?

Toasted Whitebred

UTEP 38
Houston 35

I think Escapista hit the spread once but was just a couple of points under the actual score.

just a thought

Remember what I said about Houston fans and what they think about their players...

"Don't expect UTEP fans or the weather to be factor... Opening line is big, but Houston has far more talent for UTEP to deal with..

There is a lot of parity in CUSA, but don't expect anything less than Houston wanting to beat your sorry a$$es into a pulp."

Lowercase Ray

I was listening to the Nov 19 ESPNU College FB podcast. Beano Cook gave the UTEP/Houston game a little air play on the podcast. Normally Ivan and Beano pick a game result for a game from next week's schedule. Beano picked UTEP to cover the point spread in that game; I believe he gave the spread as Houston by 15. So in return for showing UTEP some respect, I'm going to use his score here.

Houston 38
UTEP 35

Toasted Whitebred

from February 2008

"Bob Connelly is the best offensive line coach in college football," UTEP coach Mike Price said. "I hired him at Washington State and he took us to the Rose Bowl, and I hired him at Alabama where he coached for four years before going to UCLA. He is very well respected. He has chosen to come to UTEP because of El Paso's unique quality of life. He and his family, being from Texas, are excited about being back home."

George in H Town

I'm spitting mad and so are a lot of people in Houston. That was a coaches loss. I knew Price would try a running play up the middle. Sumlin knew we would try and run up the middle. His defensive coordinator knew we would try and run up the middle. The two year old sitting behind me knew we were going to run it up the middle. Price is so prediciable. We got three yards the first time, but stuffed for a five yard loss the second. End up losing the game. Come on Price. Hire somebody with a brain for Offensive coordinator and tell number 2 son to get a job where he can think for himself.

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UTEP sports blog: Joe Muench has been a sports writer and a sports editor in El Paso for decades, but he’s best known as the columnist everyone loves to talk about. His UTEP athletics blog starts up the conversation again.

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