UTEP showed signs (of the pastl) that it won't win another football game this season. With four games still to play.
It looks to be a 5-7 season after a 5-1 start and somebody even giving the team a vote in the Top 25 Poll.
Losses at UAB two weeks ago and Tulane Saturday were not supposed to be. That's not how the Miners talked and swaggered when they came out this season as a senior-dominated offense.
But on the field they're doing what the old 1-10 Miner teams would do. There's confident talk all week, then a physical and mental letdown on Saturday.
The Miners lack the physicality (new football analysists' term) to beat on somebody instead of just taking blows. For instance, Tulane was a terrible rushing team until UTEP. Tulane blockers pushed UTEP around and Tulane runners beat on UTEP would-be tacklers for some 260 yards.
Perhaps that's why this will be the fifth losing season in a row.History is repeating. What was clearly brought to light about two years ago is still present. The team has trouble beating anybody east of here, especially the likes of the So. Miss State's and East Carolinas. The Miners just don't play block and tackle football.
Through so many years, the Miners have also lacked the mental toughness to overcome adversity. They just caved in after a close score vs. Tulane at halftime. How many times have past Miner teams done that? Most.
And of late, obviously physically weak receivers have dropped passes. This is the third year in a row now. Speedy guys have to take hits, too. The old phrase is, "they have alligator arms."
Quarterback Trevor Vittatoe is setting all kinds of passing records, but he'll not have a winning season on his resume if he should get a shot at the pros. He's had no backup. He has the arm, but is woefully lacking with the touch.
The Miners go to 1-6 Marshall Saturday. Marshall is East of here.
Then comes the toughest part of the season: SMU at Arkansas and at Tulsa.
There is nothing but Tuesday and Wednesday talk at practice that says the Miners will win another game.