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take the pressure off Myers, as the two running backs each have more

Started by GHG, 2014/12/07 08:27PM
Latest post: 2014/12/07 08:27PM, Views: 291, Posts: 1
take the pressure off Myers, as the two running backs each have more
#1   2014/12/07 08:27PM
Matchup of two of the most underrated coaching jobs in 2014. RT @McMurphyESPN: UTEP vs. Utah State in New Mexico Bowl source told @ESPN

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 7, 2014
While some of the bowl-bound teams have nearly a month to prepare, just days separate us from the New Mexico Bowl. Let's go ahead and break down everything you should know.

2014 New Mexico Bowl: UTEP vs. Utah State

When: Saturday, Dec. 20

Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Start Time (ET): 2:20 p.m.


Live Stream: WatchESPN

The Book on UTEP

John Weast/Getty Images
In mid-October, even getting to this point seemed like a stretch for the UTEP Miners.

That was largely due to starting 2-3, which included understandable losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State. But after being trounced 55-3 on the road by Louisiana Tech, the Miners rattled off five of their last seven to notch a 7-5 record and secure their right to go bowling.

The New Mexico Bowl seemed like the likeliest Manc... City home jersey destination given the geography and their spot in Conference USA, but it didn't matter much to the players where they ended up. For guys like safety Wesley Miller, one of the few on the team for Wholesal... Real Madrid jersey the 2010 bowl loss, they just wanted to get back to the big stage and prove themselves, per the El Paso Times' Bret Bloomquist: "It was a lot of fun early in the week. It wasn't as fun on game day (when UTEP got blown out by Brigham Young). That wasn't Juventus jersey 2015 a good memory and it left a bad taste in our mouth. We want to wash that away this year."

John Weast/Getty Images
The Miners' biggest strength on the field comes by running rampant on the ground. Aaron Jones is the conference's No. 5 leading rusher both in terms of yards (1,233) and carries (217), but Nathan Jeffery and quarterback Jameill Showers combine for a strong three-pronged rushing attack.

UTEP will be feverishly watching tape of Utah State's 50-19 loss to Boise State in order to replicate the Broncos' rushing success. Jay Ajayi scampered for 229 yards and five touchdowns in that game, beleaguering the Aggies' front seven all game.

The Miners may not have the rushing prowess of Boise State, but they should look to replicate it as much as possible in the New Mexico Bowl.

The Book on Utah State

Otto Kitsinger/Associated Press
Cut out the Utah State Aggies' season opener and their season finale, and you'd have a more impressive team than the 9-4 squad entering the New Mexico Bowl.

Utah State was welcomed into the 2014 season with a trip to face Tennessee in Neyland Stadium and came out battered and bruised en route to a 38-7 defeat. Keeton's shaky performance ended up being a sign, as the talented quarterback was never 100 percent on his surgically repaired knee and eventually reinjured it.

The Wh... Manchester United jersey Aggies' season seemed lost when they shut Keeton down for the season, but they showed their worth even without their star quarterback in the fold. They bounced back from that news in impressive fashion, including a 35-20 upset win at then-No. 18 BYU.

Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images
But with a chance to possibly win the Mountain West and thwart No. 23 Boise State in the season finale, the Aggies were housed in a 50-19 decision.

Utah State may not have Keeton, but freshman Kent Myers has filled his shoes nicely ever since his debut Oct. 25. Also a dual-threat weapon, Myers has five touchdowns through the air and four scores on the ground.

LaJuan Hunt and Joe Hill help to take the pressure off Myers, as the two running backs each have more than 100 carries on the year.

Along with establishing their multifaceted rushing attack, getting out to an early lead will also be crucial for the Aggies. UTEP trailed at the half in four of its five losses, and the Miners—with a strong rushing attack but not much through the air—aren't built to come from behind.

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