With the UTEP kickoff fast approaching I passed a few questions off to Joe Muench from UTEPIA (El Paso times)
. Its a good read to keep up with UTEP football, a nice fan site but he is not a homer. FYI He has UTEP winning by 6.5...
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BR: After three consecutive losing seasons is there any indication Mike Price might find himself on the hot seat if the Miners don't get off to a fast start? What kind of year does he need to have to stay secure at UTEP?
JM: Price is NOT on any hot seat. He's still highly popular in El Paso. My prediction is that if he doesn't pull off a winner, or at least close to one, he will gracefully retire. It's generally concluded, though, that UTEP would find it difficult to find/pay a better coach than is Price.
BR: Donald Buckram seems to be getting the most work with the first team offense Halfback is the only substantial personnel change how does the offense change from the last years unit year when Terrell Jackson was the main back?
JM: It's a tailback by committee, usually is with Price. For some reason he can't recurit workhorse running backs. He's noted for little squirts.
BR: Last season Trevor Vittatoe seemed to got off to an awful start against Buffalo but really picked it up as the year went on. How is he shaping up this summer compared to previous years?
JM: Vittatoe is on target for breaking just about every UTEP passing record. He really is one of the best QBs around. Smart, fast, strong and accurate. Good leader. He's the team. Only a bad offensive line or an injury can stop him.
BR: Finally on defense how is the team looking in the 3-3-5 now that they have a year under the system is there anymore confidence? Akron has run the 3-3-5 for some time and most fans I have talked to loathe the defense.
JM: The defense will be improved, only because it was one of the nation's weakest last year. Don't think it will rank in top half, though. UTEP has been known as a weak-tackling team.