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April 12, 2009

Miners defense gets the best of offense in scrimmage

EL PASO, TEXAS - The defense stole the show in the UTEP football team's 70-play spring scrimmage on Saturday morning at Glory Road Field.

With junior linebacker Isaiah Carter leading the way with six tackles, the Miner stop troops limited the offense to only one touchdown, a six-yard pass from Kyle Wright to Jeff Moturi early in the scrimmage.

"The defense came out ready to play," UTEP coach Mike Price said. "They hit really well, and their intensity was good. We're starting to find [some players]. Wiston Jeune played really well. He was flying around the ball. Isaiah Carter and Steve Riddick played well. Carter has been playing with a lot of enthusiasm."

Wright was UTEP's leading passer statistically, completing 7 of 9 attempts for 101 yards. Starting signal-caller Trevor Vittatoe threw only seven passes on the day as freshmen Tim Curry and Corey Trisby saw extensive action.

Curry finished 2 of 6 for 8 yards, and Trisby was 3 of 7 for 51 yards. Trisby, who was participating in only his third practice of the spring after serving a suspension, threw both of the Miners' interceptions on the day - one to Dustin Bell and another to Jeune.

The Miners also had trouble snapping the ball as they are obviously adjusting to the loss of four-year starting center Robby Felix.

"Offensively, the ball was on the ground too much. We need to take better care of the football," Price said. "But we have to look at the big picture too. We ran the ball better."

Vernon Frazier led the ground game with eight carries for 51 yards, and Jason Williams added three rushes for 23 yards.

Kris Adams compiled three catches for a game-high 68 yards. El Paso native and Irvin High School graduate Jeken Frye had a big scrimmage with two receptions for 32 and 34 yards respectively. Davis contributed two catches for 38 yards, including a 34-yard grab.

Moturi's playing time was cut short with a sprained ankle and offensive lineman Will Osolinsky suffered an apparent leg injury that required X-rays.

The Miners will continue spring drills with practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m., leading up to the May 2 Spring Game in the Sun Bowl.


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