UTEP Miners: First Look Army Black Knights

The Army Black Knights (2-0) dealt with Rice, suffering no let down after their big opening day victory over Temple. Next up for the Black Knights is a trip way down south (and west) to El Paso where they will take on the Miners of UTEP. Here is an initial look at the Miners.

The Army Black Knights (2-0) dealt with Rice, suffering no let down after their big opening day victory over Temple. Next up for the Black Knights is a trip way down south (and west) to El Paso where they will take on the Miners of UTEP. Here is an initial look at the Miners.

Season so far

UTEP got its season off to a fantastic start with a big opening day win over New Mexico State at home in El Paso. The Miners got three touchdown passes (and 229 yards) from quarterback Zack Greenlee, but the star of the game was running back Aaron Jones. Jones has long been seen as the dangerman in this Miners team and he went off for 249 yards and two scores on 31 carries against a New Mexico State defense that had no clue how to handle him.

Week 2 of the season was less fun for UTEP as they faced a Texas Longhorns squad that knew a win would likely give them their first national ranking in three years. Texas won the game 41-7 but Jones was notably still a threat as he rushed for 123 yards on just 18 carries. Greenlee missed this game as he was rested with a strained knee.

Injuries and Suspensions

After seeing the difference in the two UTEP performances this season the obvious question for Army fans will be the state of injured quarterback Zach Greenlee. While head coach Sean Kugler was adamant that he doesn't give injury reports, Greenlee has been practicing with the first-team offense since Tuesday and he has been looking better and better in the role as practices have progressed. Given the inability of backup Kavika Johnson to move the ball against Texas, much of the game could rest on the health of Greenlee's knee.

The other big injury worry for the Miners is LB Alvin Jones. He has been classed as doubtful for Saturday by those in the know and was seen in a walking boot on Tuesday at practice. Jones was only able to do time on the stationary bike and his spot looks like it will be taken by normal OLB Silas Firstley, with freshman OLB Jayson Van Hook coming into the team.

Challenges

Prepping for a long road trip like this is never easy, but everyone connected with the academy is doing so with a heavy heart after the sudden death of cornerback Brandon Jackson over the weekend. It has been a tough time for all involved and it has really tested the strength and brotherhood of the program as players have helped each other deal with the loss of a friend. Coming out and playing after a situation like this is never easy, but the Black Knights players will be looking to win this game, and many more this season, in memory of Jackson.

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