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May 3, 2008

Defense Prevalent in Spring Game

Team Blue defeated Team Orange, 10-3, as defense dominated during the annual UTEP Spring Game at the Sun Bowl on Friday evening.

The game certainly didn't lack drama, as Team Orange marched all the way down to the Blue 16 in the waning minutes in an effort to tie the contest. It was not to be, though, as a potential game-tying-TD pass from Kyle Wright was broken up in the end zone.

"It was a great opportunity," UTEP coach Mike Price said. "I don't want us to be in our first pressure situation against UT-Austin (on Sept. 6)."

Sophomore QB Trevor Vittatoe looked sharp, connecting on 12-of-22 passes for 140 yards and one TD. His favorite target was junior WR Tufick Shadrawy, who finished with seven catches for 112 yards, including the lone TD of the night.

"Trevor made some great throws," Price said. "He showed much more leadership this spring in the huddle."

Jose Martinez boomed a 52-yard field goal for the only points of the night for Team Orange, while redshirt-freshman Mike Scott connected on a 27-yard field goal that afforded Team Blue the 10-3 lead.

The Miners' new-look 3-3-5 defense was strong, especially against the run. The two squads combined for a mere 37 yards on the ground.

"This defense is hard to run against," Price said. "We learned a lot practicing against it this spring."

Reserve RB Jason Williams suffered an ankle injury, putting the only damper on Friday's festivities.

"I think we had a really successful spring," Price said. "We had 15 really hard practices, and guys gave the best effort they could."

The Miners will open two-a-day drills in August in preparation for the season opener August 28 at Buffalo.

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