Miners prepare for Camp Socorro, new tailgating and ticketing rules for 2012
Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
The 2012 UTEP football team opens up this season as it celebrates its 50th year of football in the Sun Bowl.
Head coach Mike Price enters his ninth season at the helm and is fired up about the upcoming season, which includes new practice schedules in an attempt to improve the player health.
"This is the best time of year for any football coach…undefeated, unscored upon, our guys are all healthy, everybody's fired up,” Price said. “It's the best time in the world."
The Miners conducted practice at 6:30 a.m. August 6 at Glory Field before they head to camp in Socorro, N.M. Don't expect that to change anytime soon.
Practices for the remainder of the season will be held at 7 a.m.
"My motto is gonna be to stay healthy, stay fresh and one game at a time,” Price said. “That's really how we're gonna run this season."
The team departed for Socorro at New Mexico Tech August 7 for eight days of continuous practice and Price has high expectations for his team this year.
"(I’m) very pleased with the chemistry of this team, with the attitude of this team and very pleased with the talent," Price said. “We’re better today than we were a year ago.”
Price mentioned several new additions to the team, but had high praise for several of his players, including running backs freshmen Xay Williams and sophomore Nathan Jeffery, who’s packed on more muscle and looks to carry the load this season. Price also said that Jeffery broke Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell's rushing records in high school, so he expects a lot from him this season.
The team is set at on its number one and number two quarterbacks with senior Nick Lamaison and junior Carson Meger.
"They are the two leaders of the team," Price said.
The season opener against the fourth ranked team in the nation Oklahoma Sooners Sept. 1 at the Sun Bowl gives the Miners yet another opportunity to compete against a BCS opponent.
"They’re scared to death,” Price said jokingly. “It's just a great opportunity for our players. They should enjoy the experience and enjoy the opportunity. It's impossible to not get fired up for this game."
The university is also altering their tailgating rules for 2012. Outer campus will be open at 8 a.m. while inner campus won’t allow tailgating until 2 p.m. for each of UTEP’s first five home games.
There is also a new ticketing system in place that asks for students to have a Miner Gold Card with a new student ID to gain access into the Sun Bowl.
Only Miner Gold Cards issued on or after June 4, 2012 will be valid for admittance.
In addition to the tailgating times, the university will have a Miner Gameday Zone located between the union and Geological Science buildings to feature live music, face painting and more, also open at 2 p.m.
Kickoff for the game against Oklahoma Sept. 1 is at 8:30 p.m. as opposed to most other home games that kickoff at 5 or 6 p.m.
UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull is also looking forward to the upcoming season and he wants to get the community involved with a "Game Day Experience".
“We want fans to enjoy all the events leading up to the game a little longer,” Stull said about the later start time for Sept. 1.