What a terrible blow for UTEP football’s 2019 season.

The Miners were trying to paint a rosy picture for the fall campaign and then the most important player on the team, quarterback Kai Locksley, gets arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated, possession of marijuana under two ounces and unlawful carrying of a weapon,

Like they say, when it rains it pours.

THE MINERS are coming off a couple of football seasons where they won no games in 2017 and only one game in 2018 and were hoping for improvement this year.

Like sports information director Jeff Darby wrote: “The Miners return quarterbacks Kai Locksley and Brandon Jones, who combined for throw for 1,610 yards and rush for 401 yards last season.  They’ll operate behind a veteran offensive line that features eight returning players who have combined for 84 career starts.

“UTEP ALSO welcomes back 1,000-yard rusher Quardraiz Wadley on offense. The Miner defense improved from 107th nationally in yards allowed in 2017 to 68th last season and looks to continue its progression this fall led by a stout defensive line.

“Coach Dana Dimel and his staff reeled in a 2019 recruiting class that features eight three-star recruits according to 247sports.com. It marks the most three-star signees for UTEP since 2010.”

Hope springs eternal.

TRIVIA QUESTION: When was the Miners’ last football winning season? Answer at end of column.

THE FOLLOWING email from Marylin Cromeans, a big UTEP booster:

“Hi, Ray. I read your article in El Paso Inc. about Bold Ego. That year (1981), Dallas Barton was in my 5th grade class at Zach White. We were all so excited about him going to the Kentucky Derby. I also had (nationally-ranked trainer) Todd Pletcher. ... I had so many kids that went on to do great things and always love hearing about them. Zach White is a special school, and I got to teach there for 25 years.”

JIM SENTER, director of athletics at UTEP, announced new kickoff times for the Miners’ six 2019 football home games.

Senter had a survey taken of ticket holders and students.

“One of the things that we discovered was that our fans preferred the 6 p.m. start time for the early games in the season, and afternoon kickoffs with the threat of inclement weather in November.” November games will now start 1 p.m.

TRIVIA ANSWER: In 2014 when the Miners finished 7-6 under coach Sean Kugler.

Veteran sports journalist, historian and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column.  Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by email at rayf358@yahoo.com; or online at raysanchezbooks.com.