Should UTEP Fans Be Thinking Upset With Texas Tech Coming To Town?
After holding off UNM in the second half of the season opener, it could happen…right?
Texas Tech didn’t exactly light the world on fire in an unimpressive 42-35 victory over Central Arkansas. The Red Raiders did compile over 600 yards of offense (452 yards in the air), however, they also did so against an FCS opponent at HOME.
I know it’s the first game of the season and most teams schedule FCS opponents to get the kinks out, but at the same time most Power five conference teams find away to pummel inferior opponents.
Good news for UTEP, right?
While Texas Tech strives to be a contender in the Big 12 they are not an Oklahoma or Texas, two powerhouse Big 12 teams that have handled UTEP in fairly recent home meetings with both schools. The Sooners (after a valiant first half effort by UTEP) defeated the Miners 24-7 in 2012 and the Longhorns dispatched UTEP 42-13 back in 2008.
This isn’t to say Texas Tech won’t be a challenge because they will be one of the best teams UTEP faces this year, all I am saying is that they have a better than average chance no matter what the odds makers (20.5 point underdogs as of Wednesday) or Red Raider nation says.
The Red Raiders hold a 3-0 record over the Miners since joining the Big 12, but UTEP has not made it easy especially in their only meeting in the Sun Bowl (2006) as Texas Tech was able to prevail in a 38-35 thrilling overtime game in front of 51,827 fans.
You read that right…51,827 fans. Plenty of tickets available and don’t forget your free UTEP cheer stick.
The win over the Lobos showed what this UTEP team can accomplish in 2014 especially after a dominant first half that saw the offense and defense firing on all cylinders. The second half gave fans a moment of pause as the Miners almost let the win slip away, but unlike so many times last season this year’s version didn’t hang their heads when facing adversity. They fought hard and didn’t give up even when it looked like UNM was ready to run off with the comeback win.
A hard fought loss on Saturday wouldn’t be the end of the world, but a win could be the spark needed to make this a season to remember with NMSU waiting in the wings. Coach Sean Kugler wouldn’t condone looking ahead but 3-0 looks pretty good with those orange-tinted glasses