What a difference a few weeks can make in a college football season. At that time, the Miners were 4-3 and the team had exceeded most preseason expectations. There were even talks of returning to the postseason and trying to win a bowl game for the first time since 1967. Now, UTEP finds themselves in a similar situation...4-5 and needing wins in two out of their final three games to qualify for a possible bowl game.

Saturday's 41-37 road loss to Rice left many players, coaches, and fans scratching their heads in amazement. How could the Miners lose to a Rice team that entered that game with a 2-6 record ? That same Rice team that had just given up 73 points to Houston the week before? How could UTEP allow their opponents to rack up more than 600 yards of total offense?

The truth is, over the years the Miners have never played well on the road in Houston. They have always struggled against subpar Rice teams. Plus, the month of November has never been kind to Mike Price. Since he took over the UTEP football program in 2004, his Miner teams are just 9-19 in November. Over the next three weeks, UTEP still has plenty of opportunities to salvage their season. They host East Carolina and Tulsa before traveling to Orlando to finish their conference play against Central Florida. All are winnable games for the Miners, but given their history of late season slides, a second consecutive trip to a bowl game might not be in the cards.