Do the Miners Have Any Chance to Upset #18 Arkansas?
Tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m., the 2015 UTEP football season will kickoff in Fayetteville, Ark., against the nationally-ranked Razorbacks. The Miners are currently listed as 33-point underdogs and will have their work cut out for them against one of the better rushing offenses in college football. In fact, both teams offer a very similar style of play, even though the Arkansas' offensive linemen are the biggest in the SEC.
UTEP is just 1-11 all-time against the SEC, with their only win coming in the 1967 Sun Bowl against Ole Miss. Ironically, that was the last time the Miners won a a bowl game.
If Sean Kugler's team are going to have any chance to stay in the game, they will need to run the ball effectively and control the clock. Mack Leftwich was named starting quarterback earlier in the week, but he has not played in a college football game since November 2013.
If Arkansas shuts down Aaron Jones and the rest of the UTEP running game, Leftwich will have to put the ball in the air. That is where things could get a little scary for the Miners. They lack a true go-to receiver, although Autrey Golden does have big play ability.
If the Miners do not control time of possession, the Arkansas offensive line has the ability to wear down Scott Stoker's much improved UTEP defense. Although I am not calling for an upset, I do believe that the Miners can keep things relatively close in the first half and make the game more interesting than a lot of people are expecting. If the team stays within 10-17 points of Arkansas and comes out of the game healthy, I will be happy.
Kappy's Prediction: Arkansas 30, UTEP 13