First and Ten: UTEP Miners (1-3) vs UTSA Roadrunners (1-3)
First and Ten meets game number five for the UTEP Miners as they are back in the Sun City for a homecoming tilt against an identical UTSA Roadrunners team. Both teams share the same school colors, university system, hand gesture, and overall record in 2019.
The Miners (1-3) are trying to bounce back after a rough start to C-USA play after a 31-13 loss at Southern Miss while the Roadrunners (1-3) look to regroup after being demolished by UNT in Denton, 45-3. Both teams haven’t won since opening the 2019 season with victories against FCS teams in Texas with UTEP beating Houston Baptist and UTSA beating city foe Incarnate Word. The last time these two teams met was in San Antonio where UTSA beat UTEP 30-21.
Regardless of who takes over at the QB spot, UTEP must be able to move the ball and limit both turnovers and penalties. UTSA is without Sr. QB Frank Harris due to injury and will be starting So. Lowell Narcisse under center. This is a good opportunity to get some pressure on the inexperienced Narcisse and WR core despite a solid season so far from rushing leader Sincere McCormick at the RB spot. The Miners come back home to win their second game of the season. UTEP 17-13
Both teams are kind of at a fork-in-the-road and need to win this game badly. The Miners really to work on third down efficiency, both on offense (27.5%) and defense (55.8%). One key stat for both teams will be time of possession with UTEP ranked 31st in the nation and UTSA at the 25th spot. This game will come down to ball control and ball security where the Miners will scrape it out against the Roadrunners. UTEP 21-20
For crying out loud! Those of you who would like to see Dana Dimel fired already, at least give him four seasons to fix the mess that was left for him when he took over. This is a winnable game for the Miners where the Roadrunners are on an equal level but also without Harris at QB.. Running is the true strength for UTSA while being led by McCormick but UTEP QB Kai Locksley should have a good game on the ground when given his chance. The Iceman picks the Miners in this one. UTEP 24-14
C-USA action is back in El Paso where this matchup is slowly becoming quite the rivalry over the last nine years despite UTSA winning the previous two meetings against UTEP. The Roadrunners are undefeated in El Paso and remain the only team in the series to win at home. This should be a low scoring game as both teams share a similar strength in time of possession. The Miners enter this game as the favorite by 1.5 points but will not cover. They will win this one though in a close battle. UTEP 22-21
This has to be a game where UTEP feels confident in their pass rush. UTSA is trying to get Narcisse in the mix at QB but have not had enough time with him as the main signal caller. On the other hand, the Miners have not been anything special when it comes to taking advantage of turnovers and missed opportunities from the opposition. UTEP must not give up long third down conversions on defense and must also stay away from third-and-long when it comes to offense. This may be the game where they finally fail to convert in the redzone but also score more touchdowns than field goals. UTSA battles it out for three quarters but will fail to continue battling in the trenches. UTEP 27-13
We’ll hit the airwaves (600 AM) and the 600 ESPN El Paso App this time around at 4:45 pm and send it over to the Longhorn Distributing Countdown to Kickoff at 5 pm with Jon, Bernie, and Mando as UTEP seeks their second home win of the season. Game time starts at 6 pm and immediately after the Hunt Companies Locker Room Report is when MinerTalk takes over your radio dial.
(All times Mountain Standard)