In COVID 2020, UTEP Football Can’t Catch A Break
For the second time in as many weeks, a C-USA football team that was supposed to travel to El Paso to play the Miners has backed out. FIU today made it official and canceled their trip to the Sun Bowl, citing their number of healthy players on their roster as their main reason.
So far in C-USA, Southern Miss and FIU both cited COVID cases on their rosters for postponements while North Texas was worried about the rising number of coronavirus positives in El Paso. In what has turned out to be a disastrous decision, C-USA has allowed each school to determine on a week-to-week basis whether or not they can play each game. After playing their first five contests without interruption, UTEP has now had three of their last four league games postponed. There is nothing the university can do to ensure that each of their remaining games are played since C-USA has no policies towards minimum roster requirements for teams. The last home game on the Miners schedule is November 21st against UAB.
The first two weeks in December would be makeup games for regional C-USA contests that were postponed due to COVID. For UTEP, that means that their home games against Southern Miss and North Texas would be played at the Sun Bowl. However, the game with FIU has been canceled since both teams cannot make it up before the end of 2020. Since C-USA never made any stipulations about canceled games, the Miners will not be able to count it as a forfeit win. Instead, it will go down in the record books as a game never played and UTEP will have a total of seven conference games instead of eight. Since they will have to play two of their next three games on the road in November, the Miners will have their work cut out for them if they are able to string enough wins together to try and make a run in the West Division of Conference USA.