It sounds a little ridiculous that a college football game just four weeks into the season could determine a team's success or failure the rest of the way. For the UTEP Miners, this could absolutely be the case for their key road game this weekend against the New Mexico Lobos.

Head coach Dana Dimel picked up his first win of 2022 last weekend, when the Miners hung on to defeat their I-10 rivals in Las Cruces by a score of 20-13. Now they have a chance to complete the sweep of New Mexico for the second consecutive season and even their record after four games. It would also give the Miners much needed momentum for their big non-conference rematch with Boise State next Friday night at the Sun Bowl. With a win over UNM, there is the possibility of as many as 25,000 fans in attendance for the showdown with the Broncos, but high school football could definitely sway some people from going to the UTEP game.

Jorge Salgado
Jorge Salgado

On the other side, a loss to the Lobos would put UTEP in a giant hole. Barring an upset of Boise State, the Miners would be just 1-4 as they prepare for their remaining seven C-USA games. That is a far cry from the 6-1 start from a year ago and the seven or eight wins that many fans expected from this group before the start of the season. It would also cripple home attendance for the remaining four games, which dropped from a sellout crowd for North Texas to 23,325 fans for the Aggies.

If there is one constant from North Texas, Oklahoma, and NMSU, it is that the Miners have not played a strong second half of football yet this season. In fact, other than the second quarter (where UTEP has outscored their opponents 37-21), the Miners have been outscored 68-9 by their opponents. That trend needs to end this weekend in Albuquerque.

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