When UTEP released their original 2022 football schedule six weeks ago, we wondered if Conference USA also had another version ready to go if Southern Miss, Old Dominion, and Marshall were able to get their wish and leave early for the Sun Belt. Turns out they did and for Miners fans, the revised schedule is better than anyone could have asked for.

For starters, UTEP will open 2022 at home against North Texas on August 27th instead of ending their season with them. Head coach Dana Dimel gets a huge break, since his team will not have to play their first game on the road against the Oklahoma Sooners. It also means that the Miners will have a strong crowd to open the season and a chance to get some momentum out of the gate if they can play well at the Sun Bowl against the Mean Green in Zero Week.

The rest of the non-conference schedule remains the same. With home games against NMSU and Boise State and road games in Norman and Albuquerque, the Miners could have three or four wins by the time they finish September.

UTEP also gets bye weeks on October 15th (after their seventh game) and November 12th (after their 10th game). The first one comes after road games in Charlotte and Ruston and before consecutive home games against Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee. The final bye comes after a road game with Rice and before their final home game with Florida International. The team stayed mostly healthy last season when they won seven games. However, Coach Dimel will gladly welcome both bye weeks since they come at key points of their league schedule.

As Adrian pointed out earlier today, Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, and FIU were not on the original UTEP football schedule. Last year, the three combined for a 13-24 record. The Miners could feast on these three opponents and be in place to contend for a conference title late in the season.

As all Miners fans know, a lot has to go right for UTEP to be in contention for a C-USA championship. They need to stay healthy, get big performances from their leaders, and take the next step after their successful 2021 season. A big reason why they won seven games a year ago was their favorable schedule. Thanks to the early departure of ODU, Marshall, and S. Miss to the Sun Belt, football schedule 2.0 appears to be an early W for the Miners.

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