UTEP Makes Right Move for ESPN 2 Telecast of Huge UTSA Game
The Battle of Texas in Conference USA just got even more interesting. This morning, UTEP announced that their November 6th game time against UTSA had been changed from 2 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. in order to accommodate ESPN 2. The move makes all the sense in the world for UTEP and UTSA.
The Miners are coming off of their bye week with a 6-1 record, including a perfect 3-0 in C-USA. Meanwhile, the Roadrunners are a perfect 8-0 on the season and they are currently ranked 23rd in the country. While UTSA is on a bye week, UTEP will be traveling to Boca Raton to challenge Florida Atlantic.
Regardless how that game finishes, the showdown on November 6th at the Sun Bowl should be terrific. UTSA features the best offense in C-USA, while UTEP has the best defense in the conference. Now, both teams will have a chance to showcase their talents on a national stage. It will be the first time that either team has played on ESPN 2, since the streaming platform ESPN + is the home for most of the league's games. However, ESPN realized how big this matchup is, especially since both programs do not have a history of success in football. From a recruiting standpoint, it is also big because both UTEP and UTSA have a solid footprint in Texas.
As important as the UTSA game is for Miners fans, they will have competition that night. El Paso Locomotive FC will be hosting their first playoff match at Southwest University Park, and that is expected to kick off at 7 p.m., unless the club decides to move it up and hour or two so fans can attend both sporting events. In addition, Canelo Alvarez will be defending his WBC, WBA, and WBO super middleweight titles against Caleb Plant and his IBF super middleweight title on Pay Per View. It will be interesting to see how much those two events affect the crowd at the Sun Bowl.
For UTEP football fans starved for a winner, 2021 has been very good to them so far. The Miners are bowl eligible after just seven games, and the showdown against UTSA will be their biggest home contest in well over a decade. Tickets are pacing well and there is still nearly two weeks to go before the Roadrunners come to town. The last time UTEP had more than 30,000 fans at a football game was August 31st 2019, when 34,646 people watched the Miners survive a thriller against Houston Baptist. Prior to that date, the Miners drew 37,893 fans in 2016 for Army. As far as a conference opponent, you have to go all the way back to September 21st, 2013 when 30,004 watched UTEP and UTSA battle at the Sun Bowl. It will be great to see the Sun Bowl filled again for their game of the year on November 6th.