POSTED: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 1:12pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 2:37pm
UTEP’s 2011 football schedule is complete. The Miners will face six teams that played in bowls last season, including hosting Southern Miss (Oct. 29), East Carolina (Nov. 12) and Tulsa (Nov. 19). UTEP will also play at SMU (Sept. 10), USF (Sept. 24) and UCF (Nov. 26) as it seeks its fourth bowl appearance in eight years under the direction of former National Coach of the Year Mike Price.
The Miners will be tested from the get-go, playing three road games in the month of September – although one is just up the road at I-10 rival NM State. UTEP will be home for four of its last six contests.
UTEP’s bye week falls on Oct. 8, five games into the schedule.
“I like having the break in the middle,” Price said. “We’re going to make the best of our two trips to Florida. We’ll be playing some really good teams (USF and UCF). With four of our last five games versus bowl teams, we’ll have the chance to finish the season on a high note if we can stay healthy.”
UTEP will kick off the 2011 slate at home versus Stony Brook on Sept. 3. For the second straight year, the Miners will open conference play in week two on the road, taking on 2010 Armed Forces Bowl participant SMU in Dallas.
The three-game road swing will continue with matchups versus I-10 rival NM State (Sept. 17) and USF. The Miners will be facing the perennial BIG EAST power Bulls for the first time. USF was 8-5 last season and knocked off Clemson, 31-26, to win the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Seven of UTEP’s final eight games will come versus C-USA opponents. The exception is an Oct. 22 home date with Colorado State, as the Miners will renew an old WAC rivalry with the Rams. The game will mark a homecoming of sorts for former UTEP safeties and linebackers coach Tim Duffie, now entering his fourth season as a member of the CSU staff.
Houston quarterback Case Keenum, the fifth all-time leading passer in NCAA history, will make his final appearance in the Sun Bowl on Oct. 1.
Included in the final five games of the season are matchups with Southern Miss (2010 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl), East Carolina (Military Bowl), Tulsa (Hawaii Bowl) and defending C-USA champion UCF (Liberty Bowl). Three of the games are at home.
“Beating those teams here would create a lot of enthusiasm for our program,” Price said. “It’s important to our fans and players, and it’s one of the things we sell. We’re going to have a lot of people at the game, it’s going to be loud and it’s going to be fun. We talk to recruits about the tremendous atmosphere in the Sun Bowl when the Miners are playing.”
Season tickets will go on sale following the Conference USA Basketball Championships March 9-12 at the Don Haskins Center.
2011 UTEP Football Schedule
Sept. 3 Stony Brook
Sept. 10 at SMU*
Sept. 17 at NM State
Sept. 24 at South Florida
Oct. 1 Houston*
Oct. 15 at Tulane*
Oct. 22 Colorado State
Oct. 29 Southern Miss*
Nov. 5 at Rice*
Nov. 12 East Carolina*
Nov. 19 Tulsa*
Nov. 26 at UCF*
* Conference USA game