5:00pm MT Saturday, UTEP will travel to Greenville, NC to face East Carolina (2-2) to open up Conference USA play.
THE BASIC FACTS
- UTEP opens its eighth season of Conference USA play at East Carolina on Saturday.
- The Miners are 22-34 versus C-USA opponents since joining the league for the 2005 season.
- UTEP is 16-12 in C-USA home games and 6-22 in C-USA road games.
- The Miners haven’t won more than one C-USA road game in a season since 2005.
- UTEP is 5-2 in C-USA openers (4-0 home, 1-2 away).
- The Miners have dropped their last two C-USA openers at Houston in 2010 (54-24) and at SMU in 2011 (28-17) after winning five straight.
- UTEP is 2-5 in C-USA road openers with wins at SMU in 2007 (48-45 in overtime) and at Southern Miss in 2008 (40-37 in double overtime).
- East Carolina has never served as UTEP’s opening C-USA opponent. The Miners played the Pirates in their third league game in 2007, eighth game in 2008 and sixth game in 2011.
- The Miners will have traveled a total of 5,810 miles (round trip) in two weeks when they return to El Paso following Saturday’s game. UTEP played at Wisconsin last week.
- The distance from El Paso to Greenville, N.C. is 1,686 miles, making this the longest road trip for the Miners within C-USA play. Orlando (UCF) is the second-longest trip at 1,512 miles one-way.
- UTEP is 0-17-1 all-time when playing inside the Eastern time zone. The tie came versus West Virginia, 13-13, on Nov. 12, 1949.
- East Carolina is playing its second home game of the season following three straight on the road. The Pirates beat Appalachian State, 35-13, in their home opener on Sept. 1 before 49,023 fans.
- ECU is 163-84-1 (.658) all-time at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
COACH TO CURE MD WEEK
- The UTEP and East Carolina coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.
- Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org  or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
- UTEP dropped to 1-3 on the season with a 37-26 loss at Wisconsin last Saturday.
- The Miners were outscored 21-3 in the second quarter and fell behind 23-6 before stringing together 13 consecutive points to pull within four (23-19) midway through the fourth quarter.
- Wisconsin put the game out of reach with two touchdowns in a span of 15 seconds late in the game.
- Melvin Gordon rushed eight times for 112 yards for the Badgers, who lost starting tailback Montee Ball to a head injury in the second quarter.
- Jared Abbrederis compiled six catches for 147 yards for Wisconsin.
- UTEP QB Nick Lamaison completed 22-of-39 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
- Both of Lamaison’s TD passes went to Michael Edwards, who finished with seven catches for 151 yards.
- The Miners lost starting strong safety Richard Spencer to a knee injury in the third quarter.
- East Carolina fell 27-6 at North Carolina last Saturday.
- The Pirates trailed 10-6 at the half and were shut out after the break as the Tar Heels put 17 points on the board.
- ECU was limited to 233 yards of offense (124 passing, 109 rushing).
- Shane Carden completed 17-of-30 passes for 124 yards for the Pirates.
- Bryn Renner finished 27-of-43 passing for 321 yards, including two TDs, for North Carolina.
- East Carolina’s six second half offensive drives averaged 7.8 yards with none longer than 27 yards.
- LB Jeremy Grove led ECU with nine tackles and was credited with two of the Pirates’ six tackles for losses.
UTEP VS. EAST CAROLINA
- Fourth meeting between the schools with the Pirates holding a 2-1 series edge.
- East Carolina topped UTEP in El Paso in 2007 (45-42 in overtime) and in Greenville in 2008 (53-21).
- The Miners beat the Pirates last season in the Sun Bowl (22-17).
- UTEP had beaten every other team in C-USA before breaking through with a victory over ECU on the third try last year.