Miners Seek First Conference Victory at Home Versus SMU
THE BASIC FACTS
- UTEP faces SMU in its Conference USA home opener.
- The Miners are 16-12 in C-USA home games since joining the league for the 2005 season.
- UTEP was 1-3 in C-USA home games last season.
- UTEP is 6-1 in C-USA home openers. The lone loss came to Houston, 49-42 a year ago.
- SMU also served as the Miners’ opponent in the 2006 C-USA home opener. UTEP won that game 24-21.
- UTEP is 1-1 at home with a loss to fourth-ranked Oklahoma (24-7) and a win over NM State (41-28).
- SMU is playing its second road game of the season, and its first since Sept. 2 (59-24 loss at Baylor). The Mustangs had played three consecutive home games.
- This is SMU’s C-USA opener. The Miners are 0-1 in league play following a 28-18 loss at East Carolina last week.
- October has traditionally been UTEP’s best month under coach Mike Price with the Miners posting a 19-12 record.
- UTEP is 11-5 in October home games under Price.
- UTEP played the most demanding non-conference schedule in school history and is off to a 1-4 start. The Miners haven’t opened 1-5 since 2002.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
- The Miners closed the month of September with a 1-4 record, losing at East Carolina 28-18 last Saturday.
- UTEP led 10-7 late in the first half, but the Pirates scored with 12 seconds remaining to go ahead 14-10 at the break. That started a string of 21 consecutive points for the home team.
- UTEP trimmed a 28-10 deficit to 28-18 on a 96-yard kickoff return by Autrey Golden and ensuing two-point conversion with 4:39 to play. The Miners recovered the onside kick but Nick Lamaison threw his third interception of the day to end the rally.
- Lamaison threw three interceptions, all in the fourth quarter.
- Nathan Jeffery (134 rushing yards) and Michael Edwards (130 receiving yards) accounted for 264 of UTEP’s 302 yards of offense (87 percent).
- UTEP finished with 151 yards rushing and 151 yards passing.
- East Carolina tabulated 475 yards of offense, including 217 rushing.
- The Pirates received 258 yards passing from QB Shane Carden and 151 rushing from Vintavious Cooper.
- SMU dropped a second straight home game to 15th-ranked TCU, 24-16, on Sept. 29.
- The game was played in a heavy rainstorm.
- The Mustangs never led after falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter.
- Garrett Gilbert completed 15-of-40 passes for 190 yards for SMU but was intercepted five times, including four times in the second half.
- SMU surrendered just 156 yards of offense to the Horned Frogs. TCU averaged 2.1 yards per play.
- TCU scored 17 points off SMU turnovers, and a 64-yard punt return set up the Horned Frogs’ other TD.
- SMU totaled 220 yards of offense.
UTEP VS. SMU
- SMU leads the series 11-8.
- UTEP has won six of the last nine matchups between the schools.
- The Miners are 4-3 versus the Mustangs since joining Conference USA.
- UTEP is 6-4 versus SMU in El Paso.
- The Miners are 6-1 in their last seven games versus SMU in the Sun Bowl.
- UTEP has posted four straight wins over the Mustangs in the Sun Bowl since SMU’s last victory in the stadium in 2002.
- UTEP is 4-1 in the Sun Bowl against teams coached by June Jones, including victories over Hawaii in 2000 (39-7) and 2004 (51-20), and SMU in 2008 (36-10) and 2010 (28-14).
- Hawaii, coached by Jones, beat the Miners in 2002 by a 31-6 score.
THE LAST MEETING
- SMU topped UTEP, 28-17, in the C-USA opener for both schools on Sept. 10, 2011 in Dallas.
- The Mustangs clinched the victory when Ja’Gared Davis sacked Miner quarterback Jay Hall and recovered his fumble in the end zone with 2:39 to play.
- Hall came on in relief of UTEP starter Nick Lamaison, who left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder separation.
- The Miners also lost starting defensive tackle Germard Reed to a neck injury in the third period.
- J.J. McDermott passed for 244 yards to lead SMU, and Zach Line rushed for 114 yards with a pair of scores.
- Lamaison and Hall combined to throw for 276 yards, but UTEP was unable to mount any kind of a ground game with 26 carries for 30 yards.
- The Miners led once at 10-7 on a 34-yard field goal by Dakota Warren with 4:15 remaining in the first quarter,
but SMU scored 14 unanswered points to surge to a 21-10 lead.