Price Talks Southern Miss and Two Ranked Teams in Conference USA

Monday, October 24, 2011 - 9:41pm

There are two ranked teams in Conference USA this week.  In the Coaches Poll, Houston is ranked #18, while Southern Miss is ranked #25. 

UTEP (4-3, 1-2 C-USA) looks to continue its winning ways when it resumes C-USA action against Southern Miss (6-1, 2-1 C-USA) on Saturday in the Sun Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 6:02 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on CBS College Sports with James Bates (play-by-play), Aaron Taylor (analyst) and Brooke Collins (sideline) calling the game.

The Miners seek their second C-USA victory of the season, while Southern Miss, which is ranked 25th nationally in the USA Today Coaches Poll, looks to remain on top of the Eastern Division. The Eagles turned in a 27-3 win over SMU on Saturday. UTEP is 1-2 in C-USA play including a 44-7 win at Tulane and losses to SMU (28-17) and Houston (49-42).

UTEP Seeks Third Straight Win
The Miners will gun for their third consecutive victory on Saturday against Southern Miss. UTEP posted winning streaks of three games or more in six of Mike Price’s first seven seasons as head coach, the exception being the 2009 campaign. However, the Miners haven’t enjoyed a winning streak of three games or more that included the last game of October since 2005. In fact, UTEP hasn’t won its last game in October since 2005, when it scored a 38-31 triumph at Rice to cap a 3-1 month.

October Remains Successful for the Miners
The Miners continue to enjoy success in October, more than any other month under the direction of coach Mike Price. The Miners are 19-11 after capturing victories over Tulane and Colorado State. The Miners have had back-to-back October victories in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The Miners won three consecutive contests in October in 2005 and five straight in 2004.

The Last Time Out
Vernon Frazier rushed for a career-high 167 yards and UTEP piled up 340 yards on the ground in a 31-17 win over Colorado State. UTEP’s defense held the Rams to 255 yards of offense while collecting seven sacks and 11 tackles for losses and held the Rams to 93 yards rushing.

The Miners scored the game’s first 14 points and didn’t trail. The Rams cut the deficit to 14-10 but UTEP responded with 17 unanswered points, highlighted by an 83-yard scoring run by Frazier – the longest rushing play by a UTEP player since 1988. UTEP and Southern Miss also squared off in the 1954 Sun Bowl with the Miners prevailing 37-14.

Scouting Southern Miss
The series is tied 2-2 including 1-1 in the Sun Bowl. The two teams haven’t met in the Sun Bowl since Nov. 17, 2007 when UTEP fell 56-30. The Miners won the last meeting in 2008, a 40-37 overtime victory in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Golden Eagles beat the Miners in the 1988 Independence Bowl, 38-18, led by future NFL quarterback Brett Favre.

The Scouting Report on Southern Miss
After defeating SMU 27-3, Southern Miss captured a no.25 ranking in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Golden Eagles are 6-1 on the season and 2-1 in league action to sit atop the Eastern Division standings. Southern Miss is on the verge of cracking the Associated Press poll, standing 27th.

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