UTEP Players Excited for Season Opener


POSTED: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 5:06pm

UPDATED: Saturday, September 3, 2011 - 10:36pm

UTEP kicks off its 94th season of football at home versus Stony Brook on Sept. 3. It marks the first-ever meeting between the Miners and the Seawolves. UTEP is 27-15 at home under coach Mike Price, including 5-1 last season. Last year's Miner team was the eighth to post five or more wins in the stadium since it opened in 1963. The 1965 (6-1), 1966 (5-1), 1967 (6-1), 1988 (6-0), 2000 (5-0), 2004 (5-1) and 2005 (5-1) squads also achieved the feat. UTEP has won eight of its last 10 games in the Sun Bowl dating back to the 2009 season. Following the opener, the Miners will play three straight road games before hosting Houston on Sept. 29.

The Miners are 4-0 versus FCS opponents during the Mike Price era (32-0 win over Weber State in 2004, 45-0 win over Texas Southern in 2005, 52-12 win over Texas Southern in 2007, 31-10 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 2010). UTEP has outscored the four FCS opponents 160-22 and averaged 469.8 yards of offense to foes' 205.0. The Miners have averaged 219.5 yards rushing per game. Stony Brook has two games scheduled versus FBS opponents this season, including playing at Buffalo on Sept. 10. Last year the Seawolves played at USF on Sept. 4. They were tied with the Bulls at 14 through one quarter and trailed 24-14 with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first half before being outscored 35-0 the rest of the way in a 59-14 setback. The Miners are opening a season versus a school from the state of New York for the third time in four years after kicking off the 2008 and 2009 campaigns versus Buffalo.

The Miners are 40-48-5 in season openers and 31-17-3 when opening a season at home. UTEP is kicking off a season at home in three straight years for the first time since a seven-year run from 1986-92. The Miners are 4-3 in both season openers and home openers under Mike Price. UTEP, which opened the 2010 season with a 31-10 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the Sun Bowl, hasn't won back-to-back home openers since Price's first two years at the school (2004-05). The Miners scored 31 points versus UAPB after tallying 10, 17 and 17 points in the previous three season openers. UTEP is 24-0 all-time when scoring 30 points or more in season-opening games, a feat it has achieved five times since 1988.

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