EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP football (3-4, 1-2 Conference USA) is finally enjoying the luxury of a bye week after completing their seven-game stretch to start the 2022 season.

The Miners are focused on resting and recovering before they head into the final five games of their regular season.

“The goal for us this week is to get ourselves healthy and rested. It’s been a seven-week grind. It’s been a really difficult stretch for us. We’ve gotten better because of it. We’re a better football team, and I think our team needed rest,” said UTEP head coach Dana Dimel. “I think the grind got to us a little bit there, but we responded in good ways down the stretch, so I’m really excited about our team having a great week, which we have so far this week, and have a really good week next week and getting out and getting a home victory.”

“I think it was a long stretch. I think the whole team, offense, defense, and special teams we all needed a little bye week here,” said UTEP junior linebacker Cal Wallerstedt. “Obviously, a seven-game stretch is a lot of reps for a lot of guys, so it’s sad to come off of a loss into the bye week but you know we are happy that we can recover for sure.”

UTEP is coming off a 41-31 loss at LA Tech last Saturday. With that loss, the Miners now sit below .500 with 3-4 overall record and 1-2 Conference USA record. There are five games left in the regular season for UTEP. They need three more wins in order to reach the FBS minimum of six wins for bowl eligibility. The Miners know where they are at this point of the season and are ready to tackle the final stretch of the season.

“We’ve got five games and we obviously want to get ourselves to a bowl game and accomplish some more things that haven’t been done for a long time,” said Dimel. “That is the goal for our team. It’s very attainable. We just got to win the turnover margin down the stretch, and I feel like a lot of good things will happen.”

Out of its bye week, UTEP will host Florida Atlantic (2-4) on Oct. 22 at the Sun Bowl, then welcome Middle Tennessee (3-3) on Oct. 29.

After that, the Miners have a short week before a Nov. 3 road trip to face Rice (3-2) on a Thursday night in Houston. After another bye week, UTEP will host FIU (2-3) for Senior Day on Nov. 19, before closing out the season at C-USA favorite UTSA (4-2) on Nov. 26.