EL PASO, Texas – UTEP will host Florida Atlantic in the first of two consecutive Conference USA home games on Saturday. The Miners and Owls are set for a 2 p.m. kick in Sun Bowl Stadium.

The Miners will play in the Sun Bowl for the first time since defeating Boise State on Sept. 23.

UTEP (3-4, 1-2 C-USA) is coming off a loss at LA Tech, 41-31, on Oct. 8 in Joe Aillet Stadium. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-3 lead and 30-10 advantage at the half. The Miners however pulled to within six points (30-24) after a Reynaldo Flores three-yard rushing TD early in the fourth quarter, while Trent Thompson scored on a 44-yard scoring pass from Gavin Hardison with 10:18 left play. But LA Tech QB Parker McNeil, who threw for 266 yards and four scores, connected on a 15-yard touchdown to Smoke Harris and then hit Tre Harris on a two-point conversion to increase the lead to 38-24. Hardison, who threw for a season-high 320 yards, found Marcus Bellon on a 52-yard scoring pass with 2:08 left in the game,

Florida Atlantic (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) put its league record over .500 after rallying to defeat Rice, 17-14, in a defensive battle on Oct. 15 in Boca Raton. Rice jumped out to a 14-0 advantage after scoring twice in the first quarter. Larry McCammon’s five-yard rushing score got FAU within seven points heading into the locker room at the half. Morgan Suarez converted a 34-yard FG at the 8:27 mark in the third quarter to make the count 14-10, while prolific QB N’Kosi Perry gave his Owls the go-ahead lead with an 18-yard TD pass to Jahmal Edrine with 11:22 left in the contest.

“Florida Atlantic is a team that’s got lots of physical talent. They’ve got good size up front on their offensive line,” UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel said. “They got two talented running backs, a good group of wide receivers and a quarterback that’s very athletic and is really improved as a quarterback throughout his last two years. Then defensively, they play a lot of guys on defense, they rotate a lot of defensive linemen, they rotate through their linebackers, they’ve been rotating their secondary. I mean, they play as many guys as anybody that we’ve faced all year because they’re able to get that kind of talent down in the state of Florida. They have a lot of talent across the board, across their defense. It’ll be a challenge for us, but one that we need to be up for and play good football. We’ve proven that when we play good football, we can play with anybody on our schedule. So, we just need to, like I said, do the things that I talked about, get better at those things, improve on those things, and we’ll have a really balanced football team.”

UTEP is 1-2 versus Florida Atlantic overall. UTEP won the first meeting 27-17 on Oct. 24, 2015 in the Sun Bowl. FAU has won the last two meetings – beating UTEP 35-31 in 2016, and again last season, 28-25. Both meetings were in Boca Raton.

UTEP is 2-1 in the Sun Bowl this season, winning its last two contests. The Miners defeated Boise State, 27-10, on Sept. 23 and NM State, 20-13, on Sept. 10. FAU is 0-3 on the road this season. The Owls’ last road win came on Oct. 21, 2021 at Charlotte.