EL PASO, Texas – UTEP, coming off a hard-fought victory against one rival, will take on another longtime foe when it battles New Mexico in the 80th meeting on Saturday.
The Miners and Lobos will kick off at 6 p.m. MT at University Stadium in Albuquerque.
The Miners are taking on the Lobos in Albuquerque for the first time since the 2014 season opener. UTEP defeated New Mexico, 31-24, on Aug. 30.
UTEP (1-2, 0-1 Conference USA) chalked up its first ‘W’ of 2022 after fending off rival NM State 20-13 in the 99th Battle of I-10 on Sept. 10, led by Ronald Awatt’s 115 yards rushing and 22-yard touchdown. New Mexico (1-1, 0-1 Mountain West) dropped its first contest of the season after a 31-14 loss against Mountain West foe Boise State on Sept. 9 at University Stadium. UNM only tallied 123 yards of total offense.
“We move into a big challenge this week against a team that is improving. They’re improving as they continue to go through the maturation of their program,” UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel said. “They, defensively, they give you a variety of looks. It’s well known that (defensive coordinator) Rocky (Long) does a great job with that. That’ll be a test for every team that plays them. That’s a test, right? You got to have a good game plan. I think it’s going to help us because we played them last year and because we played them last year, we got to work on all those things a little last week and then this week. I was able to spend some time because of the difficulty of the preparation. You get a little bit ahead because they do so many different things defensively. So that was important for us. I think hopefully it will help our performance this week as well. So offensively they got a new quarterback, a transfer from KU that’s very athletic. He does a lot of good things as a playmaker for them. They got a new offensive line. There’s only one returning starter from last year on their offensive line, but they did a good job I think of either bringing in good, young talent that they’re developing or bringing in some junior college talent at those positions that are going to help. They got some good experience coming back, a lot of returners at wide receiver coming back, got a transfer player at wide receiver that I also think is a good player for them.”
Fans can tune into KLAQ 95.5 to hear the action with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action with former UTEP WR Cole Freytag (2012, 2014-16) providing analysis and Mando Medina on the sideline. The contest will be streamed on the Mountain West Network as Jeff Siembieda (play by play) and George Carter (analyst) with the call.