EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP (0-2) is all eyes ahead after suffering a 45-13 loss to #9 Oklahoma last Saturday. The Miners are ready to turn the page to their next game against one of their biggest rivals, New Mexico State, on Saturday.

An 0-2 start to the season isn’t ideal for a UTEP team that is looking to make a bowl game in 2022. Their first two games of the season though haven’t been easy and it doesn’t get easier as they approach a must win situation against the Aggies.

“Week one, we have a big conference game, it is week two, we go into Norman to play Oklahoma, and then comeback week three and have a game against New Mexico State,” said head coach Dana Dimel. “With that being said, we just have to really stay locked into what we are doing, play good football, and stay focused.”

With two straight losses to start the season, the Miners aim to avoid to make it three. Especially with their rival coming into town.

“You don’t want to go 0-3. That just digs you into a deeper hole,” said Dimel. “Every game is so important now. Once you start 0-2, every game gets really critical for your football team so you can’t afford to take a whole lot of early losses just those are just things that you have to overcome. The only way to overcome losses is to go on win streaks so if you lose your first three you got to go on a three-game win streak just to get us back to .500 just to get us to be bowl eligible.”

“It’s the one thing that is bothering me a lot it is that we haven’t won,” said wide receiver Rey Flores. “We played good the first week, didn’t win, played good last week, didn’t win. That 0-2 I don’t like the way that feels, the way it looks so definitely this week is a must win type of game for us.”

The last time UTEP started their season 0-2 was back in 2018. That team went onto finish that year 1-11.

UTEP won’t be the only team on Saturday itching for their first win of the season. New Mexico State also finds themselves in the same 0-2 boat as UTEP. The Aggies suffered a 23-12 loss to Nevada in their first game of the season and then a 38-0 loss at Nevada last Thursday.

UTEP opened up as 13.5 point favorites against the Aggies. This will be the first time that UTEP will host New Mexico State at the Sun Bowl since 2018. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. MT at the Sun Bowl on Saturday, Sep. 10.