UTEP set to tangle with Texas, Miners 43.5-point underdogs

UTEP

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Nobody is picking UTEP to upset No. 14 Texas on Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin on Saturday. The Miners are 43.5-point underdogs, but head coach Dana Dimel does not want his team reading into that headline.

“What you try to do is make sure your guys don’t believe what the rest of the world believes,” said Dimel. “We want our guys to believe that we are prepared to play a good football game and have confidence about themselves that they can compete and play against Texas.”

Saturday’s matchup with be the sixth all-time meeting between the Miners and Longhorns, with Texas a perfect 5-0 against UTEP. The odds certainly don’t favor the Miners in this one, but Bevo and the burnt orange doesn’t scare them either.

“We are a team, just like them. We are human, just like them,” said sophomore wide receiver Jacob Cowing. “I think a lot of us have a chip on our shoulder to go out there and show what we really have as a team.”

Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, Dimel expects to compete and improve in this game.

“This game is going to make us so much better for our third game, our fourth game, and then heading into conference play,” said Dimel. “I’m really a firm believer in that because guys can see where they stand.”

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. MT on Saturday. The game will air on the Longhorn Network.

UTEP (1-0) at #14 TEXAS (0-0)

Date: Saturday, Sept. 12

Time: 6 p.m. MT

Location: Austin, Texas

Venue: Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium

Twitter Updates: @UTEPFB

TV: Longhorn Network

PxP: Lowell Galindo

Analyst: Andre Ware

Sideline: Kris Budden

Radio: ESPN 600 El Paso

PxP: Jon Teicher

Analyst: Mike Perez

UTEP vs. TEXAS ALL-TIME

• On Saturday, the Miners and Longhorns will meet on the gridiron for the sixth time in history in a series that dates back to 1930.

• Texas leads the all-time series, 5-0, including a perfect 4-0 mark in Austin.

• This weekend will mark the first meeting since the 2016 season when Texas defeated UTEP in Austin.

MINER NOTABLES

• Gavin Hardison made his debut as QB1 for the Miners on Saturday as the Hobbs, New Mexico, native helped lead UTEP to a 24-14 victory over Stephen F. Austin. Hardison put together a strong performance in his first start under center after completing 17-of-28 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Lumberjacks. UTEP started the season as one of 14 programs in the country who entered the season with zero starts returning at quarterback.

• When the 2020 campaign opened last Saturday, six different Miners made their first career start in the Orange & Blue and helped guide UTEP to a season-opening win over SFA. UTEP center Andrew Meyer and quarterback Gavin Hardison both made their starting debuts for the Miners on offense, while UTEP started two new defensive tackles in Kelton Moss and Keenan Stewart, as well as cornerback Dennis Barnes and safety Dy’vonne Inyang on defense.

• This weekend, UTEP running backs coach Barrick Nealy will be reunited with Texas head caoch Tom Herman. Herman served as the offensive coordinator/QB coach for Texas State in 2005 when Nealy was the QB for the Bobcats. The 2005 Texas State squad was 8th nationally in scoring & made it to the FCS semifinals in the school’s first appearance in the Division 1-AA playoffs.

• UTEP redshirt freshman RB Deion Hankins was the star of the show in the 24-14 win over Stephen F. Austin. The El Paso native led the Miner offense with 17 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns to pave the way for a UTEP win to open the season. Hankins scored his first career touchdown a bulldozing 10-yard rush in the second quarter with 20 seconds remaining in the half that gave UTEP a 17-14 lead. Hankins rushed for two scores, as his second came off a direct snap in the fourth quarter at the 3:51 mark. Hankins added a career-long rush of 41 yards to the SFA six-yard line that set up his second score.

• The Miners have started the season 1-0 for the second consecutive season after Saturday’s win over the Lumberjacks. In 2019, UTEP opened the campaign with a 36-34 victory over Houston Baptist in the Sun Bowl. The Miners last started 1-0 in consecutive seasons in 2010 and 2011.

• The UTEP defense held Stephen F. Austin to 230 yards of offense in the win over the Lumberjacks, which is the least number of yards allowed by the Miners since 2016 when UTEP yielded 227 to Houston Baptist.

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