EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — UTEP football will forgo fall camp in the mountains of Ruidoso, New Mexico, once again this year, officials confirmed to KTSM on Monday. It is the second consecutive year the Miners have skipped their trip to Ruidoso after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from traveling to the mountains in 2020.
The Miners will instead opt to practice in their own backyard at Glory Field, in addition to a handful of practices inside Sun Bowl Stadium. UTEP will open fall camp — along with 10 other programs — earlier than any FBS team in the country since they play a Week 0 game against rival New Mexico State on Saturday, August 28.
“We report as early as anybody in the country because we play on Week 0. The next eight weeks are going to be very serious training and conditioning for the UTEP Miners to get ourselves ready,” said UTEP head football coach Dana Dimel. “We are one of only 10 teams who play on Week 0 and it’s going to be upon us really quickly. Right now, we’re in that mode. We are back to work and ready to get after it.”
UTEP’s opener against NMSU will be one of five games on the schedule in Week 0 (Nebraska vs. Illinois, UConn vs. Fresno State, Hawaii vs. UCLA, Southern Miss vs. San Jose State, and UTEP vs. NMSU). The contest will mark the 98th meeting in the Battle of I-10 with the Miners leading the all-time series, 57-38-2, over the Aggies. UTEP last faced NMSU on Nov. 23, 2019 in Las Cruces after the Aggies canceled their 2020 fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT and the game will be broadcasted on Bally Sports.
“We’re excited to resume our rivalry with New Mexico State after not playing the Aggies last season,” said Dimel. “It’s fitting that we open the 2021 season against the Aggies and we hope Miner Nation makes the trip to Las Cruces. We want to see a lot of blue and orange in the stands that night.”
With kickoff less than eight weeks away, UTEP is setting its sights on what would be their first bowl game appearance since 2014. The Miners finished 3-5 during a shortened 2020 season.