EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – After improving to 2-1 for the first time since 2011 over the weekend, UTEP received even more good news on Monday.
Starting running back Deion Hankins is feeling a lot better after missing Saturday’s game against Abilene Christian with a leg injury. Hankins’ injury was just a bruise according to head coach Dana Dimel and he expects the Parkland graduate to play this week at UL-Monroe.
Hankins’ presence in the lineup is big for UTEP. Monroe has struggled to stop the run so far this season and perhaps the Miners can get something going on the ground. The Warhawks are 0-2 on the season, and even though UTEP is currently an 8.5 Point underdog, it looks like a great chance for the Miners to get another win.
Dimel thinks the experience they’ve gained pulling off two close wins already this year could help them against UL-Monroe.
“We just have to keep improving. The style of football we’re playing right now, we’re just trying to win football games,” Dimel said. “We’re not playing to get in shootouts, that’s not what we’re doing right now. We’re just try to play good, sound football, and we did that for two weeks. The kids got a feel of what that tastes like and it’s good for them.”
Elsewhere on the injury front, Dimel said defensive lineman Josh Ortega will miss several weeks of action after undergoing surgery.
UTEP is looking to start the season 3-1 for the first time since 2010. Kickoff on Saturday in Monroe, LA, is set for 1:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU.