EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With just 12 days left until the start of the 2023 college football season, UTEP has ratcheted up its preparations for its Aug. 26 season opener.

Sixth-year head coach Dana Dimel said on Monday that the Miners had begun inserting their gameplan for the opener vs. Jacksonville State in earnest. UTEP spends some of fall camp on Jacksonville State, but scout team work really began on Monday.

“We’re still doing some fastball stuff against each other so we get the speed of the game,” said Dimel. “So it’s not all scout work but even we’re doing the fastball work we’re trying to simulate with our second team things that we do that Jacksonville State might also do.”

UTEP’ season opener is against a squad moving up from the FCS level to Conference USA for the first time in 2023. To an outsider, it may seem like a game the Miners would be heavily-favored in; however, UTEP is currently just a one-point road favorite over Rich Rodriguez’s squad.

Defensively, the Miners are getting ready for a fast-paced Jax State team that scored under 30 points just twice in 2022.

“Jacksonville State, we’ll definitely be flying around, it’ll be fast football,” said UTEP safety Kobe Hylton. “There’ll be a lot of bodies flying around, 11 hats to the football. It’s all about understanding scheme.”

UTEP and Jacksonville State will open the 2023 season on Aug. 26 in Alabama. The game will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. MT and air on the CBS Sports Network.