EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Week 10 of the college football regular season is here. UTEP and New Mexico State enter this week on totally opposite sides of the spectrum. Here’s a look at where both programs sit as the end of the regular season nears.
UTEP (3-6, 2-3 Conference USA) has struggled mightily in so far this season. That has led UTEP to be put in a situation where its backs are against the wall. UTEP has three games left in the regular season and will need to win all of them if the Miners want to accomplish their goal of a bowl game berth.
UTEP did get a momentum boost after it picked up a win on the road against an 0-7 Sam Houston team last Wednesday. But that was just one win, and the Miners need to do those three more times and twice against teams that sit above UTEP in the CUSA standings heading into Week 10.
“Now we found ourselves and we are doing some really good things and we’re finding the nucleus on how we can win games,” UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said. “We’re playing well together in all three units and these guys are really fighting.”
“Football is a lot about confidence and momentum, so when you get wins like this and you start getting really good drives or you put up, you know, 37 points, it’s just going to keep uplifting a team to hopefully go in win the next three.” UTEP quarterback Cade McConnell said.”
UTEP will need to go a perfect 3-0 to finish the regular season for a bowl game berth but finishing the season strong is something the Miners have struggled with under the direction of head coach Dana Dimel.
In 2018 and 2019, UTEP went 0-3 in its last three contests. In 2020, UTEP had two of its last three games of the season cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, UTEP finished the regular season, excluding the bowl game, went 1-2. In 2022, UTEP again went 1-2 in the final three contests of the game. UTEP’s final game that season was at UTSA. In that game, UTSA came back from a 24-point deficit and beat UTEP, 34-31. That game cost UTEP its ticket to a bowl game.
Up next for UTEP is a game against Western Kentucky (4-4, 2-2 CUSA) on Saturday at the Sun Bowl. WKU was listed as 11-point favorites as of Sunday night.
New Mexico State
New Mexico State (6-3, 4-1 CUSA) is currently playing some of its best football and is one of the top teams in CUSA.
New Mexico State is one win away from clinching a ticket to a bowl game for the second year in a row under head coach Jerry Kill.
New Mexico State is also in the running for a chance to play for the conference championship in its inaugural season in Conference USA. The Aggies’ 4-1 league record has them sitting in third place in the CUSA standings heading into Week 10.
Sitting above NMSU in second place is fellow CUSA newcomer Jacksonville State. Jax State is not eligible for the CUSA championship game this year because of its FCS to FBS transition. That puts New Mexico State in a pretty good spot to compete for the opportunity to play in the conference championship game if the Aggies keep winning.
Up next, New Mexico State will host Middle Tennessee in another CUSA clash at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday. NMSU is listed as three-point favorites as of Sunday night.