EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP suffered a brutal 28-7 defeat to rival New Mexico State in the 100th edition of the Battle of I-10 last Wednesday at the Sun Bowl.

That has left UTEP with a 2-6 overall record with four games left in the season. UTEP will now need to win out the rest of the season in order for a bowl game berth, which was UTEP’s big goal heading into the 2023 season.

It’s not impossible as North Texas went to a bowl game after a 1-5 start to its season two years ago. The only thing is UTEP has not shown many signs of life with a bevy of injuries still plaguing the team. The odds are totally against the Miners but a win against an 0-7 Sam Houston team on Wednesday night can propel them in the right direction.

“Something that we said that was one of our top goals and now we put ourselves with our backs against the wall with four wins in a row,” UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said. “But if you look at it like that, it becomes a bit consuming, so you do not want to have that right now as you try to get yourself back on track.”

“You have to make sure you do every little last thing you can in order to put your best football out on the field so that’s the goal for this week,” UTEP quarterback Cade McConnell said. “We know our backs are up against the wall for this bowl game goal. We are going to do everything we can to beat Sam Houston and win the rest of the games after that.”

UTEP is currently listed as 3.5-point underdogs against Sam Houston. UTEP and Sam Houston will go head-to-head in a Conference USA clash on Wednesday at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:00 p.m. MT and the game will air on ESPN2.