UTEP Miners vs. New Mexico Lobos
University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Saturday, September 17, 2022, 6:00 p.m. MT
The game will be broadcast online on the Mountain West Network, in Albuquerque it will be on MY 50TV. On radio, it will air on the Lobo Sports Radio Network, 96.3 FM/770 AM in Albuquerque.
New Mexico leads the series 43-33-3. Last season, the Miners won by a 20-13 final in El Paso after the Lobos squandered a 13-3 halftime lead.
The New Mexico Lobos will be looking to get back on track when they host the UTEP Miners on Saturday night inside Albuquerque College Stadium.
The Lobos enter the contest with a 1-1 record after a 31-14 loss to Boise State last Friday night.
The Miners are 1-2 this season. Last week, the Miners earned their first win of the season by beating New Mexico State 20-13. UTEP lost to Oklahoma and North Texas this season.
New Mexico will be looking to throw the ball a ton at the Miners’ suspect point defense.
Over three games, UTEP averaged 203 yards per game on the ground. Last week against New Mexico State, the Miners gave up 187 rushing yards.
Expect a heavy dose of Nathaniel Jones and Sherod White tonight for New Mexico.
Miles Kendrick didn’t have time to spend last week against Boise State, tonight should be a different story. Expect plenty of short runs and the occasional deep shot to try to widen the ground for the UNM.
The Lobos defense plays like the defenses of Rocky Long’s first coaching era.
New Mexico has given up just 81 average rushing yards so far this season and has five sacks in its two games this season.
The Lobos will continue to blitz the opposition’s snot. Disguises and blitzes from anywhere should confuse minor offense.
What to expect from UTEP:
The Miners rely heavily on their passing game. Averaging 245 yards per game through the air this season, UTEP throws the ball almost 60% of the time on offense.
That passing number should test UNM, but could also play into the hands of the Lobos with the passing rush they apply.
Tyrin Smith and Reynaldo Flores are UTEP’s top two receivers this season. Smith has 20 receptions and Flores has 19 this year. The next closest receiver has seven catches on the year.
Gavin Hardison is the UTEP signal caller that Lobo fans will get used to hearing and seeing tonight. He’s completed just over 51% of his passes this season for 703 yards and two touchdowns. Hardison handles the ball well, having no interceptions and only one fumble loss this season.
Final thoughts and prediction:
The Lobos defense looked really solid against Boise State last week, the offense not so much. Right now, the Lobos are a 2 ½ point underdog to the Miners. I find that really odd considering UTEP has struggled in every game this season, including against a bad team from New Mexico State last week.
Not only would I take the Lobos to cover in this one, but I’m also expecting them for the outright victory. The New Mexico defense is playing too well to be set on fire in the air, and the ground game for UNM should dominate. I like that the Lobos win, 27-10.