banner

College Football

more stats

31
Final 1234Score
Texas-El Paso14100731
New Mexico7014324
Preview | Matchup | Log | Wrap | Box
24


Texas-El Paso (0-0) at New Mexico (0-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, August 30, 8:00 p.m. (ET).

FACTS & STATS: Site: University Stadium (39,224) -- Albuquerque, New Mexico. Television: Mountain West Network. Home Record: UTEP 0-0, UNM 0-0. Away Record: UTEP 0-0, UNM 0-0. Neutral Record: UTEP 0-0, UNM 0-0. Conference Record: UTEP 0-0, UNM 0-0. Series Record: New Mexico leads, 43-31-3.

GAME NOTES: A couple of teams resume a heated rivalry to kick off the 2014 campaign, as the New Mexico Lobos host the Miners of Texas-El Paso at University Stadium on Saturday night.

Both of these squads are coming off disappointing 2013 seasons, with the Lobos winning only three of their 12 dates, and UTEP finishing a mere 2-10, including a mark of 1-7 in Conference USA action which left the Miners, under then first-year head coach Sean Kugler, last in the West Division standings.

Under the direction of third-year head coach Bob Davie the Lobos, who were fifth in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference at 1-6, are expecting to make some improvements this season even though the schedule doesn't necessarily play out in their favor.

Coach Kugler heads a program that has a season-opening record of 41-50-5, but in season openers played on the road, the Miners are a mere 9-31-2, although they have won two of their last three road openers after suffering a 12-game slide in such affairs.

As far as the all-time series is concerned, the Lobos are ahead by a count of 43-31-3, and won the most recent meeting last season in overtime, 42-35, on the road. New Mexico has been the season-opening opponent for the Miners six times previously, with the teams evenly splitting those meetings.

One of 17 schools to return their entire coaching staff from 2013, UTEP may have some consistency in that department, but it really only matters how that translates to the action on the field.

Although he is coming off a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the final five games of 2013, quarterback Jameill Showers is ready to get back under center for the Miners. The signal caller, who previously played at Texas A&M, has completed just over 58 percent of his passes for 1,622 yards and 13 touchdowns in 18 career outings.

Like Showers, the running back position also has a couple of injured players on the mend and preparing to make an impact. Nathan Jeffery and Aaron Jones accounted for 61 percent of UTEP's rushing, producing a combined 1,343 yards and nine touchdowns. Because of the injuries to key players, UTEP generated only 347.9 ypg last season, 103rd in the country.

On the defensive side of the ball, there are many aspects that need to be addressed, not the least of which is the pass efficiency defense which had a value of 169.62, ranking them near the bottom of the FBS. Because opponents could readily attack over the top, the Miners were charged with permitting 39.3 ppg (115th in the nation in 2013). The secondary brings back as many as nine players who saw action last year and while that could be seen as a positive, it also means that there is still much work to be done in that area.

The linebackers appear to be much more stable for the Miners, with Anthony Puente, Trey Brown, Jimmy Musgrave and Alvin Jones prepared to patrol the middle of the field.

Like the secondary, the defensive line is also a work in progress with youth (Gino Bresolin and Nick Usher) and upperclassmen (Maurice Chavis) who have little experience since joining UTEP.

Cole Gautsche appeared in only nine games at quarterback last season, throwing for 639 yards and seven touchdowns, but he completed a mere 44.9 percent of his attempts, and yet he is still considered the starter for the Miners this season.

The team will be trying to make a more concerted effort to get the passing attack off the ground this season, after placing 11th in the conference and 120th nationally with a woeful 113.0 ypg through the air. Jeric Magnant tied for the team lead with 19 catches, leading to 294 yards, matching Marquis Bundy who turned his receptions into 261 yards and a couple of TDs.

Carlos Wiggins, who posted 13 catches for 163 yards and two scores, was much like everyone else on offense that simply watched the rushing attack bull its way to 308.0 ypg and 40 touchdowns. However, this year the team no longer has Kasey Carrier (1,122 yards, nine TDs) to shoulder the load in that department and instead will be breaking in David Anaya (11 carries, 110 yards), while leaning on Jhurell Pressley and Teriyon Gipson who combined for 11 TDs in 2013.

The Lobos have quite a bit to work on defensively this season. The team ranked last in the MWC and 118th nationally with a staggering 42.8 ppg allowed a year ago, and much of that had to do with the fact that the run defense was almost non-existent. The squad was 11th in the league and 120th in the country with 257.2 ypg allowed on the ground, so for as well as the Lobos themselves ran the ball, the defense simply turned around and gave it all back.

The unit has a pair of returning starters at linebacker in Dakota Cox and Javarie Johnson, the former being the top overall tackler for the squad a year ago after making 99 stops. However, for as much action as Cox saw, very little of his play involved signature stops of any kind. In fact, Cox had just a single tackle for loss and only one pass breakup.

Luckily, the group also brings back Brett Bowers, the defensive end who in just 11 games led the Lobos in tackles for loss (9.0), sacks (6.0) and forced fumbles (three).

Even though the Miners have gotten better in road openers over the last few years and the team has revenge from last season as a motivating factor, this is one of the games that UNM has penciled in as a victory this year and it would be a waste to let that opportunity slip away.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico 33, Texas-El Paso 24

08/29 15:22:55 ET

Other Stories

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Duke vs. Furman

    Tonight at 5:00 on 620am

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Tonight at 7:00 on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
1st
UNC 20
BUT 16
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
1st
UNC 20
BUT 16
 
1st
FRES 13
MAR 20
 
1st
CHAT 14
RMU 13
 
1st
EMICH 19
ROCH 5
 
1:30pm Today
MRGST
LIB
 
2:00pm Today
HAMP
AMER
 
2:00pm Today
BEL
DEN
2:00pm Today
UMASS
NE
2:00pm Today
JMU
SHU
 
2:00pm Today
KNST
SAMF
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
2:30pm Today
CHAM
MIZZ
2:30pm Today
OKLA
UCLA
2:30pm Today
CCAR
LAMON
4:00pm Today
ELON
UNF
 
4:00pm Today
UWMIL
ORU
 
4:30pm Today
WCU
CHIST
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
5:00pm Tonight
BYU
PURD
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
USF
7:00pm Tonight
COL
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
CAMP
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
CLST
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
DAVID
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
UGST
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
GOUCHER
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWU
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
PSUHARRIS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
STJ
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
TRINBAPT
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UMKC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UAB
WISC
7:30pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL