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

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
NBA
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
MIL
7:00pm Tonight
IND
NYK
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
2nd
PROV 60
DEP 47
 
6:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MSU
7:00pm Tonight
ARMY
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RFLSH
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
CHAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
CCST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
COC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMASS
DAY
7:00pm Tonight
FUR
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
FIU
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
FD
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHAR
FATL
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
MD
7:00pm Tonight
Terriers
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAGN
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
STLU
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
VMI
WCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LATU
WKENT
7:00pm Tonight
UNCG
WOFF
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
GSOUT
APP
 
7:30pm Tonight
TENNM
EILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
GHND
HC
 
8:00pm Tonight
CIN
UCONN
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
MAST
 
8:00pm Tonight
UWMIL
ILLCH
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
JVST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
MARS
8:00pm Tonight
TXSA
MTST
8:00pm Tonight
PETE
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SEMIZ
SIUE
 
8:00pm Tonight
TENST
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
WEBER
 
8:05pm Tonight
SALA
LALAF
 
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
UGST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKST
ARKLR
 
8:30pm Tonight
TROY
LAMON
 
9:00pm Tonight
MURST
EKENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
IDST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
KENT
9:00pm Tonight
GONZ
PORT
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
UAB
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
UMKC
 
9:05pm Tonight
WLVRN
CHIST
 
9:30pm Tonight
USC
COL
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
HAW
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PEPP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
SCU
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UCSB
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
UTAH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
MONT
 
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
MNTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSFU
LBSU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GAELS
LMU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
CAL
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
USF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
MON
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
ARI
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CLB
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
DAL
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
DET
8:00pm Tonight
STL
NAS
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
MIN
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
BUF
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
ANA