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Southern Miss vs. UTEP Prediction,
and Odds - 10-17-2020

Game Snapshot with Current Line

#167 University of Southern Mississippi
Golden Eagles -6.5
#168 University of Texas at El Paso
Miners 6.5

Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 9:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (1-3) will look to protect their place in the conference standings when they take on the UTEP Miners (3-2). The Golden Eagles are currently tied for third in the C-USA West, with a 1-1 conference record and a 1-3 overall record. The Miners are sixth in the conference, being 0-1 within the C-USA West and 3-2 overall. The last time these teams faced off was in September of last year, where the Eagles picked up a blowout 31-13 victory over the Miners.

(This game has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases in the Southern Miss program)

Eagles Back In Action After Postponed Game

Just as the Golden Eagles were starting to settle into a groove, they had to pump the breaks on their season. Last week, they were originally set to take on FAU following their first win of the season against North Texas. However, on Thursday, it was announced that the game would be postponed due to COVID-19 concerns on the Atlantic Owls’ side. This has given the Eagles a week of inactivity going into their game against the Miners. As mentioned, the last time the Eagles took the field was a success. They faced off against the Mean Green, and despite being the underdog, came out on top with a 41-31 victory.

In their game against North Texas, the Eagles totaled 437 yards, 235 rushing, and 202 passing. They had possession for over 35 minutes of the game and didn’t have a single fumble. Jack Abraham did throw an interception, though. He completed just under half of his throws, connecting on 16 of 30 attempts, and had a pair of passing touchdowns. Frank Gore Jr led the team in rushing yards. He had 130 yards across 23 carries and a single touchdown. Darius Maberry had 55 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Jason Brownlee led the team in receiving yards by far, with 110 yards across just four receptions. He also had a touchdown. Briggs Bourgeois completed two of three attempted field goals and all five extra-point attempts.

Miners Drop Their First Conference Game

The Miners finished 2019 with only a single win on their record, and a 0-8 conference record. That was just the latest in a long line of conference struggles, though. Since 2016, the team has only won three games within the C-USA, and have had two seasons where they didn’t pick up a single win within the conference. At the end of last season, they were the 12th worst team in the country when it came to total offensive yards, having just 3,950 yards. Their string of conference failures seems to be continuing in the 2020 season. They faced off against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on the road and, after battling back and forth all game, fell 21-17.

UTEP had just 266 total yards in their loss to the Bulldogs. 206 of those yards were from passing and the remaining 60 from rushing. Gavin Hardison, who has played in all five of the Miners’ games this season, completed 18 of 38 attempted passes. He had one passing touchdown and one interception, as well as a single carry where he lost eight yards. Deion Hankins led the team with 15 carries and 35 rushing yards. Duron Lowe scored the team’s only other touchdown on a 100-yard kickoff return. Gavin Baechle scored on his one attempted field goal, as well as getting both of the extra point opportunities for the Miners. As a whole, the team had four sacks, with 3.5 of them coming from Praise Amaewhule.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

The Miners have had struggles within their conference for years now, and it’s shaping up to be that way once again in the 2020 season. They didn’t make any major changes to their roster in the offseason and are essentially going into their game with the same structure that they had when they lost to the Eagles in 2019. For the past five years, the Eagles have come out on top when facing the Miners Across those five wins, all of them have been by at least 18 points, and usually a good deal more than that. The Golden Eagles are far from the best team in the country or even the conference, but they have more than enough skill to pick up their sixth consecutive win against the Miners.

Prediction: The Golden Eagles -4.5

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Full-Game Total Pick

So far this season, neither of these teams have been offensive juggernauts. The Miners have only managed a dismal 18 points per game, making them the sixth-worst in the country in that category. They’ve gone under in five of their last six games against each other. The Eagles are significantly better than them at 29 points per game, but that’s far from a chart-topping number. Historically, when facing each other, these teams average 32 points per game. This season, the Miners have gone under in four of their five games played. The Eagles have gone under in their past five road games, and in five of their last six games as the favorite.

Prediction: Under 55

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