Arizona vs. UTEP, 9-15-2017 - Pick and Prediction
Written by: Brian Spaen
Arizona Wildcats (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
vs UTEP Miners (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
When: Friday, Sep 15th, 10:15 PM ET
Line: Arizona -20
TV/Live Stream: ESPN, WatchESPN
Both Arizona and Texas-El Paso are hoping to rebound after difficult home losses. The Wildcats never found their rhythm against Houston and lost in a low-scoring battle. After getting pummeled by Oklahoma, UTEP got pounded by Rice 31-14.
Dawkins struggles at home with fumbles, inefficient passing
The Wildcats were down 17-10 at halftime and struggled to get anything going in the second half. They had a few field goals, but Houston’s safety held them above and they finished with a 19-16 victory. Quarterback Brandon Dawkins should be tagged with the loss as he struggled passing the ball efficiently. He completed 17-of-29 passes for 178 yards and didn’t throw a touchdown. He also fumbled the ball twice and lost it once. Zach Green rushed a TD in and finished with five carries for 15 yards. J.J. Taylor led running backs with 17 carries for 87 yards. No one receiver stood out in the pack, but Shun Brown led everyone with 79 yards on four catches.
Arizona wasn’t necessarily bad — they converted 8-of-17 third downs and had 371 total yards that featured a balanced passing attack. Houston even struggled on penalties committing 10 of them for 110 yards. It didn’t help that the defense allowed Houston to complete 25-of-32 passes.
UTEP has alarming defeat in home opener
The Miners couldn’t get on the board until the second half, and by then most of the hope was over. For a second straight week, the offense was dismal and posted just 229 total yards. They recorded 12 first downs, went 4-for-14 on third down conversions, and had just 26 rushing yards. Quarterback Ryan Metz completed just 18-of-33 passes for 203 yards and did have a touchdown. That TD was caught by Warren Redix; his only catch of the game was the 44-yard score. Kavika Johnson led the team with 67 yards on 6 receptions.
Running back Walter Dawn led the team with 24 yards on 9 carries. Kevin Dove had 19 yards on seven carries, but also coughed up a fumble. It’s a defeat quite stunning for UTEP, considering Rice was steamrolled by Stanford in Australia two weeks ago. It shows that the program may end up having quite the long season if their offense can’t seem to get on the same page.
- 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games on Friday
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games
- 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games following a double-digit loss at home
The Miners don’t look like a strong C-USA contender, let alone taking on a Power Five team at home. The Wildcats may struggle this season, but they should take this game easily.
Pick: Arizona -20
Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.
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