The UTEP Miners (2-1) are set to take on the UL Monroe Warhawks (0-2) on Saturday afternoon. This will be an interconference battle, between the Sunbelt and the C-USA. At the end of last season, the Miners were in a dismal position. They finished last in the C-USA West, going 0-8 within their conference and 1-11 overall. The Warhawks were much better off. Within the Sunbelt West, they were in third place with a 4-4 conference record and a 5-7 overall record. This will be the first time that these teams have ever faced off against each other.
Miners Bounce Back After Blowout LossThe Miners had a rough go of things in their second game of the season. In a 59-3 loss, they looked like the team that has only managed three conference wins since 2016. In that loss, they only managed 43 rushing yards. Since then, they’ve played one game, and while it was far from a rousing success, it was much better than what they managed in their second contest of the year. Last weekend, the Miners hosted the Abilene Christian Wildcats and came out with a 17-13 victory. In that game, the team totaled 293 yards. They had 195 passing yards, and more than doubled their rushing yards from last game with 98.
UTEP would only score three times in their game against the Wildcats. They’d first get on the board when Gavin Baechle kicked in a 27-yard field goal to put a dent in the seven-point lead that the Wildcats had in the second quarter. Baechle would also get the extra points on the two touchdowns scored that night. That was soon followed by a touchdown scored by Josh Fields. The Miners didn’t score again until the fourth quarter, where Ronald Awatt gave his team the final push they needed to knock off the Wildcats. Quarterback Gavin Hardison threw 195 yards during the game and connected on 15 of 25 attempted passes.
Warhawks Still Searching For First WinAfter finishing in a middling position in 2019, and having a bowl opportunity just barely slip through their fingers, the Warhawks were expected to be a hungry team out of the gate. They had almost tasted a postseason opportunity for the first time since 2012 and lost it by a single point. However, so far in the two games that the team has played, they’ve been blown out. Game two of the season was significantly better than their 30 point loss in the season opener, but it still was far from good. UL Monroe faced off against a division rival in the Texas State Bobcats and dropped the game with a final score of 38-17.
The Warhawks ran a total of 444 yards in their game against the Bobcats. Only 67 of those yards were rushing, though. The remaining 377 were passing yards. UL Monroe first got on the board in the closing minutes of the first quarter. Jevin Frett caught a 20-yard pass to tie the game up for the first and only time. The Warhawks scored again in the final minutes of the second quarter when Chandler Whitfield scored to cut into the 17 points lead the Bobcats had at the time. The last time that the Warhawks got anything on the board was a field goal in the third quarter. It was kicked by Davis Hughes, who also got the extra points on the previous two touchdowns. Colby Suits completed 35 of his attempted 53 passes and threw one interception in the game. He also accounted for 6 of the team's rushing yards.
- The Warhawks were 4-2-0 after a loss in 2019.
- The Warhawks were 3-0-0 as the home favorite in 2019.
- The Miners were 0-11-0 as the underdog in 2019.
- The Miners were 0-6-0 on the road in 2019.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Warhawks have yet to win a game this season, but if they’re going to win against anyone, it’s going to be the Miners. UTEP has been catastrophically bad for the past few years, and 2019 was one of their roughest. With only one win in the entire season, they failed against opponents of all skill levels. They didn’t make any huge offseason changes to address their issues, and with the lack of spring and preseason practicing due to COVID-19 concerns, it’s unlikely that they’ve had much rigorous training to get their team on track. They’ve had two extremely narrow victories so far this season, but with their record, it seems like it's only a matter of time before they crash and burn.
Prediction: UL Monroe Warhawks
Full-Game Total Pick
Neither of these teams has managed to score more than 25 points in a single game all season. The Miners’ highest-scoring game has been 24 points, while the Warhawks have only managed 17. This has earned them an abysmally low points per game, with UTEP getting 14.7 and UL Monroe getting 12. Both of these teams have also had a game end in a single-digit result for them. Neither of these teams are able to score much, even in victory. When pitted against each other, it’s extremely unlikely for their game to be anything but a low offense contest.