UTSA Presents Golden Opportunity for UTEP to Snap Losing Streak
Since 1914, no UTEP football team has ever encountered a losing streak like this. The number is now a record 16 games and it could grow to a much larger total if UTSA wins tomorrow night. Although NMSU presented the best chance for the Miners to break the streak last weekend, UTEP's costly turnovers negated a dominant offensive performance in time of possession and total yards. UTEP fans have seen games like NMSU dozens of times over the years with the same kind of result. However, the team has an opportunity to end the streak if they can play mistake-free football against the Roadrunners.
UTSA won their first game of the season last week against Texas State, 25-21. Their prior three losses were to Power 5 schools Kansas State, Baylor, and Arizona State. Like the Miners, the Roadrunners have struggled in the passing game and they average just 164.8 yards per contest. Their rushing game has not been much better, since they average less than 100 yards on the ground. UTSA has been outscored 83-13 in the second and third quarters this season. Even in their win against the Bobcats last week, the Roadrunners totaled just 272 yards on 76 offensive plays, an average of 3.6 yards per play.
In their last five meetings between UTEP and UTSA, the road team has won each time. Two years ago, the Miners were victorious 52-49 in five overtimes, a game that will go down as one of the wildest finishes in school history. In that game, Ryan Metz threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns without an interception, while Aaron Jones had 113 yards rushing. Metz is now a backup for Kai Locksley, while Quadraiz Wadley is the Miners new lead running back. UTEP has struggled offensively through the first three games, but they did rack up 429 yards of total offense on 80 plays against the Aggies. If their offense picks up where they left off last Saturday night without turning the ball over in costly situations, the school record losing streak should finally come to an end.
Looking ahead, UTEP has three tough conference matchups after the UTSA game. North Texas, Louisiana Tech, and UAB will all be huge favorites against the Miners and they will not have another good chance to win again until they meet Rice on the road November 3rd. If Coach Dana Dimel and his staff can get that first win tomorrow in San Antonio, it will finally take the pressure off of his team and give fans a chance to celebrate the end of their 671-day losing streak.