- How Texas Wins
If past history is any indication of this weekend’s outcome, the Miners are in a lot of trouble. In the previous two matchups between the teams, Texas has outscored UTEP 106-20. Overall, the Miners have never notched a victory against the Longhorns.
The Miners will likely remain winless in the series after this weekend’s matchup. Texas wins if they go out, execute their game plan and exploit the many mismatches on the field.
Last week, Buechele made good work of the Notre Dame secondary, finding success throwing the ball down the field. This week, the Longhorns will be passing against a much less formidable secondary, one that features two inexperienced corners. If Buechele and his receivers play like they did last week, they should have no problem putting points on the board.
Part of the reason for the Longhorns’ win against Notre Dame, was their balanced attack offensively. Just like last week, Texas will win if they can support the passing game with a solid effort on the ground. The strength of the UTEP defense is its front seven, but they won’t see a tandem like junior running back D’Onta Foreman and sophomore running back Chris Warren all year. Throw in senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, who terrorized the Irish on the ground, and UTEP is going to have their hands full.
Offensively, Texas should be too much for UTEP to handle, and if that is the case it should lead to a Longhorn win.
How Texas Loses
The Miner offense was unstoppable in their first matchup of the season against New Mexico State. UTEP amassed 518 yards of offense and nearly rushed for 300 yards on the ground. Junior running back Aaron Jones had a career day on the ground, juking past defenders on his way to 249 yards and two touchdowns.
Another monster effort by Jones might be the only way that UTEP pulls out a win against the Longhorns. Texas was susceptible to Notre Dame against the run, surrendering 206 yards on the grounds. Jones is an elusive back in the same build as Notre Dame’s senior running back Tarean Folston, and could potentially cause some problems for the Longhorn defense.
The Miner’s main objective should be keeping Shane Buechele and the Longhorns offense off of the field. If UTEP can rush for upwards of 250 yards, and control the clock, they’ll at least have a shot at reaching that objective. The last thing the Miners want is a shootout in Austin.
UTEP has a very small margin of error in this game, and the turnover battle becomes very important. The Miners cannot afford to cough the ball up at all during this game. And on defense, they have to be as opportunistic as possible.
Ultimately, UTEP wins if they play mistake-free football and explode on the ground.