Scipio Tex: 2020 UTEP Miners Game Preview

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UTEP beat SFA 24-14 last night and as spotty as the competition level was, it was American football. I was glad to see it, even if it was on ESPN Ocho and some of the footage was shot on Justin Wells’ Nokia flip phone.

Amazingly, every player on the field didn’t vaporize instantly into a viral cloud when the ball kicked off the way so many national sports media have been warning hoping. I’ll keep you posted if this happens.

SFA got out early with a 14-3 lead, but UTEP outscored the Jacks 21-0 down the stretch on the strength of some opportunistic turnovers, UTEP WR Jacob Cowing owning third down, and the late power running of RB Deion Hankins. The better team won, but SFA didn’t look that out of place against them.

Any Miner win, however minor, is a major victory as the Miners have been 2-34 over the last three years, 11-49 over the last five. Dana Dimel’s program has been moribund and while UTEP hasn’t seen winning seasons in a while, their losing seasons tended to be of the semi-respectable 5-7 variety, while fielding good individual players like Aaron Jones (Green Bay RB) or Will Hernandez (OG NY Giants) who you could judge individual Texas units and Longhorn players against.

As a general rule, when we play an outmatched opponent, I try to find individual players or units that represent challenges and focus on them as an evaluative tool.

We’ll see if we can find any of those guys in this preview. Get out your magnifying glass.

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