The North Texas Mean Green and UTEP Miners were supposed to wrap up the regular season in El Paso. However, because of the explosion of Covid-19 cases, the game has been moved to Denton, Texas at North Texas. El Paso has been hit particularly hard, and it has directly impacted the UTEP football program.
Fortunately, there hasn’t been a huge outbreak within the Miners’ roster. It was pretty well impossible to avoid the virus getting to some of their players, though. Their game against Rice was recently cancelled because of 11 positive tests. Luckily it stopped there, and UTEP didn’t have the entire team sick.
UTEP returned negative tests this week, so this game is currently on against North Texas. If something changes in the morning with additional testing, then things might change, but as of now, North Texas and UTEP are playing football. The Miners are looking to get to .500 on the season before closing the door on this dysfunctional campaign.
They along with many other teams just want to get things over with. That’s not to say the Miners have been terrible this season. They’ve had some really bad teams over the last couple of decades at UTEP. The last three years were horrid for UTEP. They finished with a record of 0-12, 1-11, and 1-11.
Despite playing 12 games then and seven games this season, the Miners have already surpassed their win total from the last three seasons, and they still have one more game to go. A 4-4 season wouldn’t be a success for the Miners all things considered. Their last bowl was the New Mexico Bowl in 2014, and they continue along this trajectory next season, UTEP might be bowling for the first time since then.
North Texas heads into this contest with a record of 3-5. It has been an up and down season for them. At times their offense has looked unstoppable, but their defense has been vulnerable. And even then, the offense has been a bit inconsistent. If this was a normal season, perhaps they could have gotten into more of a groove. In any case, the Mean Green can be dangerous offensively. Head below for our free North Texas vs. UTEP pick for December 11, 2020.
UTEP Miners vs. North Texas Mean Green NCAAF Betting Odds:
UTEP vs. North Texas Prediction:
North Texas can move the ball efficiently on defenses, especially on the ground between DeAndre Torrey and Oscar Adaway in the backfield. They are a load to stop when Torrey and Adaway get running downfield. Torrey has gained 636 yards and 6 touchdowns on 5.9 yards a carry, while Adaway has helped out with 410 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7.1 yards a carry. They’ve combined to help lead North Texas to 518 yards per game, which has them near the top of the FBS for eighth with regard to yards per game.
North Texas had a two-quarterback system earlier in the season. For much of the season, it was just one long quarterback competition. Jason Bean, who is more of a dual-threat and home run hitter, ultimately emerged as the full-time starter. Bean has passed for 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 53.7% completion.
The sophomore has to learn to put a little more touch on his balls, but he appears to be going in the right direction for next season. Bean has also carried the ball for 343 yards and 5 touchdowns on 42 carries. With Torrey and Adaway in the backfield, the QB option works well for the Mean Green.
The offense has been competitive, but it’s been tough to win games when the defense never helps out. When the offense has an off day, the defense never seems to pull their weight and win a game for once. Note that the Mean Green are next to last in yards conceded. Only Ole Miss in the FBS has given up more yards than North Texas.
They’ve also allowed over 40 points a game, so a winning season is impossible with that kind of defense. The Mean Green have allowed 91 points in the last two weeks. UTEP has leaned on running back Deion Hawkins recently and he’s delivered. Hawkins 119 yards and a score on 6.6 yards per carry against Charlotte, and then was strong versus 74 yards and a score on 4.6 yards per carry against UTSA.
Hawkins has gained 493 yards and 7 touchdowns on 5 yards per carry through six games. This should be a simple assignment for him on Friday night. If UTEP pulls off the upset, it will happen on the back of Hawkins running the ball. North Texas has been gashed for 236.4 rushing yards per game, so it’s possible Hawkins carries all of the weight for the Miners. There should be points up on the board in this one, with the OVER worth consideration.