The UTEP Miners stay in the state of Texas this week following a 36-34 win over Houston Baptist. A win over Houston Baptist, a team who have won just two games in the FCS the last two years, isn’t the best of wins. However, it’s UTEP’s first win at home since November of 2016, so that was reason to celebrate for the Miners. It also gave football fans in El Paso something to take their minds off the tragedy that occurred in their community.
UTEP were led by Treyvon Hughes on the ground. He romped for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns on 6.3 yards per carry. After watching the tape, the Houston Baptist tackling was atrocious and wouldn’t have been able to slow down a high offense. However, credit UTEP for getting the monkey off their back, having not won a home game since 2016. To get the win, UTEP needed to stop a late drive by Houston Baptist deep in Miners’ territory. HBU were flirting with the red zone before UTEP got a strip sack and turnover late in the contest.
The positive there is that UTEP got the win. On the flip side, that could very well be the only game that the Miners win this season. Looking at their schedule, they’re likely going to be underdogs in the vast majority of their remaining games. They don’t have the most difficult schedule, so it’s unlikely, but possible. At a minimum, UTEP should beat Rice in the final game of the regular season in El Paso.
Texas Tech got off to a hot start against Montana State at home. They had an FCS opponent in Week 1, but were able to throttle them for a 45-10 win. One of the most underrated quarterback, I think you’re going to find in 2019, Alan Bowman, led all passers in Week 1 with 436 passing yards. He could have had more, but the Red Raiders were gashing Montana State on the ground as well with Armand Shyne. Shyne rushed for 125 yards on a whopping 11.4 yards per carry. There wasn’t enough time for the ball to go around for everyone. Head below for our free UTEP vs. Texas Tech pick.
UTEP Miners vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders NCAAF Week 2 Betting Odds:
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UTEP vs. Texas Tech Pick:
Texas Tech are being passed over by pundits in large part because of the departure of Kliff Kingsbury. Remember, Kingsbury didn’t resign from Texas Tech and go to the NFL, he was fired from his job as head coach at Texas Tech. That’s often lost in translation. Kingsbury had a phobia to playing defense, and his firing was a direct result of not fielding a competitive defense.
Matt Wells, who was responsible from taking Utah State from a nobody to a recognizable name, will emphasize defense with this team. Utah State were known for their underrated defense, and he’s likely going to turn Texas Tech into a respectable defense as well.
Also, a huge blow to Kingsbury with the Red Raiders last season was the injury to Alan Bowman. Bowman suffered a collapsed lung after throwing darts as a freshman. When he exited, Bowman had 17 touchdowns and 7 interceptions on 69.4% completions in his first season of college. The QB situation was certainly rocky for Texas Tech after that. Jett Duffey, who is currently third on the depth chart, started games for the Red Raiders with mixed results.
Wells has a healthy Bowman to work with and he isn’t changing anything up with the offensive scheme. The Red Raiders are going fast as ever, getting off as many plays as they can possibly run. They ran a staggering 95 plays against Montana State in Week 1. Bowman is going to have the UTEP defense on edge, as the Miners have to go from 0 to 100 against one of the worst teams in the FCS to one of the fastest offenses in the FBS.
UTEP’s offense is going to be largely predictable with the option game between QB Brandon Jones and runner Treyvon Hughes. Jones is not much of a passer. He struggled against a bad FCS defense last week, converting just half of his passes on 10-of-20 passing. He rushed for 33 yards for a touchdown on the ground, but he isn’t a burner either. Hughes is the guy the Tech defense must be aware of most of all.
Kingsbury didn’t leave the cupboard empty for Wells defensively. Their greatest strength is along with defensive line with Broderick Washington. He’s fast and strong in the middle, and is likely going to overwhelm the UTEP offensive line here. Expect plenty of plays to go backwards for the Miners in this one.
Texas Tech may not have a defense to compete with an offense like Oklahoma yet, but this should be easy for them against UTEP. The option shouldn’t fool the Red Raiders here. If Texas Tech want to, they can name the score in this game. UTEP are a bottom 5 team in the FBS who aren’t by any means ready to compete with Texas Tech. 52-14 looks about right, which would be enough for the cover of 34.