Start Time: 6 p.m. MT
TV: ESPN 3
Odds: New Mexico State is favored by 18 points!
Series History: Saturday will be the 95th meeting between NMSU and UTEP. The Miners have a 57-35-2 lead in the series and currently hold an eight game winning streak, the longest ever between the two schools.
New Mexico State
The New Mexico State Aggies enter Saturday’s rivalry game coming off a close 27-24 loss to Sun Belt rival Troy that saw them erase a big deficit but still come up short.
Despite the loss, the team showed that they are much improved and can play with anyone. In fact, Troy’s coach Neal Brown called the Aggies “a bowl team” after the win.
Quarterback Tyler Rogers had his best statistical game of the season, completing 32 passes on 45 attempts for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Rogers is quickly making his case for Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year as he leads the conference in most quarterback statistical categories. Look for Rogers to be throwing the ball all over the UTEP defense at home.
On the defensive side of the ball, safety Jaden Wright will be back in action Saturday after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. Wright will provide some leadership and experience for a defense which has shown amazing improvement since last year.
Head Coach Doug Martin says he thinks UTEP will try to return to the power running game after firing their offensive coordinator this week, so having a senior safety back will be huge if things ever get past our linebackers.
I expect Tyler Rogers, Larry Rose III and all the seniors to have a big game against the slumping Miners. And in some sweet uniforms I might add.
While the Miners are 0-3, two of their losses have come to Arizona and Oklahoma. They did however, get beat by a pretty bad Rice team at home 31-14. They are still under the direction of Sean Kugler.
UTEP’s offense has been pretty poor, only rushing for 116 yards total (38.7 per game). Brian Natkin (tight ends coach) was named the new offensive coordinator this week as a result.
Despite the poor numbers, the Miners have scored a touchdown on every red zone drive they’ve had while only turning the ball over four times.
Even with the positive stats, I think the Miners will still struggle to move the ball throughout the game. I would expect some new plays or trick plays to be brought out but I don’t think they will have enough in the tank to pull out a win.
Let me just start out by saying, I DO NOT LIKE THIS TEAM. The fact that they have beaten the Aggies eight years in a row drives me insane.
But that ends today.
The Aggies defense may struggle early as the new offense shows a few new plays but settles down and holds the Miners late.
I expect Larry Rose III to have a breakout game soon and there really is no better team to do that against than the Miners. Tyler Rogers will have another fantastic game and lead the team to a win in the I-10 rivalry for the first time in eight years.
Get ready for a battle. These guys hate each other.
Aggies 45, Miners 28