UTEP Miners 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 27, 2021
Record – 3-5
ATS – 5-3
The Miners cobbled together THREE (!) wins after managing a measly TWO combined wins from 2017 to 2019. Ok. Ok. Their victories came over real TOMATO CANS (SF Austin, Abilene Christian, ULM) but they were pretty competitive all year. They dropped their final four contests but only one of those was by more than 10 points. Are they capable of causing problems in 2021? Let’s check in with the team.
UTEP Miners 2021 Outlook
It wasn’t SEXY but it’s important to note that the Miners improved their output in terms of scoring, total yardage, rushing yards, and passing yards for the THIRD consecutive season. That’s a FACT CHECK TRUE. Starting QB Gavin Hardison and his LASER ROCKET ARM returns this year and needs to be more efficient (54%, 5-5 TD to INT LY). The upside is there. #1 RB Deion Hankins is back (592, 9 TD) and note that Quardriaz Wadley led the team in rushing in 2018. The WR group is underrated as the top-three return including 1st Team C-USA honoree Jacob Cowing (691, 16.9, 3 TD). UTEP only allowed 12 sacks LY (#3 C-USA sacks allowed per game) and return over 100 starts on the offensive line. We project another move forward for the offense in 2021.
The Miners made good strides LY and allowed 50 fewer YPG (381, #46 FBS) than they did in 2019. They were particularly strong vs the run (140 YPG, #3 C-USA) but struggled vs the pass (LAST C-USA pass eff D, 19-2 TD to INT). It didn’t help that they only managed to book 13 sacks in 8G. Two of their top-five tacklers depart including LB Stephen Forester (3rd Team C-USA) so that’s not ideal. The DL is the likely the strength of the defense and they’re pretty strong at DT (Kelton Miss, Kennan Stewart). DE PRAISE Amaewhule was a 2nd Team C-USA honoree LY (7 sacks ! LY). It’s uncertain what kind of talent that have in the secondary and recall that they only picked off two passes in 2020.
The only bright spot appears to be KR Walter Dawn (27.7). PK Gavin Baechle hit just 5/9 FGA LY.
Overall – The only unwinnable game in the first five is the nasty road trip to Boise St. Getting Old Dominion out of the East is a nice bonus.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous is noted.
Season Win Total
Per 5Dimes July 27
Over 3 +130
Under 3 -150
update August 22
Over 3 -130
Under 3 +110
They can probably get to three wins without even pulling a major upset. Seems like a decent play.
UTEP football began as the State College of Mines and Metallurgy in 1914.
The Miners finally showed some life for Dana Dimel last year and that could mean the start of a slow grind back to competitiveness. The offense might not be that bad, particularly the ground game, but the defense still has some yuuuuge holes. They should be competitive in several games and have a PUNCHER’S CHANCE of bagging 5-6 wins. #PicksUp !
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