Coming off 30-3 victory against NMSU, Miners prep to take on Bethune Cookman

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Photo by Alberto Silva

Danny Lopez, Staff Reporter

The Miners 1-0 will host Bethune-Cookman University Saturday, Sept. 4, after a 30-3 victory against the New Mexico State Aggies. 

The offense for the Miners took a step forward and showed even more signs of improvement from last season. The defense also stepped up to the occasion, stymying NMSU’s offensive drives that led to no points. 

This Saturday, the Miners are facing a Bethune team that did not have a 2020 football season due to COVID-19 cancellations of all their games on the schedule. However, in 2019, Bethune went 7-4 for their overall record. 

“It’s a very difficult preparation for us because they haven’t played since the 2019 season. So, we don’t have a great understanding of what [Bethune-Cookman] will be doing schematically,” said UTEP Miners Head Coach Dana Dimel in an Aug. 30 press conference. “We can go back to its 2019 film. But they had an interesting development, they let their offensive coordinator go, and hired a new one on July 31.” 

On offense two seasons ago, the Wildcats had a good offense, scoring 24 points per game and over 1,000 yards rushing. Redshirt senior quarterback Shannon Patrick is the player to watch as he has taken most of the snaps in recent scrimmages and practices for the Wildcats. He is the potential starting quarterback for Saturday. 

Defensively in 2019, the Wildcats allowed 300 yards through the air and 4.5 yards through the ground. The Wildcats would also allow close to a 40% third down conversion rate.  

In their recent scrimmage, both offense and defense fared well against each other for Bethune Cookman. 

“In 13 possessions, the Wildcat offense posted three touchdowns and two field goals while the defense forced three turnovers,” according to a statement from Bethune Cook Athletics website “Only two of the possessions went three-and-out, and the two first drives that produced Dylan Moghaddam field goals lasted 12 plays.”  

Dimel said the team is working to not repeat prior mistakes.  

“They had a really good season in 2019 with a quarterback who was a strong leader for them, but he’s no longer with the program,” Dimel said. “They have a good amount of returning starters, but we still don’t have a depth chart from them. Right now, we’ll perform what we do well, and try to clean up our mistakes.” 

The Miners host Bethune-Cookman 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4 at Sun Bowl Stadium. Students can get free tickets to football games with a Miner Gold Card. Visit studenttickets.utep.edu for more information.