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Miners prepare to take on undefeated Roadrunners

Safety+Trejon+Hugue+kneels+before+the+game+against+Louisiana+Tech+Oct.+16.+
Annabella Mireles
Safety Trejon Hugue kneels before the game against Louisiana Tech Oct. 16.

UTEP football (6-2, 3-1 C-USA) will face off against the University of Texas at San Antonio (8-0, 4-0 C-USA) at the Sun Bowl Stadium on Nov. 6. UTSA could pose a high threat to the Miners, as they are currently undefeated. 

UTSA is 8-0 for the first time in school history and for the first time in program history are nationally ranked at No. 16 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. 

UTSA’s offense has proved to be a force to be reckoned with; in a win against Louisiana Tech University, the Roadrunners put up a total of 406 yards, 213 yards on the ground and 193 yards on the ground. Junior running back Sincere McCormick recorded his third straight and sixth 100-yard game, rushing 23 times for 113 yards and three touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Zakhari Franklin had five catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Franklin also recorded a new program record of 132 career catches. Senior quarterback Frank Harris completed 12 of 20 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns, rushing nine times for 59 yards.  

UTSA’s defense has played a key role in each of the Roadrunners wins. UTSA has five defensive touchdowns on the year, and had two interceptions and a fumble recovery against LA Tech. The Roadrunners defense has been named the fifth-best rush defense. Senior outside linebacker Clarence Hicks recorded four tackles, a career-high of 2.5 sacks with two quarterback hurries. Senior outside linebacker Dadrian Taylor had five tackles and a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown, which makes UTSA’s fifth defensive touchdown of the season. The Roadrunners matched season highs in sacks with six and 10 tackles for loss. 

The Miners are 6-2 and are 3-1 in conference play. After the win against Louisiana Tech the Miners became eligible for a bowl game for the first time since 2014.  

Despite the loss against Florida Atlantic, the Miners’ offense continued to put up big numbers with 438 yards against FAU. Against FAU, junior running back Ronald Awatt recorded a career high of rushing touchdowns with four total. Sophomore wide receiver Tyrin Smith recorded his first 100-yard receiving game of his career, with six catches for 114 yards. Senior wide receiver Justin Garrett recorded his fifth career 100-yard game with 12 catches for 100 yards. Sophomore quarterback Gavin Hardison threw a career best of 321 yards. 

The Miners’ defense has shown no way of stopping, as they continue to dominate every single week. In the game against FAU, the Miners held FAU to 280 yards. Junior linebacker Breon Hayward recorded 14 tackles, which was two shy of his career high. Sophomore free safety Tyson Wilson recorded his first tackle for a loss as a Miner. Junior linebacker Tyrice Knight and graduate transfer cornerback Walter Neil Jr. tied their UTEP career highs in tackles for losses. The Miner’s defense has allowed 1,094 yards in their four C-USA games which an average of 273.5 per game. 

This is the ninth time that UTEP has met UTSA. UTSA currently leads the series 6-2 with a win streak of four. The last time these two teams met was Nov. 14, 2020, at the Alamodome where UTSA’s offense put up a record high of 600 yards and came out victorious with a score of 21-52. The last time the Miners won against UTSA was Oct. 22, 2016, which resulted in a five-overtime game with a score of 52-49. 

UTEP hosts UTSA at 8:15 p.m. Nov. 6 at Sun Bowl Stadium. UTEP students qualify for free tickets to all football games with their Miner Gold Card. To sign up for your free ticket visit studenttickets.utep.edu for more information. 

All stats for UTSA found on UTSA Athletics official website, goutsa.com.   

All stats for UTEP found on UTEP Athletics official website, utepminers.com.   

Katrina Villarreal is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Katrina Villarreal, Multimedia Editor
Katrina Villarreal is senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in theatre at UTEP. She is going into her second year at The Prospector and is currently the Multimedia Editor. Once she graduates, she plans on becoming a sideline reporter for the NFL or ESPN.  
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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Miners prepare to take on undefeated Roadrunners