Texas welcomes UTEP in their only non-conference game of the season. The Big 12 is playing an altered schedule due to the pandemic, meaning this will be the only tune-up for the Longhorns before conference play kicks off.
The 14th ranked Texas Longhorns will have about 25% of their stadium filled to allow for social distancing. The Miners won their season opener against Stephen F. Austin 24-14.
Miners Look to Change Luck Against Big 12
UTEP schedules at least one Big 12 due to their geographic location and get a rather large check. Unfortunately for the Miners, that check usually comes with a loss. UTEP has lost 12 straight games against Big 12 conference opponents.
The Miners looked really good on defense in their season-opening win over the Lumberjacks. Quarterback Gavin Hardison was 17-of-28 for 212 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Deion Hankins will take over the starting running back duties after a 113 yard and two touchdown performance. Jacob Cowing was the standout receiver as he had seven catches for 116 yards with a touchdown.
The Miners defense looked excellent against Stephen F. Austin, but this will be a different animal. They limited the Lumberjacks to only 230 yards of total offense, and the UTEP defense did create two turnovers. If they want to hang around in this game, they will need to create more pressure on the quarterback, or Sam Ehlinger will pick them apart.
Texas and Ehlinger Have High Expectations
Tom Herman should have his best team in four seasons when Texas takes the field. Sam Ehlinger will be one of the best quarterbacks in the conference, and this defense is loaded with talent. The only real question for this team is whether or not they have enough playmakers on offense.
Ehlinger has thrown for over 3,600 yards in his career with 32 touchdowns and ten interceptions. Keaontay Ingram returns as the team’s leading rusher. He had 853 yards on 144 carries with seven touchdowns. Ehlinger also rushed for seven touchdowns and had over 600 yards.
Future NFL linebacker Joseph Ossai will lead the defense. Ossai led the team in tackles last year with 90 and also contributed five sacks and two interceptions.
Miners/Longhorns Betting Lines
Texas is a 43-point favorite. The total is set at 58 points.
Free Betting Pick
Make no mistake, this game will not be close. There is not a chance that UTEP can pull off this upset, and it will mark 19 straight losses against Big 12 opponents.
But can Texas cover the big spread? They are talented, but 43 points is a huge number, especially against a team that has already got a game in. The Miners defense impressed me last week, so I will go with under as this one gets ugly early, and some of the backups get work in the 4th quarter.
UTEP 7, Texas 47
Free Pick: Under 58