UTEP Miners College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
UTEP Miners Biggest Key: Offense
It’s time to get more consistency out of the passing game. The Miners have the offensive line that’s good in protecting the passer, and they’ve got the backs and the running game to take the heat off the quarterback. And they’ve got the receivers who know what they’re doing. Now it’s up to Gavin Hardison to grow into more of a passer.
UTEP doesn’t need to throw for 300 yards a game, but as long as it’s able to hit 60% of its passes and keep the turnovers to a minimum, the offense should start to be far better.
UTEP Miners Biggest Key: Defense
Start to come up with picks. Please.
The Miners intercepted five passes in 12 games in 2019 and five in 2018, too.
2014 was the last time the defense came up with more than six in a season, and then came 2020 – the Miners picked off two passes and allowed close to nine yards per pass. The pass rush won’t be awful to help the cause, but the cornerbacks have to emerge who can do a whole lot more.
That’s why …
UTEP Miners Key Player To A Successful Season
CB Dennis Barnes, Jr.
The former JUCO transfer didn’t come up with any interceptions last season, but he made 22 tackles and broke up five passes. He’ll likely grab one of the corner jobs, but he – or one of the other options – has to be a shutdown guy who can take out the opposing No. 1 target.
UTEP Miners Key Game To The 2021 Season
Louisiana Tech, Oct. 16
Can the Miners improve enough to win it this time around? UTEP fought hard in a 21-17 loss to Louisiana Tech thanks to no running game and a -2 turnover margin. This year, there’s an outside shot at coming up with at least three wins over the first half of the season, but this is a chance to beat a decent team and get it done at home.
2020 UTEP Miners Fun Stats
– 3rd Quarter Score: Opponents 51 – UTEP 3
– Time of Possession: UTEP 32:41 – Opponents 27:19
– Passing TDs: Opponents 19 – UTEP 7