The UTEP Miners (5-6, 3-4 C-USA) are on the road Saturday with a visit to the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas to play against Conference USA rival the UTSA Roadrunners (9-2, 7-0 C-USA) in the last game of the regular season for both. UTEP defeated Florida International 40-6 last Saturday. The Miners held Florida International to just 71 yards of total offense while gaining 525 yards of total offense.
UTSA defeated Rice 41-4 last Saturday and clinched first place in the conference. Quarterback Gavin Hardison is questionable for UTEP. UTSA running back De'Anthony Lewis and safety Rashad Wisdom are out, while running back Trelon Smith is questionable.
UTEP’s offense must produce moreUTEP has struggled this season to score points, averaging only 23.8 points per game which is 96th in the nation. The Miners are averaging 162.5 yards rushing and 216.4 yards passing for a total of 378.8 yards of total offense which is 77th in the nation. Quarterback Gavin Hardison is questionable and has not played since November 3. Calvin Brownholtz has 323 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions while replacing the injured Hardison. Deion Hankins is the leading rusher with 670 yards and three touchdowns, while Ronald Awatt has rushed for 655 yards and two touchdowns The leading receiver is Tyrin Smith with 940 yards and 26 touchdowns.
UTEP is allowing an average of 26.4 points per game which is 68th in the country. The defense is allowing an average of 142.5 yards rushing and 201.5 yards passing for a total of 343.9 yards per game which is 36th overall. The leading tackler for UTEP is linebacker Tyrice Knight with 89 and the leader in quarterback sacks is Jadrian Taylor with 8.5. Cornerback Ilijah Johnson is the leader in interceptions with 2, but UTEP has made just five interceptions all season.
UTSA is hard to stop on offenseThe UTSA Roadrunners won the Conference USA title this season thanks to a very strong offense. UTSA is scoring an average of 38.3 points per game which is 12th best in the nation. The Roadrunners are averaging 182.3 yards rushing and 298.7 yards passing for a total of 481.0 yards of total offense which is 13th in the country. The catalyst for this strong offense is quarterback Frank Harris, who has 3142 yards passing with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Brenden Brady has 690 yards rushing to lead UTSA and has scored nine touchdowns. Joshua Cephus has 75 receptions for 836 yards and five touchdowns, while Zakhari Franklin has 69 receptions for 830 yards and 10 touchdowns.
UTSA is allowing an average of 26.1 points per game which is 64th in the nation. The defense is giving up an average of 140.3 yards rushing and 259.6 yards passing for a total of 399.9 yards per game which is 87th. Linebacker Jamal Ligon is the leading tackler for UTSA with 68. The leader in quarterback sacks with 6.0 is Trey Moore while the leader in interceptions with three is cornerback Corey Mayfield Jr. UTSA has 19 quarterback sacks and nine interceptions.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The UTSA Roadrunners have a highly talented quarterback in Frank Harris, who has led the team to an average of 38.3 points per game, which has produced a perfect 7-0 record in conference play. The Roadrunners do not have the best defense in the nation but are outscoring their opponents by an average of 12.2 points per game. Behind the arm of Harris, UTSA is averaging 298.7 yards passing which is 13th and faces a UTEP defense that is allowing an average of 201.5 yards per game. Don't expect the numbers to be as high as usual for Harris and the Roadrunners, but the UTSA defense will help as they will be facing a UTEP offense that generates just 23.8 points per game and is likely to play without its starting quarterback Gavin Hardison, who has been out since November 3.
Full-Game Total Pick
The total has finished over in 18 of the last 23 games that UTEP has played during November and in 5 of the Miners last seven played on the road. In addition, The total has finished over in five of the last six games that UTSA has played after allowing fewer than 100 yards rushing the previous game. UTSA scores an average of 38.3 points per game and allows an average of 26.1 points per game.