Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#159 Charlotte -12 vs.
#160 UTEP 57.5
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 3:00pm EST
Sun Bowl, El Paso
Written by Chris Kubala

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#159 University of North Carolina at Charlotte
#160 University of Texas at El Paso
4-5
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4-5
2-5-1
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32
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It’s a crossover matchup in Conference USA action when a pair of teams meet on the gridiron in the Lone Star State. The Charlotte 49ers are on the road as they travel to face the UTEP Miners Saturday afternoon. Charlotte rallied to down Middle Tennessee 34-20 at home last Saturday in their previous contest. UTEP suffered a 52-26 defeat on the road at the hands of North Texas last Saturday in their previous contest. This marks the first time that the two teams have met on the gridiron with both schools as FBS programs.

Charlotte 49ers Seek Third Straight Win

Charlotte won their second straight game as they took down Middle Tennessee at home last week. The 49ers look for their third straight win, which would put them back at the .500 mark on the season. Charlotte gave up a touchdown on the first drive of the game after the opening kickoff before ripping off 34 unanswered points. The 49ers were in complete control at that point and held off Middle Tennessee’s attempts to rally. Charlotte owned a 440-333 edge in total offense, picked up 25 first downs while allowing 15 and controlled the clock by a 38:55 to 21:05 margin. The 49ers forced two turnovers while not committing any in the contest.

The 49ers are 90th in the nation in passing offense with 207.2 yards per game while they stand 27th with 211 rushing yards per contest on the season. Charlotte is 50th in the FBS in scoring offense as they put up 32.1 points per game and are a miserable 125th in scoring defense by allowing 37.1 points per game. Chris Reynolds is 124 of 199 passing for 1,680 yards with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions while ranking second with 425 yards and five scores on the ground this season. Brett Kean is 13 of 25 for 157 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions on the year. Benny LeMay leads the team on the ground with 141 carries for 822 yards and seven scores. Ishod Finger (51 carries, 294 yards, four TD) and Aaron McAllister (56 carries, 294 yards, four TD) are capable backs if they need to be called on to contribute. Victor Tucker leads the team with 36 receptions for 549 yards and four scores on the year. Cameron Dollar (27 grabs, 395 yards, two TD), LeMay (19 catches, 242 yards, four TD) and Micaleous Elder (18 catches, 233 yards, TD) are solid secondary options in the passing game. Jonathan Cruz is 32 of 35 on extra points and five of six on field goal tries with a long of 53 this season.

UTEP Miners Hope to Halt Losing Skid at Seven

UTEP started their season with a victory but that has been the high point of the campaign for the team this season. The Miners have dropped seven straight games as they were whipped by North Texas in their last game, giving up seven touchdown passes. UTEP is 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the conference, leaving them, Old Dominion and Rice as the lone winless teams in conference play. The Miners went down 14-0 in the opening 29 seconds: that’s not a typo and was unable to recover. UTEP was outgained 476-275 in the contest, gave up 25 first downs while recording 14 while owning a 32:16 to 27:44 advantage in time of possession. Both teams turned the ball over once, though UTEP did score on a kick return in the game.

The Miners are 117th in the nation in passing offense with 160.5 yards per game on the year while the team ranks 99th in the country in rushing offense with 137 yards per game. UTEP is 117th in the FBS in scoring offense with 19.1 points per contest and 123rd in scoring defense by allowing 36.5 points per game. Kai Locksley is 56 of 107 throwing the ball for 656 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions this season while ranking second on the team with 279 rushing yards and three scores. Brandon Jones is 47 of 87 for 628 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Treyvon Hughes leads the team with 114 carries for 519 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground this season. Josh Fields (47 carries, 243 yards) is next in line on the ground. Tre’Shon Wolf leads the team with 24 receptions for 306 yards and two scores this season. Justin Garrett (22 grabs, 213 yards) and Alan Busey (12 catches, 174 yards) are next in line in that department. Gavin Baechle has hit all 15 extra point attempts and eight of nine field goals with a long of 46 this season.

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Charlotte has been excellent running the ball this season and the 49ers are going to be aggressive using LeMay to move the sticks via the ground game. UTEP has struggled to stop the run, allowing 179 yards per game and 14 touchdowns via the ground this season. The Miners are equally weak against the pass, giving up 248 yards per game via the air and 22 scores. UTEP has forced only seven turnovers so far this season and that’s going to cause issues. Charlotte should have little trouble winning their third straight and getting to the .500 mark on the year.

Prediction: Charlotte 49ers -13.5

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Both teams have had their struggles on the defensive side of the ball this season. Charlotte has given up at least 30 points in six of their nine games and allowed 28 points in a seventh contest. The 49ers have scored at least 34 points in five of their contests, which should work in their favor against a UTEP defense that has been awful. The Miners have given up at least 32 points in seven of their eight games this season with 26 points their best defensive showing of the year. UTEP scored 36 points in their opener but they put up 26 points or less in every game since that point. Can the Miners regroup in this one?

The over is 5-1 in the 49ers' last six on turf, 7-2 in their last nine overall and 8-3 in their last 11 against teams with a losing record. UTEP has seen the over go 5-0 in their last five in November, 5-1 in their last six at home, 4-1 in their last five against teams with a losing record and 5-2 in their last seven on turf. Look for Charlotte to put up a ton of points and take advantage of the UTEP defense to push this one over the number.

Prediction: Over 58
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.