The annual gridiron edition of the “Battle of I-10” will kick off this weekend when UTEP makes the short trip to Las Cruces on Saturday to take on New Mexico State in non-conference action.
“This is always a big game for everybody involved in El Paso, everyone involved in the program and everyone who cares about our program,” head coach Dana Dimel said.
“This is a big game and it will be a fun challenge. New Mexico State had a nice win last week and did some positive things both offensively and defensively. They are a football team that is hot from that win last week and they are obviously a much better football team than their record indicates. They have a lot of talented players with good athleticism and they are coached extremely well. This is always a fun game for our guys. We’ve been getting ready to have an exciting weekend with our guys and we are ready to play a really good football game and try to get better every day.”
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. MT on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces.
The Miners and Aggies have previously met 96 times on the gridiron in a series that dates back to 1914. UTEP leads the all-time series, 57-37-2, over NM State.
The Aggies have won two straight in the series, including a 27-20 win over UTEP last season in El Paso.
- The winner of the annual matchup between UTEP and NM State will take home a pair of traveling trophies. The older of the two is known as the Silver Spade. It is a replica of an old prospector’s shovel found in an abandoned mine in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces and has been traded between the schools since 1955. A second trophy is officially titled the Mayor’s Cup, but is commonly referred to as the Brass Spittoon and was added in 1982.
- This Saturday’s annual matchup between UTEP and NM State will mark the first time since 1969 that the two teams have met on the gridiron in the month of November. The Nov. 23 kickoff is also the latest the Miners and Aggies have faced off since 1960 when the two squads played on Nov. 26 in a game NM State won, 27-15, in Las Cruces.
- On offense, the Miners are led by senior running back Treyvon Hughes, who has 137 carries for 593 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in 10 games, which ranks second in C-USA and 19th nationally. Hughes is averaging 59.3 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry this season. Hughes has scored a touchdown in all but three games this season, including scoring in five of the last six games.
- Kicker Gavin Baechle enters Saturday’s game 9-of-10 on field goals and a perfect 19-of-19 on PATs, making him second on the team in scoring behind only Treyvon Hughes. Baechle’s nine field goals makes him the first Miner kicker since 2015 to connect on at least nine field goals in a season. The last UTEP kicker to do so was Jay Mattox, who was 15-of-19 on field goals in 2015.
- Defensively, UTEP’s leading tackler this season is senior safety Michael Lewis, who has 81 total tackles (47 solo) to go along with an interception, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Justin Rogers leads the Miners with three fumble recoveries this season, while he also had an interception versus LA Tech (10/26) to make it four straight years he has recorded an interception for the Miners. Rogers is ranked second on the team with 64 total tackles (43 solo).
The game will be broadcast on FloFootball with Adam Young (play-by-play) and Danny Knee (analysis) calling all the action on Saturday afternoon. Fans can also watch the game via FOX Sports Arizona Plus and FOX Sports Go.
Fans can also tune in to the radio broadcast on ESPN 600 El Paso to hear Jon Teicher (PxP), Bernie Ricono (analysis) and Mando Medina (sideline).