UTEP will take on a Big Ten program for the first time in 11 seasons when it heads north to take on Northwestern on Saturday afternoon. The Miners and Wildcats are set to kick off at 1:30 p.m. MT on the Big Ten Network while the game will be broadcasted on 95.5 KLAQ.
VIA UTEP Athletics
UTEP (1-1) is coming off a 28-14 victory against UIW on Sept. 2 in the Sun Bowl as the Miners ran past the Cardinals with 329 yards on 50 carries and a pair of rushing scores – 40-yarder by Torrance Burgess Jr., and a short-distance rush by Mike Franklin. Deion Hankins ran over and around UIW defenders for a career-high 174 yards. Gavin Hardison added two touchdown tosses with Jostein Clarke and Tyrin Smith being on the other end of those scores. The Orange and Blue shut out UIW in the second half as senior Tyrice Knight racked up a career-high 16 tackles, while adding a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss to lead the defense. James Neal also tallied a sack, while senior S Trejon Hugue performed well in his first career start, posting a career-best six tackles and a pass breakup in the end zone on a fourth-and-2.
The UTEP defense has allowed just seven points in the second half this season yielding a TD during the third quarter at Jax State a few weeks back.
NU (0-1) is coming off a 24-7 setback at Rutgers to open the 2023 campaign. Rutgers jumped out to a 24-0 lead before Northwestern found the end zone with 19 seconds remaining in the game. The Wildcats have lost their last 12 contests dating back to last season as their last win came during the ’22 season opener, defeating Nebraska, 31-28, in Dublin, Ireland. NU hasn’t won on American soil since beating Rutgers 21-7 on Oct. 16, 2021 in Evanston.
For UTEP, it will mark its second ever contest in the Land of Lincoln since winning at Northern Illinois in 1996. UTEP last faced a Big Ten team on Sept. 22, 2012 during a 37-26 loss at Wisconsin. The Miners were down four points (23-19) midway through the fourth before the Badgers ran off a pair of touchdowns late in the contest.
The Miners find themselves opening at a one-point favorite. However, UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel won’t let that fool anyone as NU is still a Big Ten program in the Power Five Conference.
“You know, it’s a team that’s really hungry. I know that they’re a very hungry team. I know they played good football and they’re a very competitive football team. They’re a new team this year,” Dimel said. “They got some young safeties and corners and another corner that’s coming back, that’s an experienced player, a real physical player as well. So, they don’t have many weaknesses across the board. They’re real fundamentally sound defensively. They play their gaps and they’re playing very well and they’re well coached defensively. It’s a defensive package, that is very proven throughout college football.”
UTEP (1-1, 0-1) at Northwestern (0-1, 0-1)
Date: Saturday, Sept. 9
Time: 1:30 p.m. MT/2:30 CT
Location: Evanston, Ill.
Venue: Ryan Field (47,130)
X Updates: @UTEPFB
TV: Big Ten Network
PxP: Jason Ross
Analyst: Anthony Herron
Radio: 95.5 KLAQ
PxP: Jon Teicher
Analyst: Cole Freytag
Sideline: Mando Medina