UTEP is a bit banged up with injuries coming to Miami. This will be the second meeting between the Miners and Panthers with UTEP winning 33-10 in El Paso, Texas in 2013 on a windy, cold night at the Sun Bowl. Interesting tidbit about that 2013 game, FIU wore its all white uniforms. UTEP came out to the field in all gray uniforms but the Miners had to go back into the locker room and change to blue jerseys because the officials said the UTEP gray jerseys were too close in color to the FIU white jerseys.
For more on the Miners here is Bret Bloomquist, the UTEP beat writer for the El Paso Times, to answer 5 Questions on UTEP. You can follow Bret on Twitter: @Bretbloomquist.
BB: At the moment, they really don't have any identifiable strengths, although they could develop into a decent passing team. The plan was to lean on tailback Aaron Jones and feed him the ball 30 times a game. To that end, they didn't seem to develop a passing game. Then Jones got hurt, as did their top two quarterbacks. The good news is their third-team quarterback, Ryan Metz, is the one with the most upside. In two and a half games, he's been great at times, a typical freshman at times.
So the weakness is a team built around running the ball can't run the ball. That's a problem. The strength is when the freshman quarterback doesn't look like a freshman. Metz does throw a pretty ball and when he makes good decisions looks impressive. The playmaker now is supposed to be receiver Autrey Golden, who needs one kickoff return for a touchdown to become the all-time NCAA leader, but he has yet to break out on either offense or special teams.
4. How is this UTEP team different from the 2014 version?
5. How do you see the game between FIU and UTEP playing out?