UTEP at New Mexico State: 8/28/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

UTEP at New Mexico State: 8/28/21 College Football Picks and Prediction Photo by Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

New Mexico State Aggies (0-0) vs UTEP Miners (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, August 28, 2021 at 9:30 pm (Aggie Memorial Stadium)

Betting Odds: New Mexico State Aggies +9 -- Over/Under: 54.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The UTEP Miners will travel to Aggie Memorial Stadium to take on the New Mexico State Aggies this Saturday night in College Football action.

The UTEP Miners showed signs of life in their shorten 2020 season as UTEP went 3-5 (0-4 C-USA) which although doesn’t seem that impressive, it was for a team that had won just 3 games in their previous three seasons alone.

Offensively, UTEP averaged 23.0 ppg on 348.1 total yards per game (209.2 passing yds/g; 138.9 rushing yds/g). QB Gavin Hardison returns for the Miners after completing 54.3% of his passes for 1419 yards (202.7 passing yds/g), 5 TD, & 5 INT. Hardison will be returning his top two receivers from last year’s team in Jacob Cowing (41 rec, 691 yards, 3 TD) & Justin Garrett (38 rec, 510 yards, 3 TD). UTEP should have a solid backfield led by Deion Hankins (121 att, 592 yards, 9 TD) & Quardraiz Wadley who led the Miners in rushing in his last significant action (opted out 2020, injured 2019) with 627 yards & 7 TD.

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Defensively, UTEP was decent last season as despite allowing 31.0 ppg, they did hold their opponents to an average of 381.3 total yards per game (240.9 passing yds/g; 140.4 rushing yds/g). UTEP should once again be decent against opposing rushing attacks as they return their entire defensive line that helped the Miners rank 39th in rushing defense last season.

The New Mexico State Aggies come into this season with little experience and not much of a positive outlook as this is a team that didn’t play in the Fall last season and only had 2 games in the spring which included a 43-17 loss to the Tarleton State.

In their last full season, it was a struggle offensively for the Aggies as they averaged just 21.7 ppg on 361.1 total yards per game (217.6 passing yds/g; 143.5 rushing yds/g). New Mexico State will hope to improve in terms of protecting the football as the offense committed 27 turnovers in 2019. New Mexico State will go with dual-threat QB Jonah Johnson. Johnson will have Robert Downs III (22 rec, 265 yards, 2 TD) returning as his top receiving threat and will hope that WR’s Andre Bodison (6 rec, 66 yards, TD) & Tevis Abraham (5 rec, 35 yards) can play bigger roles in the offense. Leading the way for the New Mexico State backfield will be the duo of Jawaun Price, who had a 165 rushing yards in a spring game victory over Dixie State, and O’Maury Samuels who transferred from Michigan in 2019.

Defensively, New Mexico State allowed their opponents to average 41.0 ppg on 479.9 total yards per game (220.8 passing yds/g; 259.2 yards per game). New Mexico State will have to hope it has found some answers this offseason as they ranked 129th in College Football in both scoring & rushing defense in 2019 and allowed two FCS teams two scored a combined 72 points in their last live action during the spring of 2020.

The Miners are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games as a favorite. The Aggies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games, however, are just 9-19-1 ATS in their last 29 games overall.

It’s hard to trust UTEP as almost a double-digit favorite, however, head coach Dana Dimel is slowly getting results from the Miners and UTEP should again be solid defensively against the weaker teams on their schedule this season. New Mexico State hasn’t played any real action for over a year and between the fact that I just don’t see their offense or defense having much success in this one, I think UTEP will be able to do enough to pull away in the 2nd half for a double-digit victory. Take UTEP to cover. Good Luck!

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Brett’s Pick UTEP Miners -9

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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