UTEP vs Northwestern Prediction - College Football Picks 9/9/23

Northwestern Wildcats (0-1) vs UTEP Miners (1-1)

Game Info: Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 3:30 pm (Ryan Field)

Betting Odds: Northwestern Wildcats -4.5 -- Over/Under: 37.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The UTEP Miners will fly up to Chicago to face Northwestern Wildcats in non-conference action this Saturday from Ryan Field on BTN.

UTEP Miners Preview

UTEP enters at 1-1 after defeating Incarnate Word in Week 2 by a final score of 28-14. The Miners avenged their season opening loss to Jacksonville State by taking down the Cardinals in their home opener, and covering the 7.5-point spread. The UTEP offense is averaging 393.5 yards per game, passing for 151.2 ypg,  while rushing for 242.5 ypg.

UTEP Player Notes

Gavin Hardison managed last week’s contest well, protecting the football, while passing for 94 yards and two touchdowns. The second-year starter avenged a rough season debut in Jacksonville, and he’ll need to avoid those same road struggles here against Northwestern. Hardison has totaled 302 yards, with three touchdowns to two interceptions through two starts.

• Hometown product Deion Hankins followed up his 54-yard outing in the opener in style, going for a career-high 174 yards in the win over Incarnate Word. 

Torrance Burgess Jr. also had a productive game versus IW, gaining 85 yards on ten carries, and finding the endzone for the first time this season. 

• The UTEP has allowed 291.5 ypg through their first two contests.

 

Northwestern Wildcats Preview

Northwestern comes in at 0-1 after opening the season with a 37-10 road loss to Rutgers. The Wildcats struggled for three quarters before scoring a last-minute touchdown to avoid being shutout, and they’ll look for better results here in their home opener. The Northwestern offense gained 458 total yards, gaining 300 yards through the air, while rushing for 148 yards.

Northwestern Player Notes

• Cincy transfer Ben Bryant’s first start for Northwestern didn’t go well, as he completed just 55% of his passes, was sacked five times, and threw a pair of interceptions.

• 2022 starter Brendan Sullivan finished the contest and led the lone touchdown drive, and there’s a chance he starts this contest. 

• Senior back Cam Porter got the first crack at replacing Evan Hull, and after having little room to operate in Week 1, the Wildcats may try to establish the ground game at home. Porter did manage to catch four passes for 26 yards, but he only gained eight yards on six carries.

• Transfer wideouts Cam Johnson and A.J. Henning both caught four passes for 40+ yards in the loss to Rutgers.

• The Northwestern defense allowed 285 yards to the Scarlet Knights in Week 1.

Corey’s Free Pick

Northwestern will head home looking for answers both on and off of the field, but this home underdog spot is both appealing and tale-telling. UTEP will be making a cross country trip, after struggling in their first road contest, and they’re somehow favored here against a Big Ten school. An eye glance says the Wildcats’ two lone wins this season may just happen in their home opener here and their homecoming contest against Howard, so there's any time to test them, it’s this weekend against UTEP. Northwestern will be worth the shot off of pedigree alone, and with both schools likely to lean on their ground games, the Under may be in play here as well. 

Corey’s Pick Northwestern ML

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

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