LA Tech at UTEP Prediction - College Football Picks 9/29/23

UTEP Miners (1-4) vs LA Tech Bulldogs (2-3)

Game Info: Friday, September 29, 2023 at 9:00 pm (Sun Bowl)

Betting Odds: UTEP Miners +1 -- Over/Under: 52.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will head to El Paso to meet the UTEP Miners in Conference USA play this Friday from Sun Bowl Stadium on CBS Sports. This will mark the 20th time Louisiana Tech and UTEP face off, as their series dates back to their time in the WAC. The Bulldogs hold a sizable 15-3-1 series lead, after winning nine of the last ten matchups dating back to 2013.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Preview

Louisiana Tech comes in at 2-3 after losing to Nebraska in Lincoln by two touchdowns, 28-14. The Bulldogs kept the game close for three quarters, before letting the Huskers pull away, and they’ll look to get back to .500 here in conference play. The Louisiana Tech offense is scoring 27.6 ppg, while passing for 238.8 ypg, rushing for 1540 ypg, and converting 35.8% of their third downs.

LA Tech Player Notes

Jack Turner got the start with veteran Hank Bachmeier out with an injury, and he kept the Bulldogs afloat by going 27-42 for 292 yards with a touchdown toss and a pick. The sophomore quarterback has honestly looked solid against two respectable defenses in Nebraska and North Texas, and he could be in for another solid outing here in El Paso. Turner has thrown for 438 yards, with two scores to two interceptions on the season.

• The Bulldog backfield is a bit murky after their top three rushers missed last week’s contest, but freshman back Keith Willis Jr. does leads the team with 240 rushing yards through four games.  

• Miami (OH) transfer Tyre Shelton burst onto the scene with 152 yards rushing in the loss to North Texas, and may be due for more work if active for this matchup Friday.

• Senior wideout Smoke Harris made his presence felt in Lincoln with his second ten-catch performance of the season, and he’s first on the team in receptions (34) and receiving yards (351).

• Sophomore receiver Cyrus Allen has scored in back-to-back games, and he’s second on the team with splits of 17/246/2, after an 102-yard outing versus the Huskers.

The Louisiana Tech defense has allowed 28.8 points per game.


UTEP Miners Preview

UTEP comes in at 1-4 after falling to UNLV at home, 45-28. The Miners were blitzed by their former conference rivals, and they’ll attempt to avoid a fourth straight loss this weekend. The UTEP offense is scoring 17.6 ppg, while passing for 205.0 ypg, rushing for 145.8 ypg, and converting 34.4% of their third downs.

UTEP Player Notes

Gavin Hardison struggled again versus UNLV last week, only going 14/31 for 225 yards, with a touchdown and three picks. The second-year starter did manage to add a pair of rushing touchdowns, but after taking four sacks for the third game in a row, indecisiveness, along with poor OLine play may continue to hinder him as the season develops. Hardison has passed for 947 yards, with five touchdowns to seven interceptions through five starts.

• Sophomore back Torrance Burgess Jr. produced well against the Rebels, totaling 129 all-purpose yards, while finding the endzone on the ground. Burgess Jr. now leads the Miners with 298 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

• Junior wideout Kelly Akharaiyi leads the team in receiving yards (253) on 14 catches after a 92-yard effort last weekend. 

• Senior receiver Tyrin Smith leads UTEP in receptions (19), after catching five passes or more in three of the first four games, but he missed last week’s contest, and his status should be monitored heading into Saturday.

• The UTEP defense is allowing 29.0 points per game.


Louisiana Tech vs UTEP Trends

La. Tech is 2-3 against the spread, with a 2-3 O/U record. 

UTEP is 1-4 ATS, with a 2-3 over/under record.

• Louisiana Tech has hit the Team Total Over in 5 of their last 6 games


Corey’s Free Pick

Louisiana Tech really brought the fight to Nebraska last weekend, and I like them getting back into the win column this Friday. UTEP on the other hand has looked subpar through five contests, as they’ve struggled to push the ball thru the air, and that will haunt them here against the Bulldogs. The Miners have also struggled to stop opponents, so while the Over may also be in play, let’s back Louisiana Tech to continue their domnance in this series, and sway their way for this Sun Belt battle. 

Corey’s Pick Louisiana Tech -1

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

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