Big 12 Previews

Texas vs. UTEP: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Texas vs. UTEP preview and prediction. 

Game Info

7:00 p.m. Central Time, Saturday September 12th, 2020, DKR Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas. 

TV: LHN

Iowa State Radio: Longhorn Radio Network  

Spread: Texas (-43)

Texas Fun Fact: Under head coach Tom Herman, Texas is 1-2 in season openers as they lost to Maryland in 2017 and 2018 before getting their first opening win under Herman last season against Louisiana Tech. 

 

Key Players

UTEP

QB Gavin Hardison 

It is no secret that UTEP does not throw the football much under head coach Dana Dimel. Gavin is still young as a quarterback and started his first game last weekend against SFA. He is extremely limited and struggles with his accuracy. If the Miners are to have a chance in this game, Gavin Hardison is going to have to complete more than just a few passes in this game. 

RB Deion Hankins 

The Miners will split time between running backs with Deion Hankins and Josh Fields, but it was Hankins who got the bulk of the carries last weekend for UTEP. He will be a crucial part of what his team needs to do to keep the ball away from that Texas offense.

S Dy’Vonne Young

Dy’Vonne brings a little experience to a safety group that does not have much experience. While there are plenty question marks around him, one thing is for certain. This man is not afraid to get his hands dirty and make tackles. 

Texas

QB Sam Ehlinger

After a solid 2019 season, one could argue that Sam Ehlinger is the best quarterback in the Big 12 heading into this year. Last season he tossed 32 touchdowns on 10 interceptions and now with this new look offense under new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, I am curious to see what this offense will look like and just how different it will be. Also, do not sleep on Ehlinger’s legs because he can make plays when needed on the ground. 

WR Tarik Black

I could have put a couple other receivers at this spot, but it appears that Tarik has made some strides in camp and I am wondering just how good he can be. In case you do not know, Tarik was at Michigan last season and we all know Michigan is not a team known for their offense or their use of the passing game. With that said, Black is getting the start over Brennan Eagles and maybe on Saturday we will find out why. 

NT Keondre Coburn 

As a redshirt freshman last season. Keondre made some strides last season but I feel like he can take it to another level and be a real disruptive force in the middle of this defense. He will have his hands full because UTEP will try and run the ball as much as they can and that should give plenty of opportunities for Keondre to make some things happen. 

 

Key Storylines

UTEP

I am not going to sugar coat anything here. UTEP is UTEP. They have not had winning season in over ten years and have won just three games since the start of the 2017 season. They can not throw the football and rely on chewing the clock with the running game and even that did not help much because their defense gave up over 200 yards rushing per game a season ago. This program is still in a major rebuild and while they will likely win more than one game this season, I seriously doubt they put up any kind of fight against Texas. 

Texas

There is no need for me to get all worked up about the x’s and o’s here. This is a scrimmage game for Texas before they enter conference play. This game will be all about how this offense looks under Mike Yurcich and how Sam Ehlinger will handle it and see how the receiver’s sync with Ehlinger. The offensive line should have no issue manhandling this UTEP front and between Keaontay Ingram, Roschon Johnson and Bijan Robinson, there should be some carries to go around. Defensively, the focus for Texas will be to stop the run. If they can do that (which they should easily do) then UTEP has no shot in this one. 

Prediction

Texas: 45 UTEP: 7

Texas should have no issues in this game, as the Longhorns will roll to a Week 1 victory to kick off the season in style.

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