UTEP vs. Louisiana Tech prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Miners and Bulldogs.
UTEP vs. Louisiana Tech Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 1 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, LA
TV Broadcast: N/A
The Miners (1-3, 0-1 Conference USA) are coming off of blowout losses to Army (66-14) and Southern Miss (34-7) at home, and it doesn’t get any easier with a road test against Louisiana Tech. Making matters worse is there is a huge question mark at the quarterback position.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (1-3, 0-1) lost their conference opener as well and have lost all of their games by close margins. Skip Holtz’s squad almost knocked off Arkansas in the season opener and went toe-to-toe with Texas Tech. Louisiana Tech’s sole win was an easy one over South Carolina State, but the Middle Tennessee close loss hurts because it goes down as a league loss.
In their meeting in El Paso last year, Carlos Henderson caught a go-ahead touchdown pass from Jeff Driskel early in the third quarter as Louisiana Tech held off UTEP 17-15.
What To Know About UTEP
The Miners have opened up their quarterback competition once again following their offensive struggles in the loss to Southern Miss. Zack Greenlee and Ryan Metz will both compete in practice this week for head coach Sean Kugler, with the victor getting the start against Louisiana Tech. Kugler said that when a starter is named there will not be a QB rotation. Turnovers and penalties have also plagued UTEP, so the offensive unit is a mess right now.
What to Know About Louisiana Tech
Despite their record, the Bulldogs are a strong C-USA West contender, along with Southern Miss. Turnovers have plagued the Bulldogs, but they have the ability to go up and down the field behind senior quarterback Ryan Higgins, who leads C-USA in passing and total offense. His top target is Trent Taylor, who leads the conference in receiving. Higgins is a great fit for the air-raid offense, and he threw for 504 yards against Middle Tennessee with three touchdowns. On the season, he has 1,224 passing yards, which ranks him No. 14 in the nation.
Offense: Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs can score with the best of them, while UTEP has instability at the most important position on the field.
Defense: Even. Let’s just say that both units are very generous to opposing offenses.
Special Teams: Louisiana Tech. UTEP has one of the worst special teams efficiency ratings in the country.
Coaching: Louisiana Tech. Holtz is coming off of back-to-back nine-win seasons with the Bulldogs.
Intangibles: Louisiana Tech. Both teams have to be a little mentally drained. However, Holtz knows that his team is too talented to be 1-3. That could be bad news for the Miners.
Matchup To Watch
Aaron Jones vs. His health
The one thing UTEP can count on offensively is running back Aaron Jones, who has five rushing touchdowns and has averaged at least 6.1 yards per game in each contest. But he has taken his fair share of physical punishment already, and he has too often been a one-man show for the Miners. Keeping Jones healthy for a full season is integral, especially when he is the only known commodity on that side of the ball.
UTEP vs. Louisiana Tech Betting Odds
Spread: Louisiana Tech -18.5
UTEP vs. Louisiana Tech Prediction
There are just too many unanswered questions on the UTEP offense for Kugler’s squad to have any chance at keeping up with a Bulldogs offense that should be able to move the football with ease.
UTEP vs. Louisiana Tech Score Prediction: Louisiana Tech 41, UTEP 20