EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — Matchups with regional foes NM State and Texas Tech, plus the renewal of a rivalry with former Western Athletic Conference opponent Nevada highlight the 2019 UTEP Football Schedule, released on Thursday.
“We’re moving to year two and wanting to get the culture established in our second season,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said. “I’m looking forward to seeing that take shape as we take the field.”
The Miners will kick off the campaign by hosting FCS squad Houston Baptist on Aug. 31 in the Sun Bowl. UTEP will play a game in the month of August for the first time since 2014.
It’s the first of six home games for UTEP in 2019. The Miners will also host Nevada (Sept. 21), UTSA (Oct. 5), LA Tech (Oct. 26), Charlotte (Nov. 9) and Rice (Nov. 30).
“We have three teams from the state of Texas coming to play in our stadium, which is always exciting,” Dimel said. “Also, we have three teams in our division coming here plus a Mountain West Conference opponent in Nevada, which I’m sure will thrill our fans.”
UTEP will play its first road game of the season in week two (Sept. 7) at Texas Tech. The Miners will alternate playing home and away in the first nine contests of the campaign.
The matchup with the Red Raiders is the first between the Southwest rivals in Lubbock since 2015. UTEP and Texas Tech will square off for the 24th time overall.
The Miners have two bye weeks scheduled – one on Sept. 14, and another on Oct. 12. Following the first open week, UTEP will battle Nevada in the Sun Bowl (Sept. 21) for the first time since 2001. The Miners and the Wolf Pack met three times as WAC members from 2000-02.
Nevada is coming off an 8-5 season and a 16-13 triumph over Arkansas State in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl. The Miners will face five teams that appeared in bowls during the 2018 season, including C-USA adversaries FIU (Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl), LA Tech (SoFi Hawai’I Bowl), North Texas (New Mexico Bowl) and UAB (Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl). Four of those teams (Nevada, FIU, LA Tech, UAB) won their postseason contest.
UTEP will open C-USA action at Southern Miss on Sept. 28. The Miners will turn around and host UTSA on Oct. 5 prior to their second bye week, which falls five games into the season.
Beginning on Oct. 19, the Miners will tackle a demanding stretch that will see them face four 2018 bowl opponents in five games. UTEP will play at FIU on Oct. 19, at North Texas on Nov. 2, and at UAB on Nov. 16, sandwiched around home dates with LA Tech (Oct. 26) and Charlotte (Nov. 9). UAB, the defending Conference USA champion, was 11-3 a year ago. UTEP will be taking on Charlotte, which joined C-USA and the FBS ranks in 2015, for the first time in its football history.
The Miners will play their final road game at NM State on Nov. 23. The I-10 rivals will meet for the 97th time overall, and in the month of November for the first time since the 1960’s. It’s the latest Battle of I-10 since a Nov. 26, 1960 matchup in Las Cruces.
The regular season finale is at home against Rice on Nov. 30. The Conference USA Championship Game is slated for Dec. 7.
All dates are subject to change in order to accommodate national television. A schedule of televised games will be released at a later date.
UTEP season ticket information will be released later this spring.
2019 UTEP Football Schedule
Aug. 31 Houston Baptist
Sept. 7 at Texas Tech
Sept. 21 Nevada
Sept. 28 at Southern Miss*
Oct. 5 UTSA*
Oct. 19 at FIU*
Oct. 26 LA Tech*
Nov. 2 at North Texas*
Nov. 9 Charlotte*
Nov. 16 at UAB*
Nov. 23 at NM State
Nov. 30 Rice*
Home games in Bold
*Conference USA game