2017 Football Preview – Conference USA – Miners
Looking for 2017 UTEP Miners predictions? The Miners have been pretty irrelevant of late and it is looking like more of the same in 2017. The last time they made a bowl game was 4 seasons ago in year 2 of the current regime. If they do not get back there this season the Sean Kugler era could be over.
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- 2017-18 College Football Preview – UTEP Miners
- Head Coach: Sean Kugler
- 2015 Record: 4-8
- UTEP Miners Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: +100000
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- ***More 2017 NCAA Football Team Season Previews***
CUSA is not a strong league. If there can be some improvement in El Paso the Miners could could improve their fortunes by a lot. Could!
2017 UTEP Miners Predictions: Team Strengths
Experience On D: UTEP is hardly a defensive power but they might be in the upper tier in CUSA this season.
That would be thanks to a defense with 7 returning starts including 6 in the back 7. Linebacker Alvin Jones was the top tackler a year ago and the leading sacker returning. Not bad for 5’11, 225.
This unit features speed and in CUSA they should be OK even if they get pushed around in the opener at Oklahoma.
With a more experienced group they should be able to take some chances and create more turnovers to help the offense out.
Building Block on OL: The Miners could run the ball last year but struggled moving the ball through the air.
Guard Will Hernandez is a road grader, one of the best players at any position in the conference and he returns.
So does center Derron Gatewood. The rest of the line is unproven but pretty experienced. They are big too, so they can lean on the CUSA defences.
2017 UTEP Miners Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Offensive Strength?: Last year the offense was mediocre but balanced, averaging 185ypg rushing and 183ypg passing. This year will either unit shine.
Last year top RB Aaron Jones rushed for more than 1700 yards. This season he will be replaced by sophomore Quardraiz Wadley, who didn’t show a ton as a frosh.
At receiver the top two pass catchers from a year ago are gone too. The leading returner is Eddie Sinegal, another sophomore who hardly blazed his way into the lineup.
The defensive front has to be a concern heading into the season.
The only returner there is junior DE Mike Sota. He had all of 0 sacks a year ago and this program really struggles in that area.
The back seven is solid but you have to put some heat on opposing QBs and make a few tackles behind the line if you want to steal a game or two. The front might not be up to it.
UTEP Miners Prediction: 2-10
This is not a very good Miners team and it might put coach Kugler in jeopardy.
Conference USA is far from a heavy league but they are one of the worst teams in it and they have to travel to play one of the few teams they might be better than – UAB.
The rest of the schedule probably is all losses but maybe they nip Rice and UTSA at home. Maybe.
The way I am looking at things it is very possible this season is a total disaster. They have no dates with an FCS opponents and outside of CUSA have some tricky road opponents and Arizona at home. Not a lot to look forward to in El Paso.
2017 UTEP Miners Football Schedule
- 9/2/17 3:30 PM ET @OKLA
- 9/9/17 8:00 PM ET RICE
- 9/15/17 10:15 PM ET ARIZ
- 9/23/17 8:00 PM ET @NMSU
- 9/30/17 3:30 PM ET @ARMY
- 10/7/17 8:00 PM ET WKU
- 10/14/17 7:00 PM ET @SOMIS
- 10/28/17 8:00 PM ET UTSA
- 11/4/17 TBD @MTU
- 11/11/17 TBD @UNT
- 11/18/17 TBD LT
- 11/25/17 TBD @UAB
What do you think about our 2017 UTEP Miners predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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