The Colorado St. Rams travel to take on the UTEP Miners in the last non-conference game of the season. This game brings back the old-WAC conference members and is their first matchup since 1998 which Colorado State defeated UTEP 20-17. Both schools are 3-3 on the year and UTEP is a schizophrenic team as they had to come from behind to beat Stony Brook in overtime, they narrowly defeated the New Mexico St. Aggies 16-10, were able to go toe-to-toe with the Houston Cougars losing 49-42 and blew out the Tulane Green Wave. So, it is safe to say that predicting how UTEP will play is a mystery.
On the year UTEP is slightly below average within Conference USA on every level of play and are not great at anything. When comparing straight up against Colorado State in total offense and defense the edge goes to UTEP on offense who has out gained Colorado State by 60 yards per game, however the Colorado State defense is 40 yards better than UTEP's.
UTEP is their best when they run the ball and that is partly due to injuries at the quarterback spot to starter Nick Lamaison who missed two games with a shoulder injury missed two games with a shoulder injury. Running back Joe Banyard is third in Conference USA rushing the ball and while he averages only 80 yards per game he does averages eight yards per carry, so if he gets a large amount of carries he has the chance to breakout. UTEP also has Leilyon Myers who leads UTEP with six rushing touchdown and gets the more of the carries once UTEP gets within the red zone.
If Colorado State can slow down the UTEP rushing game then Colorado State should have a good chance at winning this game since the quarterback play for UTEP is nowhere near what Colorado State faced last week in their 63-13 loss to Boise State.
This is a game that could finally see the Colorado State offense could come alive. UTEP is 96th in the nation in rushing defense and allows 188 yards per game and the time is ripe for either Chris Nwoke or Raymond Carter to have a big game this year. In the passing game UTEP is 103rd in the nation, so Pete Thomas has a chance to record his third 250 yard passing game against this UTEP pass defense.
For more on UTEP head over to Miner Rush. Visit the Mountain West Connection for more on the MWC, and head over to SB Nation College Football for more Week 8 action.