gtpdd’s UTEP Preview

Tomorrow night at 6:00 PM Central, the Dogs head up to the mountains to take on the UTEP Miners. But before you watch the game, you need to know some stuff. That’s where we come in!

How to Watch

This game is on ESPN3, which we’ve pretty much covered how to get…. but here’s the nifty graphic we share every week anyway:

streaming chart (trials)

Other People’s Predictions

  • ESPN FPI: Tech has an 89.6% chance to win
  • Massey: Tech has a 94% chance to win
  • Vegas (OddsShark): Tech wins by 20.5
  • S&P+: Tech wins 41-19
  • BleedTechBlue: Tech wins, 27-10
  • NCAA 14 Simulation: UTEP wins, 14-7

What to Watch For

Evan: Since almost all of my audio from the podcast’s second half got cut, it seems like we didn’t talk much at all about UTEP’s passing “attack” (if you can even call it that) or their players to watch.

Well, we did, but my internet didn’t work so we lost pretty much everything I said. Thanks, Obama.

Anywho, UTEP’s offense puts up 296 yards per game and 17.7 points per game. Those are both bottom ten numbers. Through the air, the Miners only net 156 yards (118th). They’ve run out three guys at QB: Brandon Jones (who almost beat Tech last year) and Kai Locksley being the main two. In the offseason, Locksley was arrested for DWI, Marijuana possession, and making terroristic threats. UTEP initially kicked him off the team, but then reinstated him while the legal process is ongoing.

While his off the field antics may be more intriguing to talk about than previewing this game, how do UTEP’s QBs play?

Well, Locksley is much more dynamic as a runner. He’s completing 46% of his throws for 310 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. As Nathan pointed out on the show, he has more rushing attempts than passing attempts so far this year. He’s definitely okay in the run game, so the Dogs need to watch out for him.

As for Jones, he’s… a bit better? He’s completing passes at 54% for 628 yards, 2 TDs, and 3 INTs.

So collectively, UTEP QBs have under 1000 yards, 3 TDs, and 5 INTs. That’s…. not good at all!

As for players to watch, I said to look out for Locksley in the running game. It looks like they try to pair him up with RB Treyvon Hughes who is actually an okay back. Also, they’ve got a DB in Josh Caldwell that has 6 PBUs, but no INTs. So I warn J’Mar to watch out for him as well.

Hot Taeks

Evan: More like El AssO amirite? hahahaha guys hahaha

Josh: Aaron Allen throws for 2 TDs and the fan base starts calling for him the moment J’Mar has a bad drive in the next game.

Nathan: This game will feel more like Rice than UMass.

Interesting Tidbit Contest Update

Here’s your reminder to go do the UTEP contest before it’s too late!!!!

I promised that on the podcast we would run through the top ten of the gtpdd contest. I fulfilled that promise, but Nathan decided that he wasn’t a forensic audio engineer with the ability to fix audio that sounded like it had been dropped in a sonic blender on pulse. Since Nathan ruined my life my plans, here’s a run down of the current top ten:

Name Place Score Average
Taylor Young 1 92 13.14
Caleb Basinger 2 91 13.00
Genghis Khan-test 3 88 12.57
Dawgbytes 4 87 12.43
Carson Basinger 5 85 12.14
Brian Basinger 85 12.14
Chase P 7 84 12.00
SteveyTI 8 83 11.86
Scott Young 83 11.86
Joey Smith 10 82 11.71
TCain 82 11.71

As you can see, it’s a pretty tight race at the top! In fact, we’ve had lead changes in each of the last few weeks. The Basinger Domination has slowed down a bit. Previously, the three Basmigos had spots in the top four. One of them had also held the top spot for pretty much the whole contest until Taylor Young swooped in. Also, I (Genghis Khan-test) am doing quite well for really the first time ever in the contest that I write the questions for and grade and conceptualized. So that’s neat.

Remember, I’m going to drop the lowest score from everyone’s contest before the bowl game. That means if you’re outside the top ten but you have an average like those above, you’re probably good to go! Get over to the Standings Page for all the scores and overall rankings!

Final Predictions

Evan: UTEP is pretty bad. How bad? Here’s where they rank in various advanced stats outlets: 128th in Massey, 129th in SP+. They only rank a tiiiiiny smidge above uMass in both of those metrics. This is a CLASSIC moment for Tech to pull the Baffling Conference Loss™ out of their hats. But this team feels different. I think Tech will handle business in a workman-like way out in the Sun Bowl.

Tech wins, 38-17

Josh: So, UTEP is bad and Tech seems to be good. This can only mean one thing: Tech goes out to El Paso and plays an ugly game. I’m talkin’ real ugly. Shades of the 2015 game that Tech won 17-14 or whatever. To me, this is a game that Tech needs to win in a convincing fashion for me to fully drink the red and blue kool-aid. I still see this as a win, though.

Tech wins, 27-10

Nathan: UTEP is bad and Tech is good, so naturally I think this will be a close game. Long travel after a huge win means that Tech may struggle early on. The Bulldogs will pull away late, but the lack of a complete domination will leave Tech fans with doubt about that tough three game stretch coming out of the bye.

Tech wins 27-14

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