ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico - The countdown to kickoff is on, and the UTEP Miners are making some final adjustments before game day.
Thursday, the team held their final practice as they prepare to square off against Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl.
Both UTEP and Fresno State held their practices at the indoor practice facility of the New Mexico Lobos.
Despite the facility being indoors, it was very cold & chilly inside, which might be a good thing since the temperature around kickoff time Saturday will be around 50 degrees.
The Miners have enjoyed all the rewards that come with a bowl game, but each player knows this is more like a business trip and there is work to be done.
UTEP head coach Dana Dimel says the two practices in Albuquerque have been some of the best practices he's seen from his team.
He's also pleased with how his players have balanced having fun with putting in the work in practice.
"This is probably as good as practice that we've had in the last four to five weeks," Dimel said. "That really impressed me. I just love the way they're handling everything. Having fun, but not having too much fun and being locked in to what we're doing."
UTEP quarterback Gavin Hardison echos his coach's sentiments, that the team is on a mission to win UTEP's first bowl game since 1967.
"We've had a lot of fun," Hardison said. "They've (New Mexico Bowl officials) spoiled us so far, but we understand the task at hand and what we have to do on Saturday, but I feel like everyone is prepared."
Following the team's final practice, the Miners and Bulldogs will meet as one for a team dinner at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
The New Mexico Bowl is Saturday, December 18, kickoff time is set for 12:15 p.m.