EL PASO, Texas – A home opener versus Texas Tech and the Battle of I-10 returning to El Paso are just two of the marquee match-ups that highlight the 2020 UTEP football schedule, which was announced on Wednesday.
“We're excited about entering our third season and putting a team on the field that more closely reflects the style of play that we want to see,” UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said. “We'll have a new quarterback in 2020, which is also exciting. We have a great home schedule this fall. We can't wait to show off our new-look Sun Bowl Stadium in September with games versus Texas Tech from the Big 12 Conference and our long-time rival NM State. We have another state rival, North Texas, coming to El Paso as well as the defending Conference USA West Division champion UAB.”
The Miners will kick off the 2020 season by hosting the Red Raiders of Texas Tech on Saturday, Sept. 5 at the Sun Bowl. Following the season opener, UTEP will hit the road for back-to-back non-conference contests at Nevada (Sept. 12) and Texas (Sept. 19).
“We play at Nevada and Texas in September,” Dimel said. “Those are games that our fans may want to travel to. We also play at UTSA and Rice, so there will be multiple opportunities for our fans to hit the road with us and cheer on their Miners.”
On Sept. 26, the Miners return home to face off against NM State for the 98th meeting in the Battle of I-10. UTEP leads the all-time series 57-38-2 over the Aggies.
The 14-team Conference USA alignment for the 2020 campaign will again feature each team playing eight conference games, along with four non-league contests. A total of 168 games are featured over 13 regular season playing weeks.
Each Conference USA school will play every team in its division once for six games, while playing two cross-over opponents from the opposite division. Each team will reverse the location of its 2019 division and cross-division opponents, with intra-division foes finishing a two-year cycle. The conference is in the fourth year of a rotation between cross-division opponents that will rotate every two years until 2024, when each school has played every opponent in the opposite division once home and away.
After wrapping up non-conference play in the month of September, UTEP will enjoy an open date before jumping head first into Conference USA action at Louisiana Tech on Oct. 10. The road contest versus the Bulldogs will mark the first of eight straight league contests for the Miners.
“The structure of the schedule is good,” Dimel said. “I think it works out well with the bye week coming right after the NM State game. That's always a huge, emotional game for us and the bye week will allow us to get refocused and geared up for the start of conference play.”
UTEP will host C-USA West Division foe Southern Miss at the Sun Bowl on Oct. 17 before crossing over to the East Division for a road contest at Charlotte (Oct. 24) the following week.
Beginning on Halloween, the Miners will play the five remaining regular season games in the state of Texas, beginning with a pair of home contests versus North Texas (Oct. 31) and FIU (Nov. 7).
Dimel and Company will then travel to UTSA on Nov. 14 before returning to El Paso for the final home game of the season on Nov. 21 versus UAB.
The 2020 regular-season finale is slated for Nov. 28 when the Miners travel to Houston to face the Rice Owls.
Overall, nine of UTEP’s 12 games next season will be played in the state of Texas.
Conference USA’s 16th annual Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West Divisions, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5.
2020 UTEP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 5 TEXAS TECH
Sept. 12 at Nevada
Sept. 19 at Texas
Sept. 26 NM STATE
Oct. 3 BYE
Oct. 10 at Louisiana Tech*
Oct. 17 SOUTHERN MISS*
Oct. 24 at Charlotte*
Oct. 31 NORTH TEXAS*
Nov. 7 FIU*
Nov. 14 at UTSA*
Nov. 21 UAB*
Nov. 28 at Rice*
Home games in BOLD
*Conference USA game