LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- This Saturday's Battle of I-10 is the 98th installment of rivalry. UTEP hasn't beaten New Mexico State since 2016. There's a lot riding on the season opener for both teams and perhaps no one understands the rivalry better than Kevin Maurice.
"I remember when I was a player we wanted so bad, its for bragging rights, its for regional supremacy per say," Maurice said.
Maurice was a UTEP football player and now he's helping out the Aggies on the side line as NMSU's tight end coach.
He says he understand how much this game means to the region.
"From my perspective being here, its such an important game because its going to set the tone for our season and really its going to give us the upper hand in terms of developing confidence."
Maurice said the anticipation for tomorrow nights game has been building. He's already received messages from a lot of people including former Aggies.
Maurice feels this rivalry is one of the most notable in the country. As a player and as a coach, the end goal hasn't changed, it's a must win game for the Miners and Aggies.
"If you think about it from a bigger spectrum professional, my life has come full circle," Maurice said. "I've coached in big games and I would say this is my biggest game yet."