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UTEP declined North Texas’ offer to play football game in Denton

utep football home opener
Miners walking off the field at the Sun Bowl Stadium after defeating Stephen F. Austin in front of 6,047 fans.

EL PASO, Texas - UTEP hasn't played a football game at home since September 19.

The Miners were looking forward to their return to the Sun Bowl with a scheduled conference game against North Texas on Saturday.

However, the wait for the return home will continue after North Texas refused to travel to El Paso because of the current surge in Covid-19 cases.

The game ended up being postponed, but UTEP head coach Dana Dimel confirmed that North Texas offered to play the game at their home stadium in Denton, TX.

An offer UTEP ultimately declined.

"I never even considered that an option even though it was out there," Dimel said. "To get on a plane on short notice, and get a hotel room on short notice, there wasn't a whole lot of motivation for us to spend a lot of money and give up a home game."

Another concern for Dimel was that if the Miners had accepted the offer, it would have been the team's 4th straight game on the road.

With North Texas' refusal to come to El Paso, Dimel isn't concerned that other teams scheduled to play in El Paso will follow suit.

"I feel comfortable, very, very comfortable that we're going to play against FIU (Florida International University) next weekend, and so I don't see it happening over and over again," Dimel said. "I think that (UTEP) President Wilson has done a fantastic job of putting the message out there that our campus and what we're doing is a very, very safe environment."

The game against Florida International University is scheduled for Saturday, November 7 at the Sun Bowl.

UTEP now has to make up two Conference USA games, one against North Texas, the other against Southern Miss.

Southern Miss had to postpone their game after a spike in Covid-19 cases on their team.

Both games were scheduled to be played at the Sun Bowl, and UTEP is hopeful they'll be able to play those games in December.

Sports / Texas Sports

Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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