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One-on-One with Dana Dimel: UTEP all but locks up bowl berth ahead of Thanksgiving

EL PASO, Texas - Despite the Miners clinching "bowl eligibility" with a 6th win in October, it was no sure thing that UTEP would get a bowl bid at 6-6.

But following a 38-28 Senior Day win over Rice last weekend, UTEP''s seventh on the year, the Miners can assure themselves a postseason spot.

"I think everybody else had preached that to them!" said Head Coach Dana Dimel regarding the Miners' need to get to a seventh win.

UTEP officially has clinched it's first winning season since 2014, and just it's seventh in the last 50 years.

"No doubt excited about it. The guys have worked so hard," adds Dimel on the winning feeling. "And I'm just looking forward to getting in a bowl game because obviously there's tons of positive things that come from it, positive national exposure, and a chance to practice your young guys too."

The Miners now have a chance to make that bowl game a more premier destination with a chance at an eighth win in the regular season finale Friday at UAB.

The Blazers (7-4, 5-2 C-USA) have a five-game winning streak against the Miners and are the reigning C-USA West Champs, but Dimel's sees UTEP as playing loose coming off a comeback win at home.

UTEP trailed the Owls 21-14 at halftime, before scoring their most points in a half all season en route to a 38-28 victory.

"We did it in really, you know, high fashion overcoming so many things that happened to us that were really out of our control. And to come back and overcome adversity like that. I think we regained a lot of that swagger that we had throughout most of the season."

As for the Friday kickoff on the day after Thanksgiving, Dimel prefers it.

"It's just something that I've had a chance to do quite a bit in my career. And I love it, because we're short a day but so is UAB."

Kickoff for Friday's game is set for 12pm MT and will be broadcast on ESPNPlus.

Watch Dana Dimel's one-on-one with ABC-7's Nate Ryan in the attached clip on the "UTEP Football Coaches' Show."

Nate Ryan

Nate Ryan is an ABC-7 sports anchor/reporter.

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