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Texas El Paso Miners vs. New Mexico Lobos Free Pick - 9/7/13

New Mexico Lobos (0-1) at Texas El Paso Miners (0-0)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Sun Bowl)

The Line: Texas El Paso Miners -6 -- Over/Under: 48 See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX College Sports

The New Mexico Lobos take their running game on the road to the Texas-El Paso Miners.

I really thought New Mexico would wear down Texas-San Antonio with their grind it out rushing attack, but the Lobos never got on track in a 21-13 home loss. UNM totaled just 277 yards and did have a productive day on the ground, with 193 yards, but that wasn't enough. Running quarterback Cole Gautshe was solid with his legs, gaining a team high 116 yards, but Kasey Carrier is the big threat on the ground and his 50 yards on 20 carries was a surprisingly low. Gautshe struggled in the air, going 4-12 for 65 yards and a score but the Lobos won't win through the air. The defense held UTSA to 394 yards and even got on the scoreboard with a 45 yard fumble return.

Texas El Paso Miners vs. New Mexico Lobos Free Pick - 9/7/13

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Texas-El Paso looks to bring home a victory in their season opener versus New Mexico. I always struggle to try and nail down this team, who can look so bad one week and so good the following. Having said that, there wasn't much to like in 2012 when the team finished 3-9 behind an offense that mustered around 21 points, so the thinking is there is nowhere to go but up for this unit. I've heard that before, but with Texas A&M transfer Jamell Showers under center, there is no reason to think otherwise. Their top four runners are also back, although the receiving corps lacks experience. The offensive line, however, looks to be in good shape. A defense that allowed almost 30 points per returns five players and were weak against just about everything.

UTEP is supposed to be better, but the defense that gave up 194 yards in 2012 faces a run only New Mexico. The problem for the Lobos is Gautshe is supposedly out with a concussion and, if true, I would favor the Miners. Enough to make a play? That's a definite maybe.

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