Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (6-5) at Texas El Paso Miners (6-5)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 29, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Texas El Paso Miners -3 -- Over/Under: 58.5
The Texas El Paso Miners welcome the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders to the Sun Bowl Saturday.
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are one win away from reaching the postseason which means their bout with Texas El Paso is a must win. The Blue Raiders snapped a two game skid and kept their season alive with a 35-34 decision over Florida Atlantic that was decided when Austin Grammer hit Marcus Henry with a 12 yard scoring toss with 19 seconds left. The Owls totaled 540 yards with plenty of running and passing while the Blue Raiders posted 470 yards with most coming on the ground. Grammer completed 20-27 for 160 yards with a pair of scores and a pick which was an extention of the run. Reggie Whatley led MTSU on the ground with 190 yards and three touchdowns including a 75 yarder.
Texas El is in the same position as Middle Tennessee State in that a win is a necessity in the season finale'. The Miners missed out on an opportunity to secure a Bowl invitation in 31-13 defeat Rice in week 13. Rice did a little of everything on their way to 392 yards but this was a bad match up for the run heavy Miners who faced a strong run defense in the Owls. Consequently UTEP managed only 262 yards with 53 yards coming on the ground. Passing isn't a strength but Jameill Showers performed well by connecting on 17-30 for 209 yards with Ian Hamilton catching four balls for 130 yards. The bottom line is Texas El Paso is a run first squad and won't win if forced to throw exclusively.
The Blue Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game and are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. win while the Blue Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. For Texas El Paso the Miners are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on turf and are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games while the over is 5-0 in Miners last 5 games following a S.U. loss. I think this game boils down to whether Texas El Paso can run or not because they win if they can which the way I'm going with this...