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UTEP vs. Old Dominion Prediction, Game Preview

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UTEP vs. Old Dominion prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Miners and Monarchs on Saturday in El Paso, TX.


UTEP vs. Old Dominion Game Preview

When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX
TV Broadcast: N/A

The Miners (2-5, 1-3 Conference USA) ended their five-game losing streak last week when quarterback Ryan Metz connected with Warren Redix on a six-yard touchdown pass in the fifth overtime to push them past UTSA 52-49 in the first five-overtime game in Conference USA’s history. The Miners rallied twice from 14-point deficits in the win.

Meanwhile, the Monarchs (4-3, 2-1) saw their three-game win streak come to an end last week in a 59-24 road drubbing at the hands of Western Kentucky, which saw quarterback Mike White throw for 378 yards and four touchdowns. ODU allowed WKU to score on eight of its first nine possessions to cruise to a 52-14 halftime lead.

When these teams met last year in Norfolk, David Washington threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns, while Ray Lawry and Jeremy Cox each ran 42 yards for a score in a 31-21 ODU victory. Miners quarterback Mark Leftwich finished with 193 yards on 21-of-38 passing for three touchdowns, but he was picked off twice by Fellonte Misher. Zach Pascal led the Monarchs with 12 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown.

What To Know About UTEP

Miners head coach Sean Kugler put his team in full pads and had them tackle last week leading up to the 5-OT win over UTSA, which was a back-to-basics move that paid off after the struggles to start the season. Metz was named the starter at quarterback moving forward and responded by going 15-of-23 passing for 211 yards. Aaron Jones is the team’s best player, and he hasn’t had a bad game yet this season. He has 125 carries for 846 yards (a 6.8 yards per carry average) and eight touchdowns. If Metz can play as well as he did against UTSA, this will be a much-improved offense in the season’s final weeks.

What to Know About Old Dominion

The Monarchs were simply overwhelmed by a Western Kentucky offense that entered last week ranked No. 33 in the country in total offense at 467.3 yards per contest. While ODU’s defense came in allowing 25.5 points per game, stopping the WKU offense is no easy task. So the key for the Monarchs is to get back on track by doing what they do best: feed the rock to Jeremy Cox and Ray Lawry while letting quarterback David Washington occasionally take shots down the field.

Advantages

Offense: Old Dominion. The Monarchs are averaging more than 11 points per game more than the Miners, although UTEP looks to be improved on that side of the ball now.

Defense: Old Dominion. Neither unit is great, but UTEP has been more leaky throughout the year.

Special Teams: Old Dominion. The Monarchs have improved special teams depth, which has helped them better their punt and kickoff return units.

Coaching: Old Dominion. Bobby Wilder has just one losing season in his eight years at the school.

Intangibles: Even. The Miners finally broke their losing streak last week, but the Monarchs want to get the bad taste out of their mouths from last week’s blowout loss.

Matchup To Watch

Old Dominion rush attack vs. UTEP run defense

The Miners are very generous against the run, as they allow 238.6 rushing yards per game. Cox and Lawry have combined for 853 yards and 13 scores on the ground, so the combo has worked in unison very well. Because of the solid rushing attack, Washington has been able to find success in most every game this season (outside of the loss at Appalachian State). ODU should have no problem beating UTEP if Cox and Lawry continue to play how they have all season.

Betting Odds

Spread: Old Dominion -4.5
Over/Under: 57

UTEP vs. Old Dominion Prediction

This is too balanced of an Old Dominion offense to not be able to consistently move the football against an overmatched Miners defense. UTEP’s offense will continue to look improved, but it can’t keep up with ODU on the scoreboard.

UTEP vs. Old Dominion Score Prediction: Old Dominion 34, UTEP 27

MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 9

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