UTEP will face East Carolina, 5:00pm MT Saturday in Greenville, North Carolina
THE BASIC FACTS
- UTEP opens its eighth season of Conference USA play at East Carolina on Saturday.
- The Miners are 22-34 versus C-USA opponents since joining the league for the 2005 season.
- UTEP is 16-12 in C-USA home games and 6-22 in C-USA road games.
- The Miners haven’t won more than one C-USA road game in a season since 2005.
- UTEP is 5-2 in C-USA openers (4-0 home, 1-2 away).
- The Miners have dropped their last two C-USA openers at Houston in 2010 (54-24) and at SMU in 2011 (28-17) after winning five straight.
- UTEP is 2-5 in C-USA road openers with wins at SMU in 2007 (48-45 in overtime) and at Southern Miss in 2008 (40-37 in double overtime).
- East Carolina has never served as UTEP’s opening C-USA opponent. The Miners played the Pirates in their third league game in 2007, eighth game in 2008 and sixth game in 2011.
- The Miners will have traveled a total of 5,810 miles (round trip) in two weeks when they return to El Paso following Saturday’s game. UTEP played at Wisconsin last week.
- The distance from El Paso to Greenville, N.C. is 1,686 miles, making this the longest road trip for the Miners within C-USA play. Orlando (UCF) is the second-longest trip at 1,512 miles one-way.
- UTEP is 0-17-1 all-time when playing inside the Eastern time zone. The tie came versus West Virginia, 13-13, on Nov. 12, 1949.
- East Carolina is playing its second home game of the season following three straight on the road. The Pirates beat Appalachian State, 35-13, in their home opener on Sept. 1 before 49,023 fans.
- ECU is 163-84-1 (.658) all-time at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
COACH TO CURE MD WEEK
- The UTEP and East Carolina coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.
- Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org  or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
- UTEP dropped to 1-3 on the season with a 37-26 loss at Wisconsin last Saturday.
- The Miners were outscored 21-3 in the second quarter and fell behind 23-6 before stringing together 13 consecutive points to pull within four (23-19) midway through the fourth quarter.
- Wisconsin put the game out of reach with two touchdowns in a span of 15 seconds late in the game.
- Melvin Gordon rushed eight times for 112 yards for the Badgers, who lost starting tailback Montee Ball to a head injury in the second quarter.
- Jared Abbrederis compiled six catches for 147 yards for Wisconsin.
- UTEP QB Nick Lamaison completed 22-of-39 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
- Both of Lamaison’s TD passes went to Michael Edwards, who finished with seven catches for 151 yards.
- The Miners lost starting strong safety Richard Spencer to a knee injury in the third quarter.
- East Carolina fell 27-6 at North Carolina last Saturday.
- The Pirates trailed 10-6 at the half and were shut out after the break as the Tar Heels put 17 points on the board.
- ECU was limited to 233 yards of offense (124 passing, 109 rushing).
- Shane Carden completed 17-of-30 passes for 124 yards for the Pirates.
- Bryn Renner finished 27-of-43 passing for 321 yards, including two TDs, for North Carolina.
- East Carolina’s six second half offensive drives averaged 7.8 yards with none longer than 27 yards.
- LB Jeremy Grove led ECU with nine tackles and was credited with two of the Pirates’ six tackles for losses.
UTEP VS. EAST CAROLINA
- Fourth meeting between the schools with the Pirates holding a 2-1 series edge.
- East Carolina topped UTEP in El Paso in 2007 (45-42 in overtime) and in Greenville in 2008 (53-21).
- The Miners beat the Pirates last season in the Sun Bowl (22-17).
- UTEP had beaten every other team in C-USA before breaking through with a victory over ECU on the third try last year.
- East Carolina has one Texas player on its roster in sophomore QB Shane Carden. UTEP has no North Carolina products.
- The Miners do have three players from Maryland on their roster in junior DL Horace Miller (Baltimore), senior DB Derrick Morgan (Germantown) and freshman DB Terrance Williams (Baltimore). Germantown is 249 miles from Greenville and Baltimore is 260 miles away.
- UTEP senior OL James Nelson & senior K Dakota Warren and ECU junior DL John Lattimore both played at Ventura [Calif.] College prior to transferring in to FBS programs.
- UTEP junior OL David Grubaugh and ECU junior LB Gabriel Woullard both started their collegiate careers at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif.
- UTEP has played four games in its football history where Ruffin McNeill, current head coach of the East Carolina Pirates, was on the opposing sideline. On Oct. 23, 1999, McNeill was defensive coordinator at Fresno State when the Bulldogs topped the Miners 24-23 in overtime. McNeill was on the Texas Tech staff when the Red Raiders knocked off UTEP during the 2006 (38-35 in overtime) and 2007 (45-31) seasons. McNeill also coached against the Miners last season in El Paso, with his Pirates coming up on the short end of a 22-17 score.
UTEP VS. C-USA’S EASTERN DIVISION
- UTEP is kicking off its C-USA slate versus an Eastern Division team for the second time, including a 58-13 home win over UCF to christen league play in 2008.
- UTEP’s all-time record versus the C-USA Eastern Division is 7-16. The Miners are 15-18 versus the Western Division.
- UTEP is 2-8 in road games versus C-USA Eastern Division teams with wins at UAB in 2006 (36-17) and Southern Miss in 2008 (40-37 in double overtime). The Miners have lost their last five away games to Eastern Division squads.