The Boise State Broncos are 2-1 to start this season and are two-possession favorites going into their fourth game of the year. That game is against the UTEP Miners, who have struggled out of the gate with a 1-3 record.
But on a Friday night after a long travel assignment for the Broncos, the Miners will have an upset on their minds as they play the role of host in this contest.
Boise State Broncos Overview
So far this season, the Boise State Broncos have taken care of business against teams they were expected to beat while losing to the lone Power 5 team on their schedule.
Boise State started their season with a loss on the road to Oregon State of the Pac-12. They have since rebounded with wins over the New Mexico Lobos on the road and FCS opponent Tennessee-Martin at home.
This week, the Broncos are back on the road to take on UTEP for their third road game in four contests overall. So far, the defense of the Broncos has held up well this season despite their road-heavy schedule, as they have allowed just 18.3 points per game despite facing a Power 5 opponent already on the year.
In this contest, it is the run defense of the Broncos that could propel them to a victory over UTEP as a road favorite.
Through three games, Boise State has allowed 76.3 yards per game on the ground, and the strength of their defense matches up well against the weakness of the UTEP offense.
UTEP has averaged just 74.3 yards per game on the ground offensively, and Boise State will like their chances of slowing them down because of that. The Broncos could end up forcing a lot of predictable passing situations if they can remain stout against the run on early downs.
UTEP Miners Overview
UTEP has gone 1-2 to start this season, dropping games against Oklahoma and New Mexico on the road while beating New Mexico State at home.
Both of the losses for UTEP on the season have come by double figures, as the Miners lost by 32 to Oklahoma and 17 to the Lobos last week. This week, the Miners will hope that being back at home can help them pull off an upset and get back to .500 on the season.
The defense for the Miners has not been terrible so far this season, especially if you take their game against Oklahoma out of the equation.
Against the two New Mexico schools they have faced, the Miners have allowed just 20.0 points per game. If they can hold up in a similar fashion against Boise State, they could end up in a position to keep this game close down the stretch.
More than likely, though, it will be the offensive production of the Miners that will be the real concern in this game. UTEP has averaged 14 points per game so far this season and only 15 points per game if you take out their loss to Oklahoma.
They have been one of the least productive offensive teams in the country, which they will need to remedy if they want a chance to win this game and get to 2-2 on the year.
Typically, laying a big number with a road team on a Friday night is not a great way to make money betting college football. But the lack of any sort of threat from the UTEP offense makes this game an exception to that rule.