Series History: Texas Tech-UTEP

The two teams will meet for the 22nd time 10 p.m. Saturday at the Sun Bowl in El Paso. The Red Raiders lead the all-time series 14-6-1.

Texas Tech and UTEP have a lot of history as the two were once conference rivals.

The University of Texas at El Paso is older than Texas Tech and has a longer running football program than Texas Tech. More experience does not translate into more success.

UTEP, originally known as Texas School of Mines and Metallurgy opening in 1914, played bully in the early years of the series. Texas Mines defeated Tech in the first two games, outscoring the Matadors 45-12. The Matadors would grow up quickly and win six of the next seven matchups.

The two teams had a number of clashes during their time as conference rivals in the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association (known widely as the Border Conference). Tech became a member of the conference in 1932 with Texas Mines following suit in 1935. Oddly, the two teams did not play each other in the first few years and featured a 10-year hiatus during the 40s. Some of this can be blamed on World War II. Both programs continued playing during the war, but Texas Tech took on soldiers at nearby military bases.

There was also the game that was never played. A Thursday night game scheduled in El Paso for Sept. 13, 2001. The Tuesday prior to the scheduled date, one of the biggest tragedies in the history of the United States took place. The crashing of four planes around the nation including two into the twin towers in New York City. Sept. 11 is now known as Patriot Day, but a moment of silence would take place prior to Texas Tech’s first game following the tragic event, against North Texas at Texas Stadium in Irving. The matchup against UTEP was cancelled and Texas Tech set-up a November game against Stephen F. Austin.

The two teams would not meet up again until 2006. What was supposed to be a tune-up game became a near disaster for Texas Tech as UTEP held on close. Tech took a 17-6 lead in the second quarter, but UTEP’s Jordan Palmer threw a touchdown pass with 20 seconds remaining to cut the lead to five heading into halftime.

The Miners eventually took a 25-24 lead in the third quarter and added a field goal shortly after starting the fourth. Tech would score 11 more points and take a seven-point lead, but UTEP was able to tie up the game with a 39-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute remaining.

With the game in overtime, UTEP got the ball first. On third down at the Tech six-yard line, Darcel McBath picked off Jordan Palmer.

Tech would start off their drive well, but ended up being flagged for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct. This backed Tech up to the 28-yard line. Eventually Alex Trlica would save the day with a game-winning field goal off one of the uprights as the Red Raiders escaped El Paso with a 38-35 overtime victory.

The two teams have not met since 2007 and the Red Raiders have not lost to UTEP since the Miners were named Texas Western in 1957. Texas Tech looks to extend their five-game win streak against the Miners Saturday. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. CDT.

Oct. 17, 1930 in Lubbock: Texas Mines 31 Texas Tech 0
Nov. 11, 1931 in El Paso: Texas Mines 14 Texas Tech 12
Oct. 28, 1933 in El Paso: Texas Tech 12 Texas Mines 0
Nov. 2, 1934 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 27 Texas Mines 0
Oct. 22, 1938 in Odessa: Texas Tech 14 Texas Mines 7
Sept. 23, 1939 in El Paso: Texas Mines 7 Texas Tech 2
Nov. 5, 1949 in El Paso: Texas Tech 13 Texas Western 0
Oct. 28, 1950 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 61 Texas Western 7
Nov. 3, 1951 in El Paso: Texas Tech 27 Texas Western 7
Oct.11, 1952 in Lubbock: Texas Western 20 Texas Tech 14
Sept. 26, 1953 in El Paso: Texas Tech 27 Texas Western 6
Oct. 9, 1954 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 55 Texas Western 28
Oct. 8, 1955 in El Paso: Texas Tech 27 Texas Western 27
Sept. 22, 1956 in Lubbock: Texas Western 17 Texas Tech 13
Oct. 12, 1957 in El Paso: Texas Western 26 Texas Tech 14
Nov. 16, 1963 in El Paso: Texas Tech 7 Texas Western 3
Sept. 6, 1980 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 35 UTEP 7
Sept. 5, 1998 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 35 UTEP 3
2001: Cancelled after 9/11 attacks
Sept. 9, 2006 in El Paso: Texas Tech 38 UTEP 35 OT
Sept. 8, 2007 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 45 UTEP 31

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