5 Cool Facts: UTEP

Five cool facts about UTEP, Texas Tech's opponent in Saturday's contest at the Sun Bowl in El Paso.

The Red Raiders travel for the first time this season to a land even further west, but still in the great Lone Star State; El Paso. Here are five things you should know before Texas Tech takes on UTEP.

Texas Tech and UTEP have a good history having played each other a total of 21 times. The Red Raiders have won the past five meetings dating back to 1963. The last time the Red Raiders played the Miners was back in 2007 when quarterback Graham Harrell threw for 484 yards and four touchdowns and Michael Crabtree racked up 15 receptions for 188 yards.

The list of connections between the Texas Tech and UTEP rosters is lengthy, as many of these guys played with each other in high school or at the junior college level. There are 11 Red Raiders who have connections with UTEP players. Texas Tech sophomore offensive linemen Trey Keenan and freshman wide receiver Ian Sadler went to Argyle high school with UTEP OL Michael Castle. It will also be a Riverside Community College reunion for Tech’s offensive lineman Dominique Robertson as three of his former teammates play for UTEP.

As most Texas Tech fans know many of the coaches are former Red Raiders themselves. The same could be said about UTEP. Head coaches Kliff Kingsbury and Sean Kugler are two of the 12 Division I head coaches who played at the school they are currently coaching. Sean Kugler played for the Miners 1985-88 and was an assistant coach from 1993-2000. Now Kugler, along with Kingsbury, is in his second season as head coach at UTEP.

The Sun Bowl is the home stadium of the UTEP Miners and was voted the best stadium in the USA Conference by The Sporting News Magazine. In his weekly media luncheon Kulger said the players are excited to have a big crowd on Saturday (since they are playing a Big 12 opponent) and there is nothing like walking in to the Sun Bowl with 52,000 fans. That’s right, the Sun Bowl holds exactly 51,500 people and houses the second oldest bowl game behind the Rose Bowl along with the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The Miners’ single game attendance record is 53,415 from when they hosted Texas in 2009.

There are 13 states that are separated by different time zones and the big state of Texas is one of them. With a 10 p. m. (CT) kick off time means it is going to be a late night for Red Raider fans who watch the game in Lubbock. Although, most fans prepared for this during the Holiday Bowl in February when Texas Tech traveled to San Diego and had a 9:15 p.m. (CT) kickoff.

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