Despite the fact Texas Tech and UTEP have squared off on the gridiron only six times since 1957, this is one of Tech’s more longstanding football series.
The two schools have been playing since 1930, when Texas Tech University was known as Texas Technological College and UTEP was the Texas School of Mines.
The Miners won the initial tilt 31-0 and won the next game 14-12 in 1931. But from there it has been pretty much downhill for the outfit from El Paso. Texas Tech holds a commanding 15-6-1 advantage in the series, and has won six straight, its last loss to the Miners coming in 1957 by a 26-14 count. Tech owns identical 7-3 marks against the Miners in El Paso and in Lubbock. The teams met once in Odessa (1939), and the Miners came away with a 7-2 victory.
The Texas Tech-UTEP series is one that has been played overwhelmingly in the 1930s and 1950s. Fully 64 percent of the clashes occurred in those two decades. The chief reason for this fact is that from 1935 through 1956 Texas Tech and UTEP (called Texas Western subsequent to being Texas School of Mines and prior to becoming the University of Texas at El Paso) were rivals in the Border Conference. During that period the Red Raiders put together a 7-3-1 mark against their West Texas rivals.
Texas Tech’s period of greatest dominance was from 1933 through 1951. Over that period the Red Raiders and Miners met seven times with the latter scoring a total of 27 points, which equates to roughly four points per game.
The largest margin of victory for either team came in the 1950 battle in which the Red Raiders, who would go on to finish 3-8, romped over the Miners, eventually a 7-3 club, 61-7.
The lowest combined point output in the series is the nine points scored in the 1939 contest, which was won by UTEP 7-2. The highest point total was 83 points in the 1954 clash won by Tech 55 to 28.
During the era of Texas Tech’s spread offense (2000-present), the Red Raiders are 3-0 against UTEP, with an average margin of victory of seven points.
The last meeting prior to this era came in 1998 during the Spike Age. Tech won that game 35-3, but were only ahead by a 7-0 count at halftime. Tech’s Ricky Williams ran wild in the second half, however, amassing a career best 251 yards, 192 of which came in the second half.
Tech’s defense intercepted Miner quarterbacks three times, and limited UTEP to 12 first downs and 301 total yards.
Most recently, the Red Raiders escaped El Paso with a 30-26 win last year. UTEP took a 26-23 lead on a nine-yard touchdown run by Aaron Jones with 5:05 remaining in the game, but a few minutes later Davis Webb hit Bradley Marquez for the last of his three touchdown receptions of the evening to stake Tech to its winning margin.
But the Red Raiders needed a defensive stand to make that final score stick following a 52-yard kickoff return by Autrey Golden, which was enhanced by a 15-yard facemask penalty. UTEP could do nothing on four plays after setting up shop at the Red Raider 33, however, and turned the ball over on downs.