This is shaping up to be a stripped-down version of Texas facing a stripped-down version of UTEP.
The Longhorns could be without a few offensive line starters.
* LT Connor Williams is being evaluated after a head injury in the Notre Dame game. Could mean a Jean Delance sighting.
* LG Patrick Vahe might rest his injured ankle, so expect to see a lot of Elijah Rodriguez (No. 72)
* Backup RT Tristan Nickelson (ankle) is out. Brandon Hodges had already won the RT starting job, but we could see Denzel Okafor get some reps in a rotation with Hodges.
For UTEP, QB Zac Greenlee, a graduate transfer from Fresno State, is out after suffering an MCL knee sprain in a 38-22 victory over New Mexico State last week.
So the Longhorns will probably see UTEP's Wildcat QB Kavika Johnson and dual-threat QB Ryan Metz (6-3, 210).
The best matchup of the game will be UTEP's running game - led by RB Aaron Jones (5-10, 215), who is the nation's leading rusher after one week, because he ran for 249 yards and 2 TDs vs NMSU.
The Miners have a salty, veteran offensive line that help open holes for Jones.
So let's see how the Texas run D can handle the Miners.
By game's end, Texas should be able to cover the 30-point spread.
TEXAS 58 ... UTEP 17
(* RG Kent Perkins (knee) might not see much - if any - action.)
I'm going to take some time and publicly eat crow. I didn't expect the Texas offense to be entirely different this season, let alone in Game 1 against a Top 10 team. And I was wrong.
To say I was impressed with the Longhorns' offense against Notre Dame would be an understatement. Sure it wasn't perfect, but it was entirely different than what we have seen from Texas in recent years.
With that game in the past, Texas needs to turn its focus on UTEP and not get put in a trap game sort of situation.
The Texas defense will face a challenge in UTEP running back Aaron Jones, who is coming off of a game where he rushed for 249 yards and two touchdowns. (Yes, it was against New Mexico State, but still impressive.)
Overall, the Longhorns shouldn't have any problem against the Miners as long as their focus is back on that game and not on what happened last Sunday.
Texas 52 UTEP 24