Dana Dimel's first season in El Paso finally has a schedule as CUSA released the Miner's 2018 slate. For the winless Miners, nothing is easy, but at least UTEP catches a break from a travel perspective.
In the league, the Miners only travel to the eastern time zone, where they've never won a game, just once. The conference schedule opens with UTSA on the road then a home date with North Texas before a bye week.
The Miners then alternate home and away dates to end the season. Louisiana Tech on the road, UAB at home, Rice on the road, then MTSU, the only eastern time zone conference trip to Western Kentucky before finishing at home vs. Southern Miss.
Those last three are pretty brutal with a couple of CUSA east top-tier squads and USM to end the season.
The non-conference is typically tough. You can't assume a win vs. Northern Arizona. The Miners then travel to UNLV who could go either way in Tony Sanchez' fourth season. The Rebels have improved each year and won five games last season. A road trip to Tennessee is a nice paycheck, but UTEP just wants to survive. A week later New Mexico State comes to town to play for the brass spittoon.
The New Mexico State game is a helpful litmus test, the Aggies were a bowl team last season and blew the Miners out in Las Cruces. Somehow Doug Martin assembled a rangy, athletic team. The Aggies lose some valuable offensive weapons, and a packed Sun Bowl should be ready to see just how close or far Dimel's program is from competing.