Going to the UTEP underage football game? Here’s what you need to know

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The UTEP football team enters a rare season of expectations on Saturday, perhaps ahead of an even rarer sale at Sun Bowl Stadium, when the Miners take on North Texas at 7 p.m.

It will be the biggest crowd ever in the new Sun Bowl, which lost about 6,000 seats during a 2019 renovation (it now has a capacity of 45,971), and the biggest since 2014, when 47,809 took saw Arizona State beat Duke in the playoffs. .

Here’s what to know as the Miners begin their quest for their first consecutive winning seasons since 2004-05. Stadium policies are unchanged from a year ago.

UTEP Minors Football Game Day Timeline

8am: Outdoor campus grounds are open for parking and tailgating. The Eisenberg family box office opens if there are still tickets

Midday: Indoor campus grounds are open for parking and tailgating

4 p.m..: The Sun Bowl ticket offices are open if there are still tickets available.

5 p.m.: Entrances to Premium seats open

5:30 p.m.: All stadium doors open

6:30 p.m.: The stadium’s pre-match show begins with the UTEP marching band

7 p.m..: To start up

What to bring

UTEP has a transparent bag policy indeed, the bags must be clear plastic or vinyl and must not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches. A 1 gallon clear plastic freezer bag counts. A small purse, about the size of a hand or smaller, is also permitted.

Blankets, seat cushions and a plastic water bottle can also be brought. Signs, banners and flags that UTEP deems in good taste are permitted.

Parking and lines

The Sun Bowl has drawn 46,000 people on several occasions before and has handled it fairly well, but there will be lines for concessions. Parking, for those without a pass, will require a walk. Free parking is offered on the south side of the campus in lots SC1, SC2, SC3, SC4, RI4 and the Schuster garage. These are accessible from Schuster Drive.

Sold?

Although the game was sold out, Thursday afternoon there were around 3,000 tickets left. UTEP’s last sellout was in 2008 against Texas when it announced 53,415 fans (more than 1,000 above then-listed capacity); the last sold-out Sun Bowl was on New Year’s Eve 2010, when 54,021 people watched Notre Dame play in Miami.

How does UTEP win?

Three keys to the game:

  1. Don’t give in under pressure. The last time UTEP had a big Sun Bowl game, last November against UTSA 8-0, the Miners came out tight, fell behind at the second snap and never got over it. “We have to be aggressive and have fun,” coach Dana Dimel said. “Go out and have fun.”
  2. Protect quarterback Gavin Hardison. North Texas coach Seth Littrell noted that while UTEP hardison gunslinger is comfortable in the pocket, he’s as good as any Conference USA quarterback. So it follows that the miners want to keep him comfortable and give him time to choose his new targets from a revamped receiving corps.
  3. Be disruptive on the line. At 29, North Texas senior quarterback Austin Aune (he played six years in pro baseball after high school) is significantly older than, say, any Brigham Young quarterback who has ever set foot in the Sun Bowl. The strength of UTEP’s defense is their defensive line and depth there, so they’ll need to pressure veteran Aune to ease the pressure on a new group of cornerbacks making their first UTEP appearances.

Bret Bloomquist can be reached at 915-546-6359; [email protected]; @Bretbloomquist on Twitter.

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