Head to head: Here’s the history behind the UT vs. UTEP matchup

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Photo Credit: Chris Kominczak | Daily Texan Staff

The last time the Texas football team played UT-El Paso, Charlie Strong was in his final year as head coach, Shane Buechele was set to make his second start at quarterback as a true freshman and the Longhorns were riding high off of an overtime win over then-No. 10 Notre Dame on national television.

Much has changed for Texas since that game on Sept. 10, 2016, but one thing that hasn’t is the Longhorns’ dominance over the Miners. In each of the five UTEP matchups, all played in September, Texas has won by an average margin of over 30 points. 

The 41-7 win in 2016 was, similar to this year’s matchup, a result of a last-minute schedule change after a home-and-home with Minnesota fell through the cracks.

In 2008, the teams scheduled a home-and-home, with the Longhorns visiting El Paso for a 42-13 win the first go-around before beating the Miners again 64-7 the next year.

The first two matchups in 1930 and 1933 occurred when the University of Texas at El Paso was named the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy.

It was the Longhorns who handed the Texas School of Mines their only loss in 1930.

 

THE GAME TO REMEMBER:

As for the most memorable game between the Longhorns and Miners, the obvious choice is the 2008 matchup.

The two teams hadn’t played since 1933, and Miner fans were eager to see one of the state’s powerhouse colleges come to town — so eager that several fans climbed the nearby Franklin Mountain range to watch the game.

Colt McCoy was the starting quarterback at the time for the Longhorns.

"That was cool,” McCoy told the Associated Press. “That was the best seat in the house."
 
The game was arguably one of the biggest sports events in El Paso for decades, and the Sun Bowl held a record crowd that had lots to cheer for at the start of the highly anticipated game. Fans wore shirts saying “New Brand of Texas Football” and “09-06-08: Where will you be?”

On their first two possessions, the Miners didn’t disappoint their home crowd, scoring two field goals and jumping out to a 6-0 lead.

But any hopes of an upset disappeared with the brilliance of McCoy, who was 14 of 16 passing in the first half and finished with 282 yards and four touchdowns, foreshadowing his excellent record-setting junior year.

The 2008 matchup was the most competitive of the five, with the El Paso team staying within striking distance by scoring a touchdown right before halftime and then holding Texas scoreless in the third quarter.

But, in the end, the Longhorns proved too much for the Miners, who fell 42-13.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING:

Sept. 27, 1930: Texas vs. the Texas School of Mines, War Memorial Stadium, 28-0

Sept. 30, 1933: Texas vs. the Texas School of Mines, War Memorial Stadium, 22-6

Sept. 6, 2008: Texas at UTEP, Sun Bowl, 42-13

Sept. 26, 2009: Texas vs. UTEP, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, 64-7

Sept. 10, 2016: Texas vs. UTEP, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, 41-7