Texas will face an undefeated team to open its 2020 college football season. The University of Texas-El Paso comes into Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium boasting a 1–0 record after a 24-14 win over Stephen F. Austin last weekend, but the Miners have only won two games in the past three years.
Here are four Miners players to watch for Saturday:
No. 6 Jacob Cowing — Wide receiver
As a freshman in 2019, Jacob Cowing made an immediate impact on a Miners offense that needed a spark. Cowing led the team in receiving yards with 550 and receiving touchdowns with three. The yards he gained as the deep threat of the offense placed him first among all Conference USA freshmen receivers. In the Miners’ first game of the season against Stephen F. Austin last weekend, Cowing hauled in seven receptions for 116 yards. The 5-foot-11-inch, 170-pound receiver may struggle to win contested catches against Texas’ bigger cornerbacks, but Cowing still has the speed to take a top off the defense if the secondary gets caught with their eyes in the backfield.
No. 73 Bobby DeHaro — Left guard
A two-time All-Conference USA honorable mention selection, Bobby DeHaro brings experience to UTEP’s offensive line. The redshirt junior out of El Paso has never missed a game after sitting out his freshman season in 2017. One of only three Miners to be selected to a preseason All-Conference USA team, DeHaro has the body of a prototypical NFL offensive lineman at 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 310 pounds. DeHaro will need every bit of that frame this Saturday, as he will likely be taking on senior defensive tackle Ta’Quon Graham and sophomore defensive lineman tackle Keondre Coburn. As one of the most tenured and successful members of the team, DeHaro might be the only one able to will the Miners to victory.
No. 23 Praise Amaewhule — Defensive end
Despite a quiet game last Saturday against Stephen F. Austin in which he failed to record a tackle, redshirt sophomore Praise Amaewhule is the leader of the Miner defense. Amaewhule, originally from Katy, Texas, was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team in 2019 after posting 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. In addition to leading the team in tackles for loss, Amaewhule also recovered a fumble for a touchdown. He will need to build upon his impressive freshman season if the Miners want to improve on their 2019 campaign, when they gave up nearly 36 points per game. Look for the 6-foot-3-inch 245-pounder to draw the matchup of redshirt junior Texas left tackle Samuel Cosmi, who might be the best offensive lineman Amaewhule will face all season.
No. 22 Josh Caldwell — Cornerback
A redshirt senior out of Long Beach, California, Josh Caldwell started all 11 games he suited up for in 2019 at cornerback. He led the Miners in pass breakups and posted 52 tackles. His 11 pass breakups last season tied for eighth-best in UTEP history. A JUCO product who spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons at Cerritos College, Caldwell has become a staple in the Miners secondary, one of the deepest areas of the team. The 6-foot, 170-pound corner will have his hands full this week trying to guard Texas wide receivers senior Tarik Black or junior Brennan Eagles, who stand at 6 feet, 3 inches and 6 feet, 4 inches tall, respectively. Caldwell and his cornerback companion, the 5-foot-11-inch redshirt senior Duron Lowe, give up a lot in size compared to Texas’ receivers and will attempt to make up for it in football savvy and experience.