UTEP Football 2023 Schedule Released with 3 Wednesday Games
The full UTEP football schedule for 2023 dropped on Tuesday featuring a few surprises ahead of Dana Dimel's sixth season at the helm of the program.
The Miners will have four weeknight games across the season, three coming on Wednesday night in October as part of the new television distribution deal by C-USA that will feature ESPN weeknight games.
In addition, the Miners will have to endure six weeks of consecutive football play beginning in week zero at Jacksonville State (Aug. 26) and finishing up versus LA Tech (Sept. 29) before their first bye week on Oct. 5.
If you follow UTEP football, you'll understand that the four non-conference games were already in place for 2023—vs. Incarnate Word (Sept. 2), at Northwestern (Sept. 9), at Arizona (Sept. 16) and vs. UNLV (Sept. 23).
Much like their C-USA opener in 2022 versus North Texas, the Miners will play a week zero game on Aug. 26 against their new C-USA foe in Jacksonville State, which finished 9-2 in the ASUN conference during 2022. New conference opponents that UTEP will face this year include a home game versus NM State (Oct. 18), a road game at Sam Houston State (Oct. 25) and a home contest against Liberty (Nov. 25).
Playing weeknight football games will become a common theme across C-USA due to their new TV deal signed this past fall. Copying the Mid-American Conference's November "MACtion" slate on ESPN, C-USA plans to host weeknight games in the month of October for years to come.
As a result, the Miners will have three Wednesday football games in October. They will travel to Florida International (Oct. 11) and Sam Houston (Oct. 25). Sandwiched in between the two matchups will be the Battle of I-10, which will strangely be played on a Wednesday evening in the Sun Bowl.
With a pair of weeknight home games (LA Tech and NMSU), an FCS home opener (Incarnate Word) and the lack of marquee matchups, UTEP might struggle to draw a decent crowd in 2023 with game times that might not be practical to the El Paso audience.
Conversely, UTEP will have more exposure as a football team on a national scale since the program will be on national television for several of these games.
Unlike last year's favorable schedule, 2023 presents entirely new challenges for UTEP. They will be playing four teams that made a bowl game last year (NM State, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee & Liberty). In addition, both Jacksonville State (9-2) and Incarnate Word (12-2) finished with strong records in 2022 at the FCS level.
So now the countdown begins for the 2023 season. Dimel and the rest of the Miners will have to gear up for the arduous schedule ahead.
2023 UTEP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sat., Aug. 26 at Jacksonville State*
Sat., Sept. 2 INCARNATE WORD
Sat., Sept. 9 at Northwestern
Sat., Sept. 16 at Arizona
Sat., Sept. 23 UNLV
Fri., Sept. 29 LA TECH*
Sat., Oct. 5 bye
Wed., Oct. 11 at FIU*
Wed., Oct. 18 NM STATE*
Wed., Oct. 25 at Sam Houston*
Sat., Nov. 4 WKU*
Sat., Nov. 11 bye
Sat., Nov. 18 at Middle Tennessee*
Sat., Nov. 25 LIBERTY*