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  1. Dana Dimel and the UTEP football program have been on a multi-year rebuild that is now at a really interesting place entering year four. The former Kansas State offensive coordinator has been extremely cautious when throwing out any guarantees for his team in the past, and since he was hired back in 2018 to help turn the squad into a winner, he's maintained a five-year plan. However, the talent across the roster has started to fill out a little faster than expected and the Miners proved in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season that they can be competitive. Year four brings a lot to the table for the Miners. Dimel is in the fourth season of his five-year contract. The team returns 11 starters on offense and about nine defensively. The schedule favors the Miners early on. They have made lots of coaching shifts over the offseason. JUCO recruits are still signing to the program. And their opener against NM State (Aug. 28) is less than 60 days away. “I think we’re right on queue where I thought we would be," Dimel told 600 ESPN El Paso. "You’re not going into a place thinking that you’re going to change it in a year. You try to build a big picture concept and we feel we’re right on track to do that. We feel like we were really close last year, but that was last year. We need to continue to get better, continue to tweak our roster; and take guys that came onto the scene from last year and push them to a whole other level." Read More: It's Time to Talk UTEP Football: 2021 Season Preview | https://krod.com/its-time-to-talk-utep-football-2021-season-preview/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral
  2. SMU is 17-6 over the last two years, but if coach Sonny Dykes’ team wants to take the next step and contend for the conference title, there’s one glaring question mark to address this offseason. The Mustangs aren’t lacking for skill talent at running back or receiver, but uncertainty remains under center after the departure of Shane Buechele. Oklahoma transfer Tanner Mordecai and freshman Preston Stone are set to compete for the job and are crucial to the overall success of SMU’s 2021 season. The Mustangs gave up 30.9 points a contest last year, but seven returning starters under new play-caller Jim Leavitt should be enough to generate improvement on defense. read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/smu-football-mustangs-prediction-preview-2021
  3. North Texas is another team new to C-USA this season. The Mean Green will look to bounce back from the 4-8 record it posted in its final season in the Sun Belt Conference. With the exception of an early-season game against Georgia, North Texas non-conference schedule makes it somewhat plausible for them to build from last year. If anything, the conference schedule might pose a problem. The Mean Green will face both Tulsa and Louisiana Tech. On the other hand, UTEP might end up being challenged more by its non-conference schedule. The Miners only managed three wins last season so theyre in need of similar upward momentum. With road games at Colorado, New Mexico and the mighty Texas A&M, nothing will come easy for the Miners. On top of all that, this season is New Mexico States turn to host their annual rivalry game. UTEP will not play ECU this season. The Pirates beat the Miners 28-18 in 2012. In their first season in C-USA, the University of Texas at San Antonio, it will be very tough for the schools young football program to have success under former Miami (Fla.) head coach Larry Coker. Read more: http://eastcarolina.scout.com/2/1307482.html
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