Rivals meet for 90th time
Brass Spittoon, Silver Spade trophies await Battle of I-10 winner
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
The Sun Bowl will be hosting the 90th edition of the Battle of I-10 between the UTEP Miners and the New Mexico State Aggies on Sept. 15.
“It’s a big game, no question, it’s important for pride between these two schools, alumni, fans and communities. Whether you’re an alumni or fan, you want to beat the Aggies,” head coach Mike Price said. “It’s important for our players to know so they understand the history of the spade and the spittoon. Is that going to help us block (defensive end) Donte Savage or catch up to their receiver Austin Franklin, who is blazing fast? I don’t know. But we definitely know the importance of this game.”
NM State is looking to sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley to keep finding success in the passing game.
Against the Ohio Bobcats, Manley completed 12 of 24 attempts, for a total of 132 yards, one touchdown and one interception Sept. 8 in Athens, Ohio. Junior running back Germi Morrison obtained 39 yards in only seven carries.
“We did what we had to do to prepare ourselves for the game against UTEP,” Aggies head coach DeWayne Walker said. “Mike Price has a great team this year, they are very competitive, it’s going to be a very challenging game, and we are going to have our hands full.”
The rivalry dates back to 1914. UTEP is trying to avoid its first 0-3 start since 2008, also the last time they fell to the Aggies.
The Aggies (1-1) are seeking their first win against another FBS program. They defeated FCS Sacramento State 49-19 in Las Cruces and were defeated by the Bobcats 51-24.
UTEP’s offense has struggled in the first two weeks of the season, only scoring 10 points in each game.
The Miners opened the season against then fourth ranked Oklahoma and lost 24-7, before collecting their second loss of the season in Oxford, Miss. against the Ole Miss Rebels 28-10 a week later.
Against Oklahoma the Miners were able to run the football for more than 200 yards, but only had 48 passing.
Sophomore running back Nathan Jeffery was sidelined due to a groin injury and his absence was felt as the Miners only carried the ball for 37 yards on 30 attempts against Ole Miss.
The good news for UTEP is that the passing game was much better, the Miners completed 27 of their 40 attempts for 274 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and are now hoping Jeffery can recover on time for this week’s game.
UTEP currently holds a three-game win streak over the Aggies, but the last time the rivals from Las Cruces defeated the Miners was in 2008 in El Paso.
The home team has won 11 of the past 15 meetings and both teams seem eager to collect the Silver Spade and the Brass Spittoon trophies awarded to the winner.
“Our strategy is to just go out and play the game. Go hard get physical and make sure it’s a good game,” junior defensive lineman Germard Reed said. “This rivalry means a lot. We are really close to each other, maybe 30 minutes apart. I want to win by all means. Whatever it takes I want to win and hopefully we go out play fast, put up a good game and win.”
The Aggies will officially abandon the Western Athletic Conference and will play as a football independent in 2013.
Edwin Delgado may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.