Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | El Paso Herald Post

Gallery+Story: A tale of two halves as UTEP beats New Mexico 20-13

The UTEP Miner Football Team picked up its third victory of the season Saturday night, defeating the New Mexico Lobos 20-13.

Breaking news minutes from kickoff revealed that UNM’s starting wide receivers were out for tonight’s game due to contact tracing for COVID-19. 

The game started with a three and out possession for both teams. After fumbling their second possession, the Lobos opened the scoring line and got on the board with 9:35 left in the first quarter, on their third possession of the game.

The opening touchdown came on a 12-yard quarterback keeper by Terry Wilson; the extra point try was good.

UTEP scored their first points of the night when they stopped the Lobos on 4th and 3. A quick 57-yard pass from Gavin Hardison to Jacob Cowing got the Miners into Lobos territory. That drive would result in a 33-yard field goal by Gavin Baechle, making the score 7-3 with 13:32 left in the second quarter. 

The Lobos extended their lead in the ensuing possession, scoring on a 43-yard field goal by Andrew Shelley with 9:35 left in the first half.  Shelley would tack on 3 more points as the half came to an end, scoring another field goal from 31 yards out to make the halftime score 13-3 in favor of the visiting Lobos.

The Miners took the opening possession 84-yards in 7 plays in a minute and 33 seconds that ended in a 4 yard rush for a touchdown by Deion Hankins making the score 13-10. 

The UTEP defense held the Lobos to a three & out on the ensuing possession. UTEP got the ball back and went 67 yards in only three plays and scored another touchdown on a 55-yard pass from quarterback Gavin Hardison to Jacob Cowing with 9:27 left in the third quarter to make the score 17-13.

The game would come down to a defensive struggle for a majority of the fourth quarter. The Miners would get into Lobos territory and Gavin Baechle hit a 44-yard field goal to make the score 20-13 with 2:23 left in the game. 

New Mexico would get into Miners territory on their final possession but it was not meant to be as the UTEP defense locked up the win with a turnover on downs. 

After the game, head coach for the Miners, Dana Dimel said that his team may have had some “ring rust” coming off of a bye week alluding to the Miners’ first half performance tonight especially on offense saying, “I just didn’t think we executed the way we needed to offensively. Defensively I thought we played real good, we gave the offense some real good field position.”

As for the win itself, Dimel is beyond happy as to how it came to fruition.

“You can’t choreograph a better win like this one…getting dominated at half and then come out and dominate the second half. You can’t do that, (what it does) for a team’s morale and confidence to face a situation like this and overcome it. It’s immeasurable for our team.”

Up next for the Miners will be the start of Conference USA play next Saturday. UTEP will host Old Dominion at the Sun Bowl. The game is scheduled for a 7pm kickoff.     

Author: Joe Rodriguez  | Photos by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

Rodriguez is a life long El Pasoan. Joe has covered sports locally across the Borderland since 2007 for various media outlet both in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez as a personal passion as he is a professional in the world of healthcare (Physiatry). His favorite sports include soccer, auto racing, golf and horse racing.”

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