Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez - El Paso Herald Post

Gallery+Story: UTEP rushes past Rice 38-28

The UTEP Miners Football Team got back to their winning ways, picking up their seventh win of the season defeating the Rice Owls by 38-28.

This was the Miners final home game of their 2021 regular season and in order to secure the win for the 10,000+ fans in attendance at the Sun Bowl the home team had to comeback in the second half.

This is the first time the Miners win seven games in a season dating back to 2014. The win also secures a bowl game for the Miners. There is no way UTEP can be denied a bowl bid with seven wins. 

With two games left in their 2021 season, the Miners will look to wrap it up with two more victories to end the year with a 9-4 record. This would be an accomplishment that is out of this world for a team that was total win projection in Vegas was two and a half games (the over/under).  

Here’s what happened

    • UTEP scored in their opening possession of the game on a drive where they moved the ball 63-yards in nine plays ending with a seven yard touchdown pass from quarterback Gavin Hardison to Jacob Cowing for the early 7-0 lead. The score would remain like that for the duration of the first quarter.
    • Rice would even things up 7-7 with a rushing touchdown of their own capping off a 15-play 70 yard drive. Running back Ali Broussard would score from one yard out. The Owls survived 4th down on two occasions in that drive.
    • The second quarter had three more touchdowns. Hardison got his second touchdown of the game connecting with Justin Garrett from 14 yards out to made the score 14-7. Rice then finished the first half strong scoring two touchdowns in 51 seconds to make the score 21-14 at halftime.
    • UTEP retook the lead in the third quarter scoring twice to make the score 24-21. The Miners scored a field goal in their first possession to start the second half as Gavin Baechle made his kick from 22-yard out. On the ensuing possession the Miners took the lead when Calvin Brownholtz scored on a quarterback keeper.
    • The Miners extended their lead over the course of the fourth quarter by tacking on two more touchdowns (via rushing touchdowns, a one-yard run by Quadraiz Wadley and another one-yard run by Brownholtz)  and closing out the game to secure a 38-28 win. 

What was said

After the game, UTEP head coach . Dana Dimel addressed the media saying, “I was happy with the way we played. Coming into the second half, we had a great halftime (talk), our guys are learning how to overcome adversity. I mean can you overcome any more adversity than we had there to end the second quarter and to respond the way the guys did.”

Dimel continued, “We used a whole different element of our offense. That’s what’s nice because we can. We throw the ball as much as anyone in the country during practice, so tonight we put that out there and we were able to execute.”

The Miners head coach concluded by saying, “This game we needed to be more aggressive, the guys went out and played really aggressive and showed we could have a different dimension to our offense. It’s not just a conservative run oriented offense. I was really proud of everyone’s effort.”

What’s next

Up next for UTEP will be their regular season finale against, a road game against UAB in Alabama. The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. MT kickoff next Friday and will televised via streaming on ESPN +.

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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