SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Ryan Metz hooked up with Warren Redix on a six-yard touchdown pass in the fifth overtime as UTEP defeated UTSA 52-49 on Saturday night in the Alamodome.
UTSA (3-4, 2-2 Conference USA) opened the contest by jumping out to a 14-0 lead over UTEP (2-5, 1-3 C-USA). The Miners halted a five-game losing streak after the exciting finish.
Tonight’s five-overtime game was the first in C-USA history.
After a back-and-forth, scoreless fourth quarter, Victor Falcon connected on a 43-yard field goal in the first overtime. But Jay Mattox answered with a 32-yard kick to bring the contest into the second overtime.
UTEP took a 38-31 advantage when Metz found Aaron Jones on a 25-yard touchdown. However, on a third-down play, Dalton Sturm tied the score when he found Brady Jones for a 25-yard connection.
After getting the ball back for the third overtime, Sturm then gave his squad a 46-38 lead when he threw a nine-yard touchdown to Kerry Thomas, Jr., while converting the two-point conversion.
One of the night’s heroes, Walter Dawn, scored on a 12-yard rush in the third overtime. Metz went on to tie the game 46-46 when he found Hayden Plinke in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Drama ensued in the fourth overtime. The Miners took the ball down to the two-yard line, but fumbled under center, giving the ball back to the Roadrunners. But a missed 42-yard field goal attempt extended the contest.
UTSA took the field first in the fifth overtime as the Roadrunners were forced to kick a 33-yard field goal to go up 49-46. But the relentless Miners went four plays that ended in a game winning Metz-to-Redix touchdown.
Metz tied his career high with a trio of touchdown passes, while throwing for 211 yards on 15-of-23 passing. Jones rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries (5.4 avg.) with a rushing score and two receiving touchdowns, while Dawn tallied two rushing touchdowns and a receiving score. Plinke led the Miners with 84 yards on four receptions. Jones added 56 yards on four catches as well.
UTSA got on the board first as running back Jarveon Williams found tight end Shaq Williams for a three-yard touchdown. The score was setup after Sturm was sacked on a third-down play. The Roadrunners then faked a field goal attempt from the UTEP 33-yard line as the holder Yannis Routsas completed a 30-yard pass to Jarrod McLin, a freshman defensive end.
The Roadrunners jumped on the Miners 14-0 late in the first quarter with a 53-yards scoring pass – Sturm to Thomas, Jr. with 2:54 remaining in the quarter.
But the Miners answered on a six-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a Jones 41-yard touchdown as time expired in the first quarter. Metz made a pair of key throws on the drive as he found Kent Taylor for a gain of 19 yards on a third-and-eight and hooked up with his Andress High School teammate Eddie Sinegal for a gain of 15 yards that set up the score.
After a UTSA missed 52-yard field goal attempt from the 35-yard line, the Miners went on a six-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Dawn tied the contest on an eight-yard jet sweep, his first career touchdown. Jones set up the play after he gained 12 yards on a fourth-and-two.
UTSA gained the lead back 21-14 on a Sturm one-yards quarterback sneak with five seconds remaining in the half. The Roadrunners went 16 plays for 75 yards on the drive. The drive featured a UTSA player being ejected for an unsportsmanlike penalty.
Jalen Rhodes’s 28-yard scamper into the end zone gave his squad a 28-14 coming out of the locker room. The drive went 75 yards on six plays.
UTEP got within seven points after Metz found Jones for a 27-yards reception down the right side. The Miners went 97 yards on seven plays after kick returner Jaquan White took the kickoff out of the end zone to the UTEP three-yard line.
After the Roadrunners were forced to punt on the ensuing drive, Kavika Johnson found Dawn on a 74-yard deep pass to tie the game 28-28. On the play, Metz threw a lateral pass down the right side. Johnson then whipped the ball out to a wide-open Dawn to the left side.
Defensively, Devin Cockrell tallied a season-high 10 tackles, while Nik Needham set his career best with nine stops. Nick Usher also had nine tackles and added a sack. UTEP broke up six passes on the night. Dashone Smith came up with a big interception on a flee flicker that Sturm went deep into the end zone.
It was the first multiple overtime game for UTEP since defeating Houston in two overtimes in 2005.
UTEP will host Old Dominion in the 85th Homecoming game in the Sun Bowl on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. MT