After a devastating loss to Oklahoma last week, The UTEP Miners were hoping to bounce back with a win over the Rice Owls.
Unfortunately for the 19,136 fans in attendance at the Sun Bowl on Saturday evening, they saw the Miners get dominated by the Owls with by a final score of 31-14.
UTEP wore an all-white uniform, that featured the debut of a very sweet looking white helmet with a navy and white pickaxe; sadly the new uniform didn’t make the Miners play better.
The stats don’t lie, after the 2nd quarter, the Miner offense – led by Ryan Metz only gained a total of 51 yards. That was not a misprint: 51 yards of total offense in the 1st half. Rice on the other hand gained 192 yards of total offense and had a 10-0 lead.
Things didn’t get better for the Miners in the 3rd quarter, as they couldn’t get anything going on offense and the defense gave up a 52 yard touchdown pass from QB Sam Glaesmann to WR Aaron Cephus, which was part of a 4 play 77 yard drive making the score 17-0.
To say that the Miner offense was struggling during this game is an understatement. Other than on the first drive of the game UTEP didn’t get past the 50 yard line until 5 minutes left to go in the 3rd quarter. And on the very next play on 4th and 1, Ryan Metz connected with Warren Redix for a 44 yard touchdown pass on a play action play which made the score 17-7.
But it was a little too late as Rice continued to dominate on the ground as they added another touchdown when WR Jordan Myers scored on a 3 yard run making the score 24-7
Bottom line is that UTEP needed to come in to this game and be competitive against Rice especially after they got trounced by Oklahoma and that’s not what we got.
The offense was nonexistent for most of the game the defense allowed Rice to average over 6 yards per carry and when the offense did decide to show up, it was a little too late.
Sure, the Miners added another touchdown towards the end of the game, but Rice added another one of their own.
The most shocking thing to me about the game was the crowd. Sure it was announced that there were 19,136 fans there but if you were at the game you know that’s not how many people were really there. I say realistically there was about 17,500 people at the Sun Bowl.
What concerns me is that the crowd looked liked what we’ve come to expect during the latter part of the year, but this was the Miners first home game!
UTEP needed a good showing tonight so fans could be jacked up about the Arizona Wildcats coming in to the Sun Bowl this Friday night. After what I saw I don’t know that many fans that think that the Miners will have a shot against the Wildcats and might decide to go see high school football or the El Paso Chihuahuas who are in the middle of a great playoff run.
The Miners can still fix the problems that they’re having, remember this was barley the 2nd game of the season, but they need to have a BETTER outing against Arizona or the season could be lost as far as the fans are concerned.
Author: Mando ‘the Monster’ Medina – El Paso Herald-Post Sports Columnist | Previous stories HERE.
ADDITIONAL MINER CONTENT via Herald Post Sports In-Depth
Story in Many Pics: Miners Drop Home Opener to Rice 31-14 – Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta
Rice Spoils UTEP’s CUSA Opener – Staff Report
Miners Drop Second Straight After Rice Runs Them Over 31–14 – Daniel Ornelas