The UTEP Miners (1-5, 0-2) fell to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (3-3,2-0) in the Sun Bowl by the score of 24-10 on Friday night. The Miners fell behind early as the Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and were able to hold off the Miners handing them their fourth consecutive loss of the 2023 college football season.
UTEP was without their starting quarterback Gavin Hardison who was day-to-day coming into Friday night’s nationally televised game. Still the home team was able to gain more yards offensively than their opponents (UTEP outgained La Tech 321 to 294 yards) but it would not be enough as the visiting team was more efficient with the football.
It was a night that was fueled by numbers penalties (both teams combined for 19 penalties, for 201 yards), however it was UTEP that was affected the most and at critical parts of the game.
Here’s what happened
- Louisiana Tech got out to an ideal start scoring touchdowns in each of their first two possessions to jump out to a 14-0 lead in less than five minutes.
- After UTEP went three and out in their first two possessions, the Miners put together a lengthy drive including over half a dozen plays inside the five yard line, finally punching it in on a quarterback sneak to cut the Bulldogs lead to 14-7 with 14:16 left in the first half. La Tech extended that lead before the end of the second half by making a 32-yard field good to make it 17-7 at halftime..
- The Miners took the opening possession of the second half on a 10 play, 65 yard drive and were able to get a field goal from 32 yard out to make it 17-10 with 10:30 to go in the third quarter.
- The last score of the game came when La Tech put together an 11 play, 65 yard that that ended in a 20 yard TD pass for the Bulldogs to make it 24-10
What was said
After UTEP head coach Dana Dimel acknowledged the difficult moment his team is going thru. It’s obvious that they are in a spot they do not want to be in. Dimel is looking to the by week for his team to get healthy and work to improve saying, “We work to get better. You fix the things you need to fix. You try to get you players to understand that this is a life learning lesson for them that things don’t always go the way that they should, but you always have to handle yourself with dignity and work to get better.”
The Miners will have a much needed bye week next week before returning to action on Wednesday,October 11th when they take on the FIU Panthers in the state of Florida. The Panthers up to this point of the season have failed to win a lone game this 2023 season.
Author: Joe Rodriguez – 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.