Recap: UTEP vs Florida Atlantic

Gavin Baechle was the hero of the night for UTEP Miners Football Team when he knocked in a 27-yard field goal as the clock went to zero to give the Miners a 24-21 win over the Florida Atlantic Owls.


An audience of 12,796 fans witnessed a game that would come down to the final seconds and was determined by the right foot of the senior kicker.


The effort was Baechle’s first ever game winning field goal in his career at any level of football. As a result the Miners picked their fourth win of the season, getting them back to .500 on the year (4-4 overall and 2-2 in Conference USA play). The game-winning kick also gave Bachle the school record for most field goals in school history. 


Here’s what happened


  • UTEP got on the board first, scoring a field goal on their third possession of the game. Gavin Baechle made his field goal attempt for 29-yards out. Two possessions later Florida Atlantic took the lead when the Owls put together an eight play, 80-yard drive that lasted a little more than three minutes and was capped off by a 32-yard touchdown run by Larry McCammon. 


  • The Miners got on the board one more time before halftime. Baechle hit another field goal, this time from 32-yards out. Florida Atlantic took a 10-6 lead into the locker room.


  • The first turnover of the game for Miners led to a direct touchdown for the Owls as an interception resulted in a pick six for the visitors. Teja Young returned the interception 76-yards for the touchdown to make it 14-6 FAU.


  • UTEP responded on the ensuing possession when a 72-yard run by Deion Hankins set up a five yard TD run by Gavin Hardison on the quarterback keeper with 3:57 left in the third quarter. The Miners elected to go for two and converted when Hardison connected with Trent Thompson on the attempt to tie the game 14-14.


  • The Owls tied the game on a game to make it 21-21 with 4:36 left. This after FAU was giving two opportunities to kick their extra point try due Praise Amaewhule participated in the play on the first extra point try that was blocked after his helmet came off. 


  • In the final drive of the game the Miners marched 65 yards in 13 plays to set up Baechle for his 27-yard game winner.  


What was said


After the game Bachle said, “I haven’t had a game winning field goal (in high school or college) yet, I finally got the opportunity and my guys believed in me and I believed in them and we executed.” 


Head coach Dana Dimel said, “Obviously, lots of things going on in that game but the bottom line is our guys found a way to get a win. No matter what the adversity is they didn’t’ flinch today and they stuck together and hung in there.”  

What’s next


The Miners will now enjoy the benefit of back-to-back home games, as next weekend they will host Middle Tennessee State University at the Sun Bowl. The Blue Raiders will be coming into the Borderland off of a bye week. Their most recent game was against Western Kentucky at home. They lost 35-17 to make their record 3-5 on the year and 0-3 in Conference USA play.


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.

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