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Home | Tag Archives: utep football (page 12)

Tag Archives: utep football

UTEP Overwhelms Houston Baptist 42-10

Aaron Jones rushed for 228 yards in about two and a half quarters of action as UTEP throttled FCS squad Houston Baptist, 42-10, on Saturday night in the Sun Bowl.

“I thought it was a good team win in all phases,” UTEP coach Sean Kugler said.  “I thought the kids worked extremely hard this week in practice.  They really believe their destiny is in their own hands if they work at it and take it one game at a time.  That was the first one of four [games].”

The Miners (3-6), playing their final non-conference game, made quick work of the Huskies (3-6), scoring the game’s first 28 points.  UTEP led 28-3 at halftime behind Jones, who compiled 181 of the team’s 300 total yards.

Jones had touchdown rushes of 39 and 62 yards in the first half.  He tied Donald Buckram and John Harvey for the second-most 200-yard rushing games in school history (three) behind Fred Wendt (four).

Jones had only 14 carries on the night, averaging 16.3 yards per attempt.  UTEP gained a season-high 323 yards rushing, and the Miners’ 514 yards of offense were their second-most of 2016 behind the 518 in the opener versus NM State.

“We challenged the offensive line,” Kugler said.  “They have taken a little bit of heat.  They have been a little bit up and down this year.  We had had some injuries. We have had to shuffle some guys around.  But they’re healthy now and I thought they went out and played an outstanding game.  Anytime you rush for 300 yards, your offensive line is getting the job done.”

Complimenting Jones in the ground game were freshmen Kevin Dove (10 carries, 59 yards) and Quadraiz Wadley (11 carries, 35 yards).

Ryan Metz was efficient for UTEP under center, completing 16-of-21 passes for 191 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.  His favorite targets were tight end Hayden Plinke (seven catches, 77 yards) and wide receiver Eddie Sinegal (four catches, 53 yards).

Plinke reached the end zone twice, first on a nine-yard pass from Metz late in the first quarter, and later on an 11-yard TD grab early in the fourth period.

“I think our offense really clicks when we get the tight end involved, Hayden and Kent Taylor,” Kugler said.  “Both those guys are doing a nice job and Ryan Metz is doing a really nice job of finding them.  Our whole offense stems off the run game, and I thought all the backs were outstanding tonight.”

The UTEP defense stifled the Huskies, holding them to 227 yards, as quarterbacks Tony Dawson and Max Staver were a combined 8-for-27 passing for 90 yards. Houston Baptist had a little more success running the football with 137 yards on 32 carries (4.3 avg.), with 59 of the yards coming from Dawson.

Dante Lovilette led the Miner stop troops with eight tackles, while Dashone Smith and Nick Usher chipped in with six apiece.

“[The defense] did a good job,” Kugler said.  “The main thing I was concerned about going into the game was keeping their quarterback contained.  He can really run.”

It was a clean game with the teams combining for zero turnovers and only three penalties totaling 33 yards.

The Miners will play back-to-back road games against Florida Atlantic (Nov. 12, 4 p.m. MT) and Rice (Nov. 19, 10 a.m. MT) the next two weeks and they seek a season-ending four-game win streak that would make them bowl eligible.

To view pictures from the game, click HERE.

Story in Many Pics: UTEP downs Houston Baptist 42-10

The UTEP Miners got back on the winning track Saturday night, defeating Houston Baptist 42-10.  Our very own Andres Acosta was there and brings your his view of the game in this, Story in Many Pics.

Houston Baptist vs UTEP
Houston Baptist vs UTEP
Houston Baptist vs UTEP
Houston Baptist vs UTEP

UTEP Announces 2-for-1 Basketball/Football Ticket Promotion

Fans who purchase a ticket to the UTEP men’s basketball game against Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 5) can exchange it for a free general admission ticket to the Miner football game versus Houston Baptist later in the day.

The basketball game is at 1 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center, and the football game is at 6 in the Sun Bowl.

The Football Miners [2-6, 1-4 C-USA] are coming off a 31-21 loss to Old Dominion on Oct. 29, while the Huskies [3-5, 2-4 Southland Conference] ended a four-game losing skid after beating Lamar 24-17. The contest will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

Saturday’s contest will be the last home game before the Miners make their final two road trips of 2016 [at Florida Atlantic & at Rice]. UTEP returns to the Sun City for the regular season finale against North Texas on Nov. 26.

The UTEP men’s basketball team pulled away late for an 80-73 exhibition win over Southeastern Oklahoma State on Sunday at the Don Haskins Center on Sunday.

Basketball exhibition ticket prices are $10 (adults) and $8 (youth).

Fans can get their free general admission football ticket by bringing the basketball ticket to the North Sun Bowl ticket office on game day.  Exchanges will be made beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Old Dominion Rallies Past UTEP 31 to 21

Ray Lawry scored two touchdowns, part of a 21-0 Old Dominion run in the second half that carried the Monarchs past UTEP, 31-21, on Saturday night in the Sun Bowl.

The Miners (2-6, 1-4 C-USA) led 13-10 when Aaron Jones scored on a five-yard run with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter.  Jay Mattox’s extra point attempt was blocked.  After that, Old Dominion scored on three consecutive possessions to take a 31-13 advantage early in the fourth quarter.  The three touchdown drives elapsed four minutes and 57 seconds and covered 216 yards.

The turning point came with Old Dominion leading 17-13 late in the third quarter.  The Miners drove from their own 26 to the Monarch 32-yard line, but Ryan Metz’s pass to Eddie Sinegal on fourth and short fell incomplete.

“I thought we were in real good position there, driving down inside the red zone.  We had the fourth and three and we thought we completed it,” UTEP coach Sean Kugler said.  “They ruled it a drop on the field, which it was.  The ball hit the ground.  Then they had a big play after that and got ahead.  It turned real quickly on us and we’ve got to respond better than that.”

Beforehand, it was a tight football game with Old Dominion (5-3, 2-1 C-USA) jumping out to a 10-0 lead, and UTEP scoring 13 consecutive points to surge ahead.

Jones rushed 25 times for 94 yards for the Miners.  Metz completed 21-of-36 passes for 202 yards.  Cole Freytag (seven catches, 84 yards) and Hayden Plinke (five catches, 53 yards) were UTEP’s top pass catchers.  Each scored a touchdown.

Old Dominion had a 100-yard rusher (Lawry) and 100-yard receiver (Jonathan Duhart).  Lawry gained 131 yards on 17 carries, and Duhart made five catches for 155 yards.  Monarch quarterback David Washington completed 14-of-22 passes for 262 yards.

The Miners established season lows for penalties (two) and penalty yards (10).  They were outgained 393 yards to 337 despite winning time of possession 34:01 to 25:59.

Old Dominion was limited to 132 yards in the first half.  In the second half, the Monarchs gained 261 yards on 23 plays (11.3 avg.), as Lawry rushed 12 times for 110 yards and Duhart had two receptions for 103 yards.  The Miners simply had a hard time bringing the Monarchs down.

“Missed tackles and we knew those backs ran hard,” Kugler said.  “We talked about it before the game.  They didn’t die easily. They are big, physical backs.  They have been breaking tackles all year.  We had to wrap up and gang tackle.  One guy wasn’t going to do it.  Many times we saw them in the backfield wrapping them up and didn’t get them down and they broke longer gains.”

UTEP dropped to 38-46-1 in Homecoming games.  The Monarchs posted their second consecutive victory over UTEP and by the same score as the 2015 meeting in Norfolk, Va.

“I just told our team, we have put ourselves in this position,” Kugler said.  “Our backs are against the wall.  There is still a lot of season left to play.  It’s still not out of the equation that we could go to a bowl game but we have no room for error.  We have to win out.  They understand that and we understand that.  So we have one of two choices.  We either fight back or we just lay down, and I don’t expect any of us to lay down.”

The Miners will return to the Sun Bowl next Saturday (Nov. 5) to tackle non-conference foe Houston Baptist at 6 p.m.

To view a gallery of the homecoming game and parade, click HERE.

Metz Finds Redix for Winning TD; UTEP Gets Past UTSA 52-49 in 5OT

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

Panthers Drop Miners at Home 35 to 21

Alex McGough threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns as FIU improved to 2-0 under interim head coach Ron Cooper with a 35-21 victory over UTEP on Saturday in the Sun Bowl.

Trailing 7-3 heading into the second quarter, the Panthers (2-4, 2-0 C-USA) scored the next 17 points to send the Miners (1-5, 0-3 C-USA) to their fifth consecutive loss.

“We missed some tackles in the second half.  It was clear to see,” UTEP coach Sean Kugler said after his team gave up 499 yards (258 rushing, 241 passing).  “We had them wrapped up in the backfield a few times, especially third downs, third and two, third and three, we didn’t finish the tackles and didn’t finish plays.”

McGough threw touchdown passes to A.J. Branisel (one yard) and Thomas Owens (eight yards) during the 17-point spurt. Owens had a big game with 125 yards on seven catches and two scores.

UTEP made it a one possession game (20-14) when Aaron Jones plowed one yard into the end zone with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter.  But FIU answered with a 10-play, 75-yard drive and a 23-yard touchdown pass from McGough to Owens.  The Panthers converted a third and six and third and 11 during the drive.  They were 8-for-15 on third down conversions on the night while UTEP was 4-for-14.

FIU put the game away on a nine-yard TD run by Alex Gardner early in the fourth quarter.  Gardner (141 yards) and Anthony Jones (128) combined for 269 rushing yards.

The Panthers dominated time of possession with 35:54 to UTEP’s 24:06.  The Miners continued to have their difficulties moving the football with 330 yards, although the 21 points were the most they have scored since the season opener.

UTEP cut its penalties down to three after averaging 6.6 in the first five games.  But one was particularly costly, a holding call on Derron Gatewood that negated a 34-yard touchdown pass from Zack Greenlee to Eddie Sinegal shortly before halftime that could’ve given the Miners a 14-13 lead.

“It was a killer one,” Kugler said.  “That usually results in guys not moving their feet.  But it’s something that we emphasized all week.  It was a cleaner [game] but again, a big penalty came in a critical situation.”

Greenlee completed 17-of-39 passes for 191 yards for UTEP.  The banged-up Jones rushed eight times for 73 yards and two scores, including a 49-yard run in the first quarter.  Cole Freytag and Eddie Sinegal contributed 68 and 49 yards receiving, respectively.

Alvin Jones produced a standout performance on defense with 16 tackles, a career high.

The Miners will go back to the drawing board with six games remaining.

“This has got to be fixed by myself and the staff,” Kugler said.  “I assume full responsibility and I always will, and I’ll never give up on these kids.  I hope they stick together and stick with each other and I hope they stick by me because I want a team of fighters and right now I acknowledge we’re not a good team.  We’re 1-5.  We have half a season left.  There’s a lot still to play for.  It’s my responsibility to get the most out of the players and I’ve got to evaluate myself because right now I’m not getting the most out of the players.  That falls on me and I understand that.”

“Number one, we have to get healthy,” Kugler said.  “We’ve got some guys banged up, in particular Aaron and Alvin and [Hayden] Plinke, a few other guys, Zack, [Ryan] Metz, and we need to get those guys healthy.  We’ll look at ourselves schematically, whether we need to change some things, whether we need to tone down some things.  We’ll look at our personnel, how can we get better.  Just look at every avenue on how to get better.  And not point fingers, not play the blame game and sit here and feel sorry for ourselves and where we’re at.  That’s not going to help anything.  We’re going to do our best to get it done and turn it around.”

The Miners enter their bye week and will prepare for an Oct. 22 matchup at UTSA.

UTEP Announces Contests for “National Tailgate Weekend” at FIU Football Game

UTEP fans are invited to share their tailgating stories ahead of Saturday’s game against FIU at the Sun Bowl.

As part of “National Tailgate Weekend,” UTEP will celebrate tailgating in the Sun Bowl and fans are invited to participate with a chance to win some fabulous prizes.

The UTEP football team will be home for three of its next four games starting on Saturday (Oct. 8) when it hosts FIU at 6 p.m.

Saturday also marks UTEP’s annual Hall of Fame game as this year’s induction class, including LPGA standout and 2016 Olympian Gerina Piller, will be recognized.  Also being inducted this year are Orsten Artis (men’s basketball), Harrington Jackson (track & field), Brian Natkin (football) and Mack Saxon (football coach).

Share your tailgating experiences by e-mail ( or by posting on the UTEP Athletics Facebook page.  How many years have you been tailgating at the UTEP games?  What are your tailgating traditions?  What makes tailgating so special in the Sun Bowl?

The responses will be reviewed and some tailgating groups will be honored on the field during Saturday’s game.  Special tailgating packages will also be given away.

Send your tailgating stories by Friday (Oct. 7) in order to be considered for the giveaways at the game.

Tickets for Saturday’s game start at just $12 and are available by calling 747-5234.


LA Tech Tops UTEP 28 to 7; Metz Makes 1st Start of the Season

Jarred Craft rushed for 146 yards, including a game-changing 70-yard score early in the fourth quarter, as LA Tech pulled away down the stretch for a 28-7 win over UTEP on Saturday in Ruston.

Making his first start for the Miners since the 2015 season finale, quarterback Ryan Metz gave the offense a lift before taking a blow to the head with about nine minutes left in the game.  UTEP trailed 21-7 at that point and was facing fourth and three at the Bulldog 22-yard line.

Zack Greenlee came in and threw an incomplete pass to Hayden Plinke, who established season highs for catches (eight) and yards (66).

Louisiana Tech (2-3, 1-1 C-USA) put the game away with a 12-play, 78-yard drive, capped by a nine-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Higgins to Trent Taylor with 1:29 remaining.

Higgins completed 19-of-28 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns, and Taylor snared 10 balls for 121 yards and a score.

Metz finished 20-of-28 for 215 yards with a touchdown and an interception for UTEP (1-4, 0-2 C-USA).

“I thought the kids competed real hard,” UTEP coach Sean Kugler said.  “Once again, I didn’t think we played very smart.  We had numerous third down opportunities canceled out because of penalties.  I thought Ryan Metz gave the offense a good spark.  Unfortunately for him, he got hit pretty hard, which I thought was outside the sidelines.  He’ll be out, for how long I don’t know.  He competed well tonight, moved the offense well, we just didn’t generate enough points.”

Kugler indicated that Metz will go through concussion protocol.

The Miner defense forced LA Tech to punt on four consecutive possessions – its longest streak in a game since the 2014 season — before breaking down on Craft’s long run.

“We don’t all-out pressure a whole lot,” Kugler said.  “That’s kind of the risk you have when you do all-out pressure, if you don’t hit home and they hit the crease, whether it’s a run or a pass they can hit a big home run and that’s what happened on that play.  It was in a desperation time and we were in a position where we did have to blitz and they beat us on that one.”

Before that, UTEP trailed 14-7 after Metz engineered a 15-play, 58-yard scoring drive.  He connected with Plinke for a 10-yard TD with 14:55 to play to make it a one possession game.

The Bulldogs scored on both of their first quarter possessions, with the first drive spanning 84 yards and the second 91 yards. Higgins completed 9-of-10 passes for 130 yards in the period, throwing for one touchdown and rushing for another.  He hooked up with Craft for a 17-yard TD and scampered 22 yards for six points.

The Miner defense tightened the screws in the second quarter, holding LA Tech to two first downs and 10 plays totaling 38 yards.  UTEP’s best chance to get on the board ended when Metz threw an interception on second and one at the Bulldog 30-yard line.

Aaron Jones rushed 20 times for 94 yards, joining John Harvey and Howard Jackson as the only Miners to gain 3,000 yards in their careers.

Eddie Sinegal became the first UTEP player to compile 100 yards receiving in a game this season as he finished with 102 yards on six catches.

The Miners outgained the Bulldogs, 415 yards to 387, but committed two turnovers to LA Tech’s zero.  UTEP was also penalized six times for 55 yards while LA Tech had two penalties for 12 yards.

“Defensively I thought we played extremely well in spurts and then we gave up the big plays.  The big run, the big catch,” Kugler said.  “We’ve just got to feed off each other.  When the offense scores, the defense has got to come out and get a third and out.  When the defense stops them and puts the offense in good field position, they’ve got to take advantage and score.  I thought we moved the ball efficiently but seven points isn’t going to cut it.  I thought we played efficiently on defense in spurts, but giving up 28 points isn’t going to cut it.  We’ve got a lot of things that we’ve got to solve.  I thought we probably played the two best teams in Conference USA back-to-back.  The scores probably don’t indicate that, but I think we’re closer probably than what the outside view is.”

The Miners will be home for three of their next four games starting next Saturday (Oct. 8) when they host FIU at 6 p.m.  Tickets, starting at $12, are available by calling 747-5234.

Story+Gallery: Army Upends UTEP 66 to 14; Coach Kugler “I apologize to the fans…”

They came, they saw, they conquered: The Army Black Knights were given a warm welcome by 37,893 fans at the Sun Bowl – and they responded – routing the Miners 66-14 in what felt as much of a home game for them as it did for UTEP.

If football is a territory-invasion sport, Army’s onslaught on the Miners was a prime example on how to invade an opponent’s territory controlling time of possession 41 minutes, 40 seconds to UTEP’s 18:20.

“They out-performed us in every phase, offense, defense, special teams. They out-coached us, out-hustled us, they out-did everything and they deserved to get that win,” UTEP head coach, Sean Kugler said. “For what they’ve been through this week losing their teammate, I’m happy for them.”

With the Ft. Bliss  located less than 20 miles from the UTEP campus, the Black Knights were playing in a friendly environment with the crowd making the visitors feel at home.

“We knew that coming in, obviously having the Army base here, it’s a great thing to see the turnout,” UTEP quarterback Zack Greenlee said. “We had to keep the focus on the game and try and execute.”

The Miners offense that spent most of its time on the bench, took the field for their second possession at the 13th minute mark of the second quarter, leaving little room for error.

“It wasn’t a formula for us to win and really to beat this team we almost have to score on every possession and limit them some possessions and get the ball from them, we gave them the ball,” Kugler said. “Everything that we could have done wrong to lose this game we did.”

The Black Knights were mourning the loss of Cadet and defensive back Brandon Jackson, who died Sunday in a single-car accident.

Army outgained the Miners 282 yards to 65 in the first half of play most of which were on the ground as the Black Knights exhibited their triple-option offense.

“As far as our team, if you’re going to blame anybody blame me,” Kugler said. “We weren’t prepared in any phase, we got our tails kicked in every phase. I’ll own it and as a head coach you have to own up to those things.  I’ll do that and I’ll make sure that we do everything to try and rectify that moving forward this season.”

Army converted on 10 of 12 third-down attempts scoring on all seven trips into the red-zone in return limiting UTEP to three of nine on third downs.

The second half didn’t start any better for the Miners who went three-and-out on their opening drive followed by a pair of touchdowns from Army on three plays spanning 1 minute 11 seconds to extend their lead to 38 – zip.

The Miners would avoid the shutout needing only two plays after a 45-yard kick return by Jaquan White to the Army 46.

Running Back Aaron Jones scored the 20th touchdown of his collegiate career, placing him in eighth on the all-time list, making the score 38-7.

The Black Knights would continue the assault, getting two more scores from running back Darnell Woolfolk, before the end of the third quarter.

Army would rush the ball 72 times for a total of 424 yards while keeping the Miners to under 300 yards in total offense.

The Miners now hold a two-game losing streak losing to Texas 41-7 before tonight’s beatdown.

“I want to apologize to the fans of El Paso, you guys supported us extremely well, it was a great crowd [with] a lot of energy and I’m sorry that the Miners disappointed you tonight, we’ll do everything we can to fix that.” Kugler said.

UTEP concludes its non-conference schedule as they now await to take on Southern Miss on Sept. 24 at the Sun Bowl with kickoff set to 6 p.m.

“We have a big conference game coming up next week at home and we have to flip the page fast,” Greenlee said. “We have to watch this film tomorrow, learn from it and like I said flip that page and get right on Southern Miss, we have a good team coming into El Paso and we have to make a statement.”

GALLERY by Andres Acosta

Army Rolls Past UTEP 66-14

Andy Davidson and Chris Carter combined for 200 of Army’s 424 yards rushing, as the Black Knights cruised to a 66-14 victory over UTEP on Saturday night in the Sun Bowl.

Army, off to a 3-0 start for the first time in 20 years, scored the game’s first 38 points and kept the Miners (1-2) off the scoreboard until early in the third quarter.  The Black Knights did not punt and racked up 598 yards.

“Extremely tough loss,” UTEP coach Sean Kugler said.  “My hat goes off to Army.  They outperformed us in every phase, offense, defense and special teams.  They outcoached us, they outhustled us, they outdid everything and they deserved to get that win.  As far as our team, if you’re going to blame anybody, blame me.  I’m the head coach.  We weren’t prepared in any phase.  We got our tails kicked in every phase.  I’ll own it and make sure we do everything to try to rectify that moving forward this season, because there’s a lot of season out there for us.”

Zack Greenlee completed 7-of-15 passes for 106 yards, and Aaron Jones rushed 11 times for 67 yards for the Miners, who were held to 269 yards.

Davidson gained 17 yards on 106 carries, and Carter added 94 yards on nine attempts.  Army also received 71 yards rushing from Darnell Woolfolk.

The Black Knights were playing with heavy hearts after cornerback Brandon Jackson lost his life in a car accident last week. They rode the emotional wave to a 38-0 lead as four players scored rushing touchdowns and Max Regan added a 13-yard fumble recovery for a score before UTEP collected its first points.

Jones broke free for a 24-yard touchdown to make it 38-7, but Army responded with a nine-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Woolfolk, who scored three times on the night.

After Hayden Plinke reeled in a three-yard scoring pass from Greenlee, Army put together a seven-play, 75-yard drive as Woolfolk barreled into the end zone from eight yards out.

Rated no. 4 nationally in time of possession coming into the game, the Black Knights dominated the stat line 41:40 to 18:20.

Junior college transfer Dante Lovilette was the star on defense for the Miners as he was credited with a career-high 11 tackles.

“All of the things that we talked about going into this game, that we couldn’t lose possessions, they got off the field on third downs.  We couldn’t slow them down, they kept and maintained possessions,” Kugler said.  “They ran the ball on us, inside and outside.  We didn’t tackle well, we didn’t wrap up, we got them in third downs and we didn’t get off the field.  And too many times we were off the field by our own accord, penalties and those type things.  I didn’t think we played good football in any phase tonight, we certainly didn’t coach well tonight, and it all starts with me and I will do everything I can to get it fixed.  I want to apologize to the fans of El Paso.  You guys supported us extremely well.  It was a great crowd, a lot of energy.  I’m sorry that the Miners disappointed you tonight and we’ll do everything we can to try to fix that.”

A crowd just shy of 38,000 was on hand as UTEP paid tribute to the nation’s military beginning with a spectacular pregame show and ending with postgame fireworks.

The Miners will jump into Conference USA play at home next Saturday (Sept. 24) versus preseason C-USA West Division favorite Southern Miss.  Kickoff is at 6 p.m. MT in the Sun Bowl.  Tickets, starting at $12, are available by calling 747-5234.

Gallery & Story: Jones Blows Up Aggies, Sets Career Record as UTEP wins 38-22

UTEP running back Aaron Jones made his return a stellar one Saturday night, leading the Miners with a career-high 249 rushing yards en route to a 38 to 22 victory over their I-10 rival, New Mexico State.

Jones was making his first in-game appearance since suffering a season-ending ankle injury on Sept. 12, 2015 against Texas Tech.

He would not disappoint in his return scoring his second touchdown of the night on the first play of the fourth quarter, going 75 yards down the sideline crossing the end zone as he stiff armed an Aggie defender.

“I didn’t know what to expect, I was just happy to be back on the field for the first time,” Jones said. “He (head coach Sean Kugler) didn’t give me a certain number of plays.”

The 31 carries for Jones were also a career high for him, something he said he’s build his body for entering UTEP at 165-pounds as a Freshman to a now 215-pound redshirt Junior.

“I’ve grown into that role, my Freshmen year I wasn’t really the workhorse, splitting carries,” Jones said. “So I’ve worked myself into that role. I definitely pride myself in that.”

Three El Pasoans would go on to score the Miners’ first three touchdowns.

It all started with Jones, a Burges graduate, who broke free for a 37-yard touchdown run on his second carry of the game. The next two touchdowns for the Miners would be credited to Coronado’s Cole Freytag and Warren Redix of Montwood.

“I definitely did not think about that. That’s pretty cool, it definitely shows El Paso has talent,” Jones said. “Anybody who looks at the game will see that.”

Jones did it all, in addition to his rushing performance, he caught three passes for 43 yards and fielded two punts inside NMSU’s five-yard line.

“I called coach (Brian) Natkin and requested to be on punt,” Jones said. “He said, you better make some plays if you request to be on punt. I feel like anywhere I can get on the field, I’m going to try and make a play.”

Jones performance has him leading the nation in rushing after Saturday’s slate of games, edging out Georgia’s, Nick Chubb.

“I did not envision that, but I definitely wanted to come back and make a statement and show that I’m back 100 percent and healthy,” Jones said.

Kugler plans to share the workload with the rest of the running backs, but said this was a welcome back present for Jones.

“Unbelievable performance. He was just so happy to be back out there and I was just so happy for him,” Kugler said. “Probably 31 is a little bit too many, today was kind of a reward for him. He’s been out for a year.”

Jones 2016 debut was one that pleased Kugler, as the Miners now prepare to take on the Texas Longhorns as they travel to Austin Sept. 10.

“I think now, what we’re looking at is we have a capable replacement that can give him some spells in Quadraiz (Wadley) once he learns the value of ball security,” Kugler said. “We have some other capable backs in Tyrone Nelson and Kevin Dove.”

Photos by Andres Acosta

Jones, UTEP Race Past NM State 38-22

Aaron Jones rushed for 249 yards, a career-high and third-most in UTEP history, and the Miners celebrated his return to the lineup by dusting NM State, 38-22, in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 on Saturday.

UTEP (1-0) has now beaten NM State (0-1) eight consecutive times for its longest winning streak in the 94-game series.

“I thought it was a very good first game,” UTEP coach Sean Kugler said.  “The kids on both teams competed extremely hard. There’s a lot of things that we need to clean up but as a whole offensively, defensively and special teams, it was a great team win.”

The Miners led throughout after Jones put them ahead 7-0 on a 37-yard touchdown run five minutes into the game.  Jones added a 75-yard scoring burst early in the fourth period.

He carried the ball 31 times and added a pair of catches for 43 yards with 292 yards of offense, also a personal best.

Jones appeared to get stronger as the game wore on.  He rushed for 55 yards in the first quarter, 33 in the second, 21 in the third and a whopping 140 (on only nine attempts) in the final frame.

The Miners finished with 518 yards of offense and 289 rushing.  Quarterback Zack Greenlee had a successful debut.  The Fresno State transfer completed 15-of-27 passes for 229 yards and three scores.

“We found out a lot about our team.  I think we found out a lot about our quarterback,” Kugler said.  “I came out of this game admiring his toughness the most.  He tweaked his MCL the first series.  He dinged his shoulder, popped his shoulder out of place, came back in and mangled his finger.  The thing I was most impressed with was his management.  We had tons of personnel groupings, tons of shifts and motions and he put the team in the right position with a lot of his run pass options.  He really did a nice job for his first game.  For him only being here for the summer, he was really impressive.”

The UTEP defense yielded 345 yards to the Aggies, as Jones’ brother Alvin registered a team-high 12 tackles.

But the story of the night was a return to dominance for Aaron Jones, who missed the final 10 games of the 2015 season with an ankle injury but showed on Saturday night that he’s back and better than ever.

“He can’t throw the ball to save his life.  There’s a negative on Aaron Jones,” Kugler joked.  “It was an unbelievable performance.  He was just so happy to be back out there and I was so happy for him.  He has built his body up.  He was 165 pounds, then 185, now he’s a 210-pound kid.  Today was kind of important for him.  He wanted to be in the series, he wanted the ball.”

Another El Paso native, receiver Cole Freytag, put together a great start to his senior year by recording four catches for a career-high 95 yards, including a 46-yard TD midway through the second quarter.  Warren Redix and Hayden Plinke also had touchdown catches for UTEP.

True freshman Quadraiz Wadley had a promising debut for the Miners, gaining 36 yards on 10 carries.  Another impressive newcomer was junior college transfer Terry Juniel who ignited UTEP’s special teams with six punt returns for 104 yards and one kickoff return for 26 yards.

Quarterback Tyler Rogers completed 17-of-41 passes for 206 yards for the Aggies, and was also the team’s leading rusher (63 yards and a score).

UTEP led 31-10 late in the third quarter before NM State put together a couple of late scoring drives to keep the score respectable.  The Aggies’ last-ditch chance at a comeback expired when Rogers’ slant pass to Jaleel Scott fell incomplete at the UTEP 29-yard line with 6:36 remaining.

The Miners ran out the clock after moving deep into Aggie territory.

“I think we were very balanced [offensively],” Kugler said.  “I think we left some yards on the field.  We did fumble the ball twice.  We can’t put the ball on the ground.  That was disappointing.  We work on ball security extremely hard.

“Defensively, I thought the coverage was great.  I thought there was good pressure on the quarterback.   It isn’t going to show up in the sack department, but anytime the quarterback is their leading rusher it’s a good thing.  I thought we held their running game in check.  I thought our defense did an outstanding job tonight.  They only really held them to 16 [points], the other points were given up by an offensive fumble.”

The Miners will play at Texas on Saturday, Sept. 10.  The game will be televised on the Longhorn Network beginning at 5 p.m. MT with a live stream available on ESPN3.

Check out the PHOTO GALLERY

Park+Ride with Sun Metro to UTEP-New Mexico State Game

Sun Metro’s Park+Ride service is the best way to get to and from the Sun Bowl stadium to watch UTEP Miner Football this season.

Parking at and near UTEP is at a premium, but football fans can roll past the parking logistics by parking at one of Sun Metro’s SIX Park+Ride lots and catch a direct route to the game. The Miners will kick off their home opener against the New Mexico State Aggies at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Park+Ride bus trips are $3 roundtrip. Children 5 and under ride free and must be accompanied by an adult.

Exact change for fare box is encouraged. Drivers can provide change cards for bus-use only, but DO NOT have access to currency. Reduced fares and bus passes will NOT be accepted on these special routes.

Departure times will vary depending on location (see below). The public is asked to arrive early. The drop-off sites will be around Memorial Gym, located on the north end of the Sun Bowl Stadium.

Fans will be picked up at the SAME location as the drop-off site for each of the routes. Return trips will begin at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Parking at all but two Sun Metro facilities is free. Parking fees at the Union Plaza Transit Terminal are $7 flat fee before 9 p.m. and there is a $10 flat fee for the Glory Road Transfer Center. Parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The public is reminded that the outside lanes along Oregon Street are bus-only lanes — parking is NOT allowed. Violators risk being towed.

NOTE: Some of the Park+Ride lots have ONLY ONE DEPARTURE TIME. Please arrive early.


Parking: Free
$3 round-trip fare
59 Special (boarding along Sunmount)
Departure times: 4:30 & 5:00 pm

EDGEMERE @ R.C. POE PARK AND RIDE  Edgemere near R.C. Poe (one block west of Rich Beem)

Parking: Free
$3 round-trip fare
75 Special
Departure times:
 4:30 & 5:00 pm


Parking: Free
$3 round-trip fare
3 Special
Departure time: 
4:30 pm



Parking: Free
$3 round-trip fare
42 Special (north side of terminal)
Departure time: 
4:30 pm


Parking: $7 per vehicle before 9 p.m. ($10 per vehicle after 9 p.m.)
$3 round-trip fare
205 Special
Departure times: 
4:30 & 5:00 pm


Parking: Free
$3 round-trip fare
 18 Special
Departure times: 
4:30 & 5:00 pm


  • Bus service may be delayed before AND after the game due to traffic congestion
  • HAVE EXACT CHANGE FOR THE FAREBOX ($3 per person; ages 5 and under are free)
  • Buses will pick up fans at the SAME location as the drop-off site near the Memorial Gym
  • NO FOOD, DRINKS or SMOKING allowed on the buses
  • NO TAILGATING allowed in any parking garages
  • NO COOLERS or UMBRELLAS allowed in the Sun Bowl (see full list of prohibited items at

For more information about Sun Metro, visit or call (915) 212-3333. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @SunMetro.

UTEP Football to Play at Tennessee in 2018

The UTEP football team will play at Tennessee on Sept. 15, 2018, its third visit to Knoxville all-time and first since 1990.  Future schedules for the six-time national champion Vols were announced on Tuesday.

Tennessee has posted 820 victories to rank ninth all-time.

The Vols have made 51 bowl appearances (tied for fourth all-time) and recorded 27 bowl victories (tied for sixth).  Tennessee has claimed 16 conference titles, including 13 as a member of the Southeastern Conference.

Last year Tennessee finished 9-4, 5-3 in the SEC, and beat Northwestern, 45-6, in the Outback Bowl.  The Vols were ranked no. 22 in the final Associated Press poll under coach Butch Jones.

The Miners are 0-2 all-time versus Tennessee with losses during the 1986 (26-16) and 1990 (56-0) seasons, both at Neyland Stadium.

UTEP Reminds Fans of Tailgating Policies ahead of Saturday’s Home Opener

The University of Texas at El Paso football team will kick off its seven-game home schedule against I-10 rival New Mexico State University at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 at Sun Bowl Stadium.

UTEP officials say the tips and information concerning parking, tailgating and Sun Bowl Stadium policies are “designed to help guide fans’ event planning and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”

Inner campus tailgates may start at 2 p.m. while outer lots may begin at 8 a.m. on game day. Tailgaters must enter the Sun Bowl Stadium by the end of the first quarter. One person may stay at each tailgating site during the game if there is a large setup.

Parking during game days is limited to one tailgate setup per parking space that includes the vehicle, canopies and cooking area. Spaces are first come, first served. Tailgating should take place within 4 feet in front of or behind your vehicle. No tailgating is allowed in UTEP parking garages and overnight parking with the exception of ticketed RVs is not allowed on University property.

Glass containers are not allowed anywhere on campus. Kegs, beer balls and other common-source containers are also prohibited on campus and in tailgating areas. No drinking games of any kind are allowed.

During UTEP game days, all laws pertaining to concealed campus carry apply. Sun Bowl Stadium is a concealed campus carry exclusion zone, and concealed handgun license carriers are not permitted to bring weapons into the venue.

For more information on concealed campus carry policies, visit

For more information on UTEP football game day policies, visit For the 2016 UTEP football schedule, visit

STEP 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
High Desert 728
West Texas Test Drive 728
Rhinos 2019/2020 728
Amy’s Ambassadorship
Mountains 728
EPCON_2020 728
Rugby Coming Soon 728
EP MediaFest 2020 728
Utep Football Generic 728
McDonalds BBall 2019 728
Darrington Park 728