The UTEP Miners Football Team (5-6,3-4) picked up their fifth win of the season Saturday afternoon defeating the FIU Golden Panthers 40-6. The Miners took the lead, scoring in their opening possession, and never looked back on “Senior Night” at the Sun Bowl.
The biggest question coming into tonight’s game was who would get the start at quarterback for UTEP due to a Gavin Hardison’s injury in their previous game. Calvin Brownholtz got the start, and the backup quarterback did not disappoint. He was pragmatic for the entire game and did not complicate things for himself at any point.
This was fundamental in allowing the Miners to cruise to a win.
With the victory, the Miners’ hopes to become bowl eligible remain intact as it will come down to the last game of the season on the road on Thanksgiving weekend, with a win the Miners will be going “bowling” for the second year in a row.
Here’s what happened
- UTEP got off to a dream start taking the opening possession of the game 75 yards over 11 plays in a little more than five minutes to score a touchdown and take a 7-0 lead. The Miners benefited from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a pass interference call in the endzone along the way, adding to the spark that they started the game with.
- The Miners extended their lead to 14-0 just before the end of the 1st quarter. This time it was Reynaldo Flores who scored on a run from 10-yards out. It was the Miners second touchdown in only three possessions.
- The home team extended their lead by halftime to 38-0 all while holding the Panthers scoreless. UTEP added three touchdowns and a field goal by Gavin Baechle in the second quarter. Quarterback Calvin Brownholtz went into the locker room at halftime with an efficient performance as he was nine for 13 for 165 yards and two touchdown passes.
- FIU finally got on the board in the 3rd quarter scoring a touchdown on a fumble return. Alex Nobles recovered the ball when Brownholtz was sacked and took the ball 84-yards on the return. The Panthers went for a two-point conversion, failing to convert to make the score 38-6.
- While UTEP failed to get a shutout, the defense was still able to get a safety in the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on their dominating performance.
What was said
After the game UTEP head coach Dana Dimel made it a point to declare that he was looking for strong performance from his team, one that would allow for all the seniors that were eligible to dress and play got into the game. Dimel was happy that the way things developed for Miners on Saturday afternoon to where this was possible.
As for the dominating performance Dimel said, “We did what we can do well, which is run the football, play defense and not turn the ball over. When you put that kind of half of football together (the first half) then it’s hard to say anything else has been better than this ball game that we played tonight.”
UTEP will now head into its final game of the regular season, a road game against the UTSA Roadrunners. The game will take place in San Antonio at the Alamodome on Saturday afternoon next weekend with the Miners’ bowl hopes on the line. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on Stadium. The app for the network is free.
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.