Alan Bowman completed 30-of-45 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns, including two to T.J. Vasher, leading Texas Tech to a 38-3 win over UTEP on Saturday night at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Vasher had six receptions for 78 yards for the Red Raiders (2-0), who compiled 424 yards of offense while holding the Miners (1-1) to 131 yards and 11 first downs.
The Miners were unable to convert a first down on their initial series, and the Red Raiders took over at midfield following a 31-yard punt by Mitchell Crawford. Bowman completed four of his first five passes to get Texas Tech inside the red zone, before handing off to Ta’Zhawn Henry on three consecutive plays.
Henry closed out the drive with runs of eight, four and five yards, the last giving Texas Tech its first touchdown of the night.
The UTEP defense forced punts on the Red Raiders’ next two possessions, but the offense was held in check as the Miners were held to 11 yards in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, Texas Tech increased its lead to 14-0 as Bowman capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive with a 13-yard scoring toss to Vasher.
With the Red Raiders driving for another score late in the second quarter, USC transfer Ykili Ross stepped up with a big interception at the UTEP 17-yard line, keeping it a two-possession game momentarily.
But, following a three and out for the offense, Bowman found receiver Dalton Rigdon streaking down the left sideline for a 49-yard touchdown and a 21-0 advantage.
After Trey Wolff’s 45-yard field goal early in the third quarter made it 24-0, Kai Locksley relieved UTEP starting quarterback Brandon Jones.
Locksley gave the Miners an offensive spark, as they crossed midfield for the first time. However, Gavin Baechle’s 47-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
Bowman’s 30-yard TD pass to Vasher late in the third quarter extended the Red Raider lead to 31-0. The lead reached 38-0 with 12:51 left in the game after Armand Shyne rushed for a seven-yard touchdown.
UTEP put points on the board with 5:32 remaining, as Baechle nailed a 45-yard field goal to make it 38-3. Baechle improved to 4-for-5 on field goal tries this season with a career-long make. The key play on the 12-play, 48-yard drive was a 25-yard pass from Locksley to Devaughn Cooper.
The Miners gained 77 of their yards on the ground with three players – Josh Fields (27), Treyvon Hughes (27) and Locksley (21) – responsible for 75 of those yards.
Jones completed 4-of-12 passes for 21 yards, and Locksley finished 3-of-7 for 33 yards.
The Miners played a turnover free game.
Justin Prince led the Miners in tackles for the second time in as many games with 10 stops, including nine of the solo variety.
The Miners have an early-season bye week coming up and they’ll return to the field to host Nevada in two weeks on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. MT. Tickets, starting at just $12, are available by calling (915) 747-5234.
For complete coverage of UTEP Football, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPFB (Twitter/Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.
Photo gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post | Video courtesy UTEP