Miners dominate Battle of I-10, 42-24

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Michaela Roman

Miners celebrate after defeating New Mexico State 42-24

Juan Carlos Navarrete, Staff Reporter

Sophomore running back Aaron Jones breaks a run to the outside on his way to 168 rushing yards.
Sophomore running back Aaron Jones breaks a run to the outside on his way to 168 rushing yards.

The Miners kicked off their battle of 1-10 rivalry against NMSU in front of 32,979 fans. The 92nd meeting between the Aggies and Miners is the longest series in school history, spanning as long as the UTEP school history itself.

The Miners and Aggies came out firing, as both teams managed to score on their opening drive. The Aggies converted on a fourth and one as well as a third and eighth for a 17-yard touchdown pass. The Miners quickly responded as they marched down the field, scoring with a one-yard run by running back Aaron Jones.

The Miners continued their dominant performance as they continued to run the ball straight at NMSU. The Miners ran for a total of 344 yards and scored three touchdowns with the running game. Aaron Jones led the Miners running game as he rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns, when asked about the dominant performance in the running game, Jones attributed the success to the depth in the backfield.

“It helps us a lot when one goes in and we get our break and we know that any given time any of us can break, so it’s good,” Jones said. “My linemen tell me follow me, I’m going to lead you the end zone, and well hey I cant complain with that.”

The Miners found a way to go ahead in the scoreboard with the passing game as Jameill Showers went 13 for 16 with 126 yards and a touchdown. When asked about his role in the game considering criticism he’s faced in the past two weeks he simply said,

“Last week wasn’t the best week for me and, I think I just came out and played relaxed and had a whole different game,” Showers said. “Something we pride our selves this year is that we don’t have too many negative plays through the game.”

The Miners defense did their job as they managed to stop the Aggies offense where it matters, in the red zone. The Miners gave up 425 yards of total offense but held the aggies to go five for 12 on third down, and forced the Aggies to punt three times and had an interception in the red zone.

Senior Defensive back Wesley Miller had this to say about his interception in the end zone.

“It was a big play but to be honest it was great pressure on the quarter back, and the corner back had great coverage which forced the ball to go to me,” Miller said. “So it was just a team effort.”

Though every win is counted the same no matter the history or rivalry the feeling around the team was unanimous, beating NMSU is just sweeter. The Miners won their sixth game in a row against the aggies and get to keep the Brass Spittoon and Silver Spade for one more year. For Miller the game will be a lasting memory of his senior year, as last year he tore his MCL against the Aggies.

“Its fantastic I cant really express it right now, it wasn’t a perfect game but we’re definitely ending the rivalry on a high note for me my self, I hope it continues.”

Juan Carlos Navarrete can be reached at [email protected]