Miners fall hard on Homecoming to UTSA, 25-6

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Miners fall hard on Homecoming to UTSA, 25-6

UTSA on offense versus the UTEP Miners.

UTSA on offense versus the UTEP Miners.

Andres Martinez

UTSA on offense versus the UTEP Miners.

Andres Martinez

Andres Martinez

UTSA on offense versus the UTEP Miners.

Adrian Broaddus, Staff Reporter

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Rain, lightning, and nearly nothing working on offense. These were all contributing factors in the Miners 25-6 loss in their Conference USA opener against the UTSA Roadrunners. The third time would not be the charm for starting quarterback Ryan Metz, as he could not notoriously win in a come-from-behind fashion like he had done in the past two previous weeks.

The game suffered through two lightning delays, one at 11:11 in the second quarter and the other at 11 seconds left before halftime. The game started at 6:00 and would not finish until 9:33.

UTSA took a deep 18-0 lead with 10:06 left in the third quarter. They dominated nearly every side of the football, including holding the Miners to only 85 total yards on offense in the first half.

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In the first half alone, the Miners put up a defensive fight. They stopped what could have been six points on a 65-yard Roadrunner drive, which was halted to a 30-yard field goal.

After sitting through the lightning delay at halftime, the Miners found themselves in a rot after Kavika Johnson was sacked by a Roadrunner defender in the end zone, making the score 5-0 in UTSA’s favor.

Next, quarterback Blake Bogenschutz led a 78-yard touchdown drive for the Roadrunners that resulted in a 25-yard run by Jarveon Williams. Desperate to get things rolling offensively, Metz marched the Miners to midfield; however, the drive was stopped abruptly after corner Michael Egwuagu of the Roadrunners picked off Metz’ pass and took it for 40 yards for a touchdown.

It wasn’t until the late third quarter the offense, as they’ve done in the past two weeks, attempted to rally from behind and steal the victory. Metz and the offense took a 72-yard drive to the house, ending in a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jaquan White, making it 18-6.

Although Nick Usher stole away a fumble from the Roadrunner offense, the Miners attack could not capitalize on the defensive turnover and ended the drive on a turnover on downs. Despite getting the ball back with less than a minute to play, Egwuagu took another pass from Metz for a 25-yard touchdown to secure the 25-6 victory for UTSA.

“It was an embarrassing loss,” UTEP head coach Sean Kugler said.  “We don’t have much of an identity on offense, which we need to find.  If you’re looking to point fingers at anybody, point them at me. I’m also the one responsible for turning this thing around.”

The pass-heavy Miners were not as successful as they had hoped going into the game. Metz ended the night throwing 22 of 48 for 212 yards and four interceptions. Metz led the team in rushing yards with 33, and Jacquan White led the receiving core with 77 yards and a touchdown.

“There’s no hiding it, I lost this game for us,” Metz said. “Every player came up to me and said they have faith in me and still love me. I didn’t come in here imagining that I would have four picks. If I want to be a leader for these guys, I have to put this behind me.”

Kugler disagrees with Metz’ self criticism, and understands the adversity that the freshman quarterback faces.

“I told everybody, the kid has been playing outstanding,” Kugler said. “He is a freshman.  I knew he was going to have a game like this.  I couldn’t predict when or where it was going to be, but I knew there was going to be a game like this. He is going to fight back and he’s going to play better next week.  He is going to be a heck of a quarterback.”

On the defensive side, Jimmy Musgrave led the Miners with 12 total tackles, followed by Alvin Jones with 10 tackles and three sacks. However, Kugler also mentioned that the Miners are “a beat up team”, and also mentioned that Kelvin Fisher, Ishmael Harrison and Alvin Jones ended the game with an injury.

“After coming on the field two times after interceptions and stopping them was a big deal,” Musgrave said. “We all have to be on board and I’m going to put everything I have into this team. We just have to rally back. We did it last year, and we can do it this year.”

The Miners find themselves at the same position as they were last year, 2-3 (0-1 in Conference). Next week they travel to Miami to take on Florida International.

Adrian Broaddus may be reached at [email protected]

 

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