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Miners slip away from Old Dominion after 21 unanswered points

Gaby Velasquez

It was so close, yet so far away.


The Miners, who came into the Sun Bowl after a five-overtime victory last week, could not carry on their luck into this week as they fell 31-21 against Old Dominion.


Quarterback David Washington threw for 262 yards for a pair of touchdowns, running back Jeremy Cox rushed for 131 yards and the Monarchs finished with 393 total yards of offense throughout the win.


The Miners (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) lost a crucial game that makes each of their remaining four games must-win situations if the Miners have any hope at post-season play. And, only a sub 20,000 fans, which trickled to about 2,000 fans around the fourth quarter, were there to witness the frustrating game on the Miners’ end.


“I give their receivers credit; they caught some great passes,” Kugler said. “We had missed tackles—many times. We got into third down conversions but just couldn’t convert. They took over in the second half.”


It was a frustrating night for Aaron Jones who could not find the breakaway runs and carried the ball 25 times for 94 yards with a long of only a 19 yard take. It was a frustrating night for quarterback Ryan Metz who did put up 201 passing yards, but completed 21-for-36.


The frustrating part was not about their stats, nor their touchdowns scored. It was their conversion status. The Miners went a disastrous 4-of-13 for third down conversions, which was detrimental to their offensive attack.


More so, however, the defense could not contain the Old Dominion offense after the halfway mark in the third quarter. Jones darted in the end zone to lift the Miners 13-10 nearing the eight-minute mark in the third quarter. However, the Monarchs scored 21 unanswered points up until garbage time late in the fourth quarter when Metz connected with receiver Cole Freytag.


The Monarchs had three drives that completely ripped the Miners’ defense apart in the later part of the game. Fronted by Washington, the Monarchs orchestrated a seven-play, 75-yard drive, followed by a three-play, 68-yard drive, and a two-play, 73-yard drive. In total, the Miners gave up 261 total yards to the Monarchs during the second half.


“We’ve put ourselves in this position,” Kugler said. “We can still make a bowl game. We have to win out. I don’t expect any of us to lie down.”


One of the key turning points of the game was a fourth and short that was ruled a drop by Eddie Sinegal. However, the Miners’ coaching staff argued it was a catch. After the play, Old Dominion scored almost instantly.


“We couldn’t finish drives,” Jones said. “There’s a couple drives that we need to just finish up on.”


What’s next for the struggling, nearly-done squad? Jones believes that despite the bumps and bruises, his team can rise to the occasion and win out their games.


“Now there’s no room for error,” Jones said. That’s exactly what all of my guys want, and we know what’s at stake. We have to go back to practice, hit it hard, and correct the mistakes we had.”

Next, the Miners will host Houston Baptist at home on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the Sun Bowl.

Follow Adrian Broaddus on Twitter @adrian_broaddus


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About the Contributors
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
Gaby Velasquez, Photo editor
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Miners slip away from Old Dominion after 21 unanswered points