Miners lose 16th straight in a heartbreaker against NMSU


Priscilla Gomez

Head Coach Dana Dimel gives directions to the team.

Isaiah Ramirez, Staff Reporter

In what looked to be the end of a losing streak that has been attached to the UTEP Miner football team for over a year now, turned out to end with a heartbreaking 27-20 loss against the New Mexico State Aggies.

“Way too many mistakes for us tonight and we have to eliminate unforced errors” head coach Dana Dimel said.

This is UTEP’s (0-4) second year in a row losing to the Aggies(1-4).

Prior to Saturday’s loss, the Miners had an eight-game win streak against NMSU.

Turnovers really changed the landscape of the game for the Miners starting with a blocked punt in the Miner’s first drive of the game, that was returned for a touchdown by NMSU junior wide receiver Izaiah Lottie.

Later in the game with 37 seconds left before halftime UTEP junior quarterback, Kai Locksley fumbled the ball which was then recovered by NMSU’s senior cornerback, Malik Demby for a 56-yard touchdown to put the Aggies up 17-10 going into halftime.

“That turnover is on me and as the quarterback and leader of this team there is no room for any errors,” Locksley said.

“When you get a punt blocked your percentage of winning goes down to about 18 percent, and we gave them 14 points off of turnovers which were costly for us,” Dimel said.

Even with the costly turnovers improvements were evident for the Miners.

Locksley was clicking on offense, through the ground and passing game.

He finished the night 10-for-16 on 194 passing yards with one touchdown, and 64 rush yards on 27 carries with one rushing touchdown.

Junior running back Quadriz Wadley rushed for 111 yards on 20 carries averaging 5.6 yards a carry.

“I just wanted to keep helping my team and give them the best chance to win,” Wadley said.

The Miners finished the game with 235 yards as opposed to the Aggies 155 yards on the ground.

UTEP led the Aggies in almost every substantial statistical category with 429 total yards of offense, 194 passing yards, 235 rushing yards, and 24 first downs. The Aggies meanwhile piled up 311 total yards, 156 passing yards, 155 yards on the ground and got 15 first downs.

The Miners had a staggering time of possession of 40:48 to NMSU’s 19:12.

“We led in almost every statistical category tonight but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is putting more points on the scoreboard,” Dimel said.

With 3:24 left in the game the Miners had one last chance to come out with a victory but the last drive of the game for the Miners was unsuccessful ending with a Locksley interception.

A historical event took place Saturday evening when senior cornerback Nik Needham broke the all-time pass breakup record, which is now at 26.

Moving forward the Miners look to break through this unfortunate wall set in front of them and move towards their first victory of the season as they start Conference USA play on the road and face the UTSA Roadrunners on Saturday, Sept. 29.

“Turnovers and penalties must be cleaned up and I feel like if we are able to clean that up there will be a lot of better days for us moving forward,” Locksley said.