UTEP football struggles against UTSA and loses fourth straight game

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UTEP football struggles against UTSA and loses fourth straight game

Senior quarterback Kai Locksley looks for a receiver down field against UTSA at the Sun Bowl.

Senior quarterback Kai Locksley looks for a receiver down field against UTSA at the Sun Bowl.

Isaiah Ramirez

Senior quarterback Kai Locksley looks for a receiver down field against UTSA at the Sun Bowl.

Isaiah Ramirez

Isaiah Ramirez

Senior quarterback Kai Locksley looks for a receiver down field against UTSA at the Sun Bowl.

Isaiah Ramirez, Reporter

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A late game surge by the UTEP football team was not enough to pull off a win against the University of Texas at San Antonio falling to the Roadrunners 26-16 on homecoming at the Sun Bowl. UTSA displayed an exceptional running game with the Roadrunners rushing for 320 yards as a team, while the Miners could only muster 99 yards on the ground. Those 99 yards on the ground are the second lowest by the Miners as a team this season.   

Coming into this matchup both UTEP and UTSA had identical records at 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play.  

UTEP started off slow in their homecoming matchup against UTSA with the Miners scoring just three points by halftime.  

“I felt the slow start to this game kind of knocked our wind out of our sails for the football game,” UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel said.  

UTEP senior quarterback Kai Locksley would have his first start of the season for the Miners and would finish the game with 41 passing yards on 2-of-8 passing.   

The offense would struggle in the first half for the Miners with 28 passing yards and 62 rushing yards with six first downs.  

The Miners initial touchdown with 1:26 left in third quarter was Treyvon Hughes scoring on an eight-yard rushing touchdown.  

UTSA scored 16 second half points and would take a 26-10 lead with 4:02 remaining in the fourth quarter.   

UTEP tried to convert some sort of hope in walking out the Sun Bowl with a victory with a two-yard touchdown reception by sophomore wide receiver Tre ‘Shon Wolf, thrown by Senior quarterback Brandon Jones. The Miners failed on the two-point conversion with wide receiver Walter Dawn Jr., unable to get one foot down in the end zone for his reception.  

Wolf finished the game with 91 receiving yards and one touchdown on nine receptions.   

“I’ve had the same mentality going into this game which is come out and be the best I can and just be a dog out there and make plays happen,” Wolf said.  

UTSA rushed for 123 yards with freshman running back Sincere McCormick leading the way with 63 yards on 12 carries in the first half. McCormick would set the single game rushing record for yards in a game finishing the matchup with 189 yards and one touchdown. McCormick averaged 8.6 yards per carry against the Miners.  

The Roadrunners had a formidable one-two punch in the run game with McCormick and sophomore quarterback Lowell Narcisse rushing for 115 yards, a rushing touchdown and averaged 6.1 yards per carry.   

The 320 yards allowed on the ground is the most  allowed by the Miners this season.  

One bright spot in the Miners defense against the Roadrunners was redshirt senior Adrian Hynson, who stepped into the starting role subbing for redshirt sophomore Justin Prince who is out for an extended period with a leg injury. Hynson would have 10 total tackles for the evening tying a team high, but the playmaker showed his identity as a team player moving forward.  

“After this game we have to go into practice and learn where we messed up and come prepared and get better and pick each other up,” Hynson said.  

Jones would enter the game at quarterback for the Miners at the 3:59 mark in third quarter and would finish the game with 140 passing yards on 14-of-22 passing and one  touchdown 

Third down conversions were not the strong suit  of the Miners against UTSA with the Miners going 2-of-12 on third downs. Coming into this matchup UTEP was just 14-of-51 on third down conversions.   

“We have to getter better on first and second downs and eliminate third and long situations,” Dimel said.   

The Miners have now won just two games in the last three seasons with a cumulative record of 2-29.  

“We need to have effort without mistakes and defend the run better and be able to execute better moving forward,” Dimel said.  

UTEP will have a bye week this weekend and will be in action again against Florida Atlantic University at 5 p.m. Oct. 19 in Miami, Florida 

Isaiah Ramirez may be reached at [email protected]  

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