Miners collapse in first sellout game since 2008


Roman P. Carr

The UTEP secondary strugglesto stop the opposing team as North Texas drives down field.

Daniel Alec Lopez and Itzel Giron

A lightning alert put a delay to the week zero showdown for the UTEP football team against the University of North Texas, but it did not stop the fans from showing up to see the Miners back in action. This was UTEP’s first sellout at the Sun Bowl since 2008.

In the first half, the Miners and the Mean Green traded offensive possessions, scoring either a touchdown or field goal. The Miners then trailed 14-10 toward the end of the half. The defense was able to cause a fumble and give the offense an opportunity to set up a field goal cutting the Mean Green’s lead to 14-13 at halftime.

In the second half, the Miners struggled to move the ball down the field because of the Mean Green’s stifling defense, which made the Miners go 7-of-18 on third down conversions. The Miners could not score any more points in the second half, which led to a Mean Green 31-13 victory at the end of the game.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • President Wilson shows her excitement as the first game of the season kicks off Aug. 28 at Sun Bowl Stadium.

  • The Miners receive a punt return after a third down stop against North Texas.

  • Sophomore wide receiver Tyrin Smith celebrates with sophomore offensive lineman Jeremiah Byers after scoring a touchdown reception to put the Miners on the board.

  • The Miners come out the tunnel for the second half against the Mean Green.

  • North Texas takes a timeout to reevaluate their approach against the Miners.

  • Coach Dimel expresses his thoughts after the tough loss to North Texas in the season opener.

  • The Miners struggle to move the ball up field as the Mean Green secondary stops them.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

In the start of the first quarter, the Miners came out firing on offense with junior quarterback Gavin Hardison connecting on a deep ball to senior wide receiver Rey Flores near the goal line. UTEP could not advance any further and settled for a 41-yard field goal, which ended up being no good. The score was 0-0.

On their first offensive series, North Texas tried to convert a third and long with UNT junior quarterback Austin Aune trying to scramble out, but UTEP senior defensive end Jadarian Taylor was able to make a key tackle to force a punt.

On the next offensive series for the Miners, Hardison completed a long ball to sophomore wide receiver Tryin Smith to midfield after an offsides penalty against the Mean Green.

The Miners kept rumbling down the field on offense and made it near the endzone. However, UTEP was stopped at the goal line when trying to convert a fourth and goal on an errant snap to Hardison, causing a turnover on downs.

At the start of the second quarter, Hardison completed a pass to Smith for a touchdown to go up 7-0. North Texas answered with a long drive on offense, which resulted in a touchdown to tie the game. Toward the end of the first half, Hardison drove the offense down the field near the endzone but could not punch the ball in, so the Miners settled for a field goal to put the Miners up 10-7. North Texas had an answer again on offense and scored on a long drive to go up 14-10. There were some coverage problems with the linebackers at times in the redzone which enabled for plays to open up.

With 30 seconds remaining in the second half, the Miners defense forced a fumble and got the ball close to the goal line. The Miners could not score in the endzone and settled for a field goal to put the score at the half with the Miners trailing 14-13.

In the start of the second half, the Mean Green started received the ball and drove it past midfield a to score and go up 21-13. The Miners got the ball back on offense; however, Hardison fumbled and gave the ball back to the Mean Green. North Texas used the turnover to their advantage to score and go up 28-13.

On the Miners next possession, Hardison moved the offense passed midfield, but could not convert a fourth down play, giving the ball back to the Mean Green at the 50-yard line. The Mean Green drove the length of the field and ended up kicking a field goal to push their lead to 31-13.

In the second half, the Miners could not score on the offense and the defense was completely gassed. The Miners went on to lose 31-13.

UTEP finished the night on offense with 13 first downs compared to the Mean Green’s 31 first downs. The Miners fourth down tries were 2-of-6, while the Mean Green’s was 1-of-1 on fourth down tries.

The Miners travel to Norman, Oklahoma to face the University of Oklahoma at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Daniel Alec Lopez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]