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UNLV defeats UTEP football

Joel Molina
Running back Torrance Burgess Jr. carries the ball amongst several defenders from UNLV.

UTEP football (1-4, C-USA 0-1) faced The University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) Rebels (3-1) in an engaging game for the Miners second home game.  

Fans of all ages cheered on UTEP as they entered their fourth game at the Sun Bowl. 

What started as an engrossing two quarters, ended in defeat for the Miners with the Rebels securing the win with a score of 45-28. Linebacker Tyrice Knight accumulated 15 more tackles with 13 solo stops despite the defense yielding 497 yards total offense for UNLV. UTEP Running back Torrance Burgess Jr. had a rush career high of 99 yards on 19 carries. Wide receiver Kelly Akharaiyi had 92 yards on four catches in response to no receptions on eight targets last week. Defensive end Praise Amaewhale tied his eight-tackle career best and picked off his first ever career pass.  

The Rebels had an early 7-0 lead on the Miners. Rebels Jai’Den Thomas made a game highlight of 100 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Running back Vincent David Jr. made 97 yards on the ground. Running back Donavyn Lester added a touchdown, with running back Courtney Resse recording 58 yards and a touchdown. As UTEP continued to gain on the Rebels’ tail, the Miners were not able to catch up by the fourth quarter of the game.  

UTEP Miners Football Head Coach Dana Dimel spoke about his thoughts about the game, as well what the Miners can do better entering conference play.  

“I really liked the way our guys fought in the third quarter as far as getting that touchdown drive together,” Dimel said. “One of our goals is to win the last four minutes of the second quarter, which gives you momentum, but we obviously didn’t do that.”  

Dimel detailed how many instances involving missed plays and poor defense affected the game towards the second half. 

“The blocked punt was very critical for us early in the game,” Dimel said. “You can’t give up blocked punts and to me the game was just starting to take flow and we give up the blocked punt; (which) gives (UNLV) a touchdown opportunity.”   

UTEP football fan Don Smelser speaks about the hope he has for the Miners going forward this season.   

“The potential is there, but they are just not clicking and they make too many errors,” Smelser said. “At this point in time they have enough talent to compete with anyone they play with, but they need to get their timing down; we were not very disciplined on our end.”  

Fellow UTEP football fan Scott Smelser speaks to the overall disappointment of the game. 

“I think the Miners could have done better, you got a three-year Quarterback that isn’t doing the job,” Scott said. “They (defense) were good, they had their ups and downs, and gave up a lot of plays.” 

UTEP stays in El Paso to play the LA Tech Bulldogs (2-3, C-USA 1-0) Friday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m. at the Sun Bowl. 

H. Catching Marginot is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
H. Catching Marginot, Staff Reporter
Henry Catching Marginot is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English: rhetorical studies. He is a staff reporter at The Prospector and freelances. He plans to pursue writing in the future.
Joel Molina, Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a staff photographer who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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