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Strong start grants Miners football much needed ‘electric’ win against FIU Panthers

The Miners would go onto win their first game ever in Florida, 27-14, Wednesday, Oct. 11 against Florida International. Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics.

After a lackluster start to the season, UTEP football team (2-5, 1-2 C-USA) found a key win against Conference USA (C-USA) opponent the Florida International (FIU) Panthers (3-4, C-USA 0-4) on the road Wednesday, Oct.11. 

Coming off a gut-wrenching loss to LA Tech (3-5, C-USA 2-2) at home, the Miners took advantage of bye week and reassessed a number of its issues. 

“You know, the start of the game was poor. We gave up really a big, big play that was just a bust from us defensively,” said UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel prior to Wednesday’s matchup. “We probably played better than they did for the remaining time of the game, but it was just too big of a lead to catch up on. It is a challenge for us, a long trip across the country to play in Florida, but one that, you know, we’re much looking forward to playing.” 

The Miners would start the game hot, scoring 21 points in the first quarter of the game with UTEP defense keeping the Panthers scoreless until midway through the second quarter. 

The Miners would be forced to play conservatively to maintain its lead with sophomore quarterback Cade McConnell starting under center for the first time in his career. 

McConnell played an efficient game over the air 11 completions totaling 262 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers. 

UTEP would dominate on the ground with 139 yards rushing between junior running back Deion Hankins and sophomore running back Torrance Burgess Jr. 

The Miners would later win its first game in Florida and their second consecutive game in the eastern time zone 27-14. 

Bowl eligibility is still on the table for UTEP, but the team can only afford a single loss in the remainder of the season. 

UTEP will return to the Sun Bowl to take on New Mexico State (NMSU) Aggies (4-3, C-USA 2-1) at 7 pm Wednesday night, Oct. 18, at the Sun Bowl stadium for the one-hundredth Battle of I-10. 

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela Armendariz is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]: @rivasemmanuel2 on Instagram 

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About the Contributor
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Contributor/Writer
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with minors in political science and Chicano studies. Emmanuel served as sports editor at The Prospector and as a writer with Minero Magazine. Now, Emmanuel is interning at El Paso Matters and is a contributor at The Prospector.
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