Miners Down Aggies 16-10 in the Battle of I-10 [Video]
For the third straight year the silver spade and brass spittoon will reside in El Paso. The Miners were able to crawl away victorious in a game of who could dodge more bullets.
There is a new NFL show on Versus called 'NFL Turning Points' where a key play is identified as the turning point in every game. That moment was obvious last night. Trailing by four late in the third quarter Mike Price and the sputtering Miner offense were facing another fourth down. Special teams coach Jeff Banks got the look he liked, and Price called the fake punt.
Joe Banyard took the snap and rumbled 60+ yards down to the Aggie 11. An illegal horse collar tackle tacked on another five.
Leilyon Myers finished the drive with this five yard touchdown run.
Price's gutsy call stole every ounce of momentum from the Aggies.
After the Miner touchdown the Aggies went three and out. UTEP kicker Dakota Warren gave the Miners a little insurance with this 37 yard field goal early in the fourth.
The scoring was done after Warren's field goal made it 16-10 Miners early in the fourth.
After a series of punts and missed field goals by both teams, Mike Price faced another grueling decision late in the fourth. With just over three minutes remaining the Miners had a fourth and one on the Aggie 36. Normally automatic kicker Dakota Warren had already missed two field goals and punting was out of the question.
Price rolled the dice one more time and went for it. Leilyon Myers appeared to clinch it for the Miners with this tremendous effort.
My apologies for Brandon Cohn who couldn't contain his excitement after Myers dive.
This one wasn't over yet. In what was a microcosm of the game, Jay Hall fumbled the ball back to the Aggies with a 1:37 remaining. Andrew Manley returned the favor 20 seconds later, and the Miners were finally able to kill the clock. However, Duke Keith was able to capture an angle showing Manley to be down before the ball popped out.
The theme of this installment of the I-10 rivalry was missed opportunities. Both teams left a lot of points off the board. For the third straight week the Miners featured a defense that bent but didn't break. The Miners front seven pressured, bruised, and battered Aggie quarterback Andrew Manley all night long.
For the first time the Miners were able to establish a ground game. Yes, Joe Banyard's 64 yards on the fake punt padded the stats, but UTEP netted 185 yards on the ground.
Jay Hall is still very green, but once he starts to gain experience and eliminate mistakes he should be able to help the Miners tread water while they wait for Nick Lamaison to heal.
Mike Price talked to the media about the play that turned everything around for the Miners.
Next up for UTEP is number 17 South Florida Saturday in Tampa.