UTEP Defeats Southern Miss With A Stellar Defensive Performance
It's safe to say that the UTEP Miners are officially on a roll after winning their third straight game on Saturday night by defeating Southern Miss 35-14 at the Sun Bowl. Offensively the team was not sharp at all, but the old cliché that defense wins championships held true as they forced five consecutive Southern Miss turnovers, and netted 21 points off of those.
The Miners have allowed 14 points in the past two weeks, and are now one win away from bowl eligibility. With the win they improved to 5-3, 3-1 in C-USA and have their first three game winning streak since 2010. Key contributors defensively were UTEP linebacker Jimmy Musgrave who recovered a Southern Miss fumble, Trey Brown who retuned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown, and Nick Gathrite who recovered a fumble and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown.
The UTEP defense had nine tackles for losses which tied a season high, and Roy Robertson-Harris forced two Southern Miss fumbles. As was noted previously the Miners' offense was nothing to write home about, but Autrey Golden shined as he scored on a 98 yard kickoff return in the first half. Jameill Showers finished 10 of 23 for 127 yards and 1 touchdown. Aaron Jones rushed for 51 yards on 19 carries.
The announced attendance was 24,653 but it surly didn't appear that there were more than 20,000 people at the game. As is usually the case you couldn't pay fans to attend these games even if the Miners are doing well, which is truly pathetic. UTEP travels to face Western Kentucky next Saturday, and with only four games remaining there is a real possibility that this team can win 7 or 8 games, quite an improvement from their 2 wins last season.
Here is the complete post game press conference with Coach Kugler.