UTEP Gets a Crucial Win Against East Carolina
Traditionally the UTEP Miners can’t buy a win in the month of November. They defeated East Carolina for the first time ever on Saturday night 22-17. The win couldn’t of come at a better time as the Miners ended a 2 game losing streak.
As usual the crowd consisted of friends and family, the announced attendance was 25,571. The fans who showed up witnessed a close competitive game that featured Miners’ backup QB Carson Meger take over for Nick Lamaison who left the game in the 1st quarter with a groin injury. UTEP also lost kicker Dakota Warren early in the game due to a groin injury.
Meger played a solid game completing 18 of 27 passes for 155 yards. The most important stat for him was that he threw no interceptions. UTEP’S dominant ground game also helped them pull out the victory. Joe Banyard, Vernon Frazier, and Leilyon Myers combined for 212 yards.
The Miners had specific players step up for them throughout the contest. In the 2nd quarter Darren Woodard had a 44 yard interception that resulted in a touchdown. Woodard’s pick 6 made the score 7-6 East Carolina. The game remained close, with a little more than 7:00 remaining in the 4th quarter East Carolina held a slim 17-16 lead.
UTEP fans were biting their nails fearing another devastating loss that would put their teams’ bowl hopes in serious jeopardy. With 7:04 remaining in the contest running back Joe Baynard scored on a 77 yard TD run giving the Miners the lead for good at 22-17.
UTEP finished strong when Travaun Nixon picked off ECU quarterback Dominique Davis with just over two minutes to go in the game. The victory was extreamly important for the Miners for numerous reasons.
For starters they won a close game against a team who defeated them in embarrassing fashion a few years ago at the Sun Bowl. Secondly, the victory is just what the team needed in the month of November because we all know how much they struggle during the final month of the season. Finally, the team is now above .500 and should be able to split their final 2 games of the season to go 6-6. Can you say New Mexico Bowl again?