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UTEP Sustains An Embarrassing Loss To Louisiana Tech On Homecoming

A crowd of 24,926 fans watch UTEP vs. Louisiana Tech on homecoming. (photo by Brandon Cohn)

UTEP can’t seem to win at home this season, as a matter of fact, they haven’t won in quite sometime now.  Louisiana Tech came into the Sun Bowl and handed the Miners a 38-35 loss on Saturday night. 

The Miners defensive struggles continued as they allowed LA Tech to accumulate 353 rushing yards, running back Kenneth Dixon gained 200 yards on the ground alone.  The Miners are 0-3 at home for the first time since 1992.  The script is the same for every UTEP game this season.  They score early and then allow their opponent to rack up a ton of points in the aftermath of their initial impressive series.

After UTEP took a 7-0 lead early in the game, they allowed LA Tech to score 24 consecutive points.  UTEP cut the Bulldog’s lead to 24-14 by halftime when Jameill Showers found Jordan Leslie for a 28 yard touchdown.  Showers had a solid performance finishing 18 of 33 for 237 yards and threw 3 touchdown passes.

Showers’ stellar performance was overshadowed by UTEP’s inept play on the defensive side of the ball, which has become a norm this season.  UTEP was able to pull within three at 24-21 when LA Tech’s D. J Banks fumbled a punt in the 3rd quarter that was recovered by Trey Brown for the touchdown.  The straw that broke the camel’s back occurred in the 4th quarter when the Miners allowed LA Tech to get a first down on a 3rd and 21 from their own one yard line.

LA Tech’s running back Kenneth Dixon gained 72 yards in a surreal fashion, a few plays later he scored on a 3 yard touchdown run.  The Miners then had a field goal attempt blocked which proved to be rather significant in determining their fate.  They were able to put together a nice scoring drive to cut the deficit to 38-35 with 1:03 remaining in the game, but failed to recover the on side kick attempt.

Following the game Coach Kugler had this to say about the Miners performance.

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Coach Kugler also talked about how the fans may feel about the Miners 0-3 start at home, he mentioned,

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With the loss, UTEP falls to 1-4 on the season, 0-2 in C-USA.  Next Saturday they will host Tulsa before going on the road for three consecutive games including against Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Texas A & M.  The question now should be asked, will UTEP end up with only 1 win this season?

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