There’s an adage in football and it’s usually buried in coach speak. That is, a team needs two wins in games its offense coughs and heaves. That is, in order to finish with seven or more victories.

On Saturday, the Miners became a five-game winner using what is that long-accepted common-sense theory: Have/make things go your way. It was a night Southern Mississippi was poleaxed for three lost fumbles, was snookered into having two passes intercepted and those visitors to the Sun Bowl gave up a kickoff return for a TD. Can’t usually win with that many slaps.

Steve Kaplowitz

So UTEP won 35-14. But UTEP’s offense was good for only seven of those winning points.
Yes, this was a night UTEP’s defense was crisply hitting the opponent’s pads, bellies, knees. And this was really a night UTEP showed no offense, but used those many Southern Miss mess-ups (ye ol’ adage) to be dominant throughout the game clock’s ticks.
Note: UTEP’s offense made only one decent drive all night, and that came early (that will be a big concern for the Miners going into Saturday’s game at pretty-darn-OK Western Kentucky).
In UTEP’s world of football there haven’t been many wins for several seasons (your son’s lifetime). UTEP was the fumble/pass interception inept team in the adage most often.
A corner seems to have been turned Saturday against one of those southern teams that are usually pretty tough physically. That is, the Miners had a tough time on offense, but they won a game when there was no offensive oomph.
The other team, not UTEP, had a bad night fumbling, throwing pass interceptions and giving up a TD on special teams. For once it was the other guys.
UTEP is 5-3 with four games to go. Now the Miners need to dominate somebody at least once, and also have that second “adage” win.