Boise State 54 – UTEP 13: Broncos Force 6 Turnovers, Demolish Miners
UTEP hung in with Boise State for a quarter and some change, but after a 31-point second quarter, the Broncos never looked back and raced away with a 54-13 win.
The Miners finished with six total turnovers on offense as mistakes mounted on Friday night in Albertsons Stadium. Boise State put up 340 passing yards and torched the Miner secondary all night. The penalities were a negative factor again for the Miners, as they finished with nine penalties for 81 yards.
Running back Deion Hankins, corner Josh Caldwell and safety Justin Prince were out of this game with injuries. The Miners also left this game with several injuries, as defensive tackle Keenan Stewart, running back Rey Flores and center Andrew Meyer all left the game.
UTEP will rely on the upcoming bye week to get healthy before hosting New Mexico on Sept. 25.
"The open week is coming at a great time for us," said head coach Dana Dimel. "We need this week right now to get us back. The short week did not come at a good time for us. We went into this nicked-up. None of them are long-term (injuries). Most everyone should be back. We need everyone back."
At one point, UTEP was very much alive in this game.
Both teams scored field goals on their respective opening drive to make it 3-3. The Broncos scored their first touchdown on an 81-yard punt return by Stefan Cobbs to lead 10-3.
UTEP responded with a long 15-play, 72-yard drive that ended in a field goal by Baechle.
Then things got ugly.
The Broncos scored on a 10-yard rushing touchdown by George Holani, set up by a 36-yard pass from quarterback Hank Bachmeier to wideout Khalil Shakir. Following a Gavin Hardison fumble, Boise State scored a quick touchdown to extend the lead to 24-6, giving the Broncos two touchdowns in 18 seconds. The Broncos capitalized off another Miner punt and scored on a 61-yard passing play from Bachmeier to Cobbs.
Boise State had just 215 seconds of total offense at the 7:54 mark of the second quarter and led 31-6.
Hardison was able to hit Jacob Cowing for a 48-yard touchdown late in the second quarter. Instead of cutting the Broncos' lead to just 14 points before half, Hardison threw his second interception in the back of the end zone. BSU was able to put together a five-play, 48-yard drive to score another touchdown before halftime and led 41-13.
Out of the half, the Miners had three consecutive turnovers on three straight possessions. Boise State capitalized off turnovers by turning them into 10 points.
The Broncos amassed 461 yards of total offense and they were led by wideout Shakir (seven catches for 166 yards). Bachmeier threw for 340 passing yards and tossed two touchdowns. Boise State scored on six of seven trips to the red zone.
UTEP finished with 336 total yards of offense. Hardison ended the game by completing 15-of-24 passes for 223 yards, one touchdown, one fumble and three interceptions. Cowing ended with six catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Breon Hayward led UTEP's defense with nine tackles, one tackle for loss and two quarterback hurries.
The Miners (2-1) will take a break next week before wrapping up non-conference play against New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 25.