Miners Fall to Tulsa 57-28 on Senior Day
It was an emotional day for the 22 UTEP seniors honored before the Miners final home game against Tulsa. Like a homecoming game in high school, college coaches would often rather do without the pageantry of senior day. After all, coaches want their players to be dialed in mentally.
The Miners were dialed in mentally, they just didn't have enough firepower to play for four quarters with a great Tulsa team. Nick Lamaison missed his third start of the season. Lamaison has now missed significant time in five games in 2011.
For the second straight week sophomore Carson Meger seemed up to the challenge. After falling behind 14-0 midway through the first, Meger led the Miners on an eight play 60 yard drive to cut the deficit to eight. (kicker Mike Scott's extra point attempt was blocked)
Trailing 21-6 in the second, momentum seemed to shift UTEP's way when the Miners blocked a Golden Hurricane punt through the back of the Miner end zone for a safety. After Leilyon Myers capped off a seven play 75 yard touchdown drive with a one yard touchdown rumble, we had a ballgame at 21-15.
Tulsa kick returner Trey Watts returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to paydirt and the Golden Hurricane never looked back.
After a pair of interceptions on consecutive possessions in the third quarter Meger was pulled for former New Mexico Lobo Tate Smith. Smith had a 'meager' amount of success in the second half, leading the Miners to a couple of window dressing scores.
The Miners didn't play terribly on Saturday. Rather, they ran into the buzzsaw known as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Tulsa has a chance to play BCS spoiler when they host undefeated Houston next Friday.
UTEP must defeat Central Florida in Orlando next Friday in order to receive a second consecutive bowl bid.