North Texas Beats UTEP in Final Seconds, Miners Drop 3rd Straight
UTEP trailed 17-7 going into the fourth quarter against North Texas, fearing for their third straight loss.
In about 14 minutes, the Miners were able to score 10 points to tie the game with less than a minute left in the game.
But a 58-yard pass from North Texas quarterback Austin Aune to Detraveon Brown helped to set up a game-winning 27-yard field goal by kicker Ethan Mooney in the final 10 seconds.
North Texas won 20-17, handing UTEP its third straight loss. The Miners (6-4, 3-3 C-USA) will have to try and regroup over the next two weeks against Rice and UAB to try and get momentum for their first bowl appearance since 2014.
“This was a really tough loss,” fourth-year UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel said. “We’re not used to losing now and we’re not accepting that as a football team. We’re not happy. It’s not a happy locker room right now, but I love the way our guys don’t accept losing anymore and that’s a big step for us. We need to make more plays in all three segments of the ball to win a football game.”
The Miners got the scoring started in Denton with a 76-yard hookup by quarterback Gavin Hardison and wide receiver Jacob Cowing. The Miners went into the first half with a 7-3 lead, but couldn't capitalize on a drive inside the red zone on a fourth down play in the first quarter.
North Texas started their 17 unanswered points frenzy with a one-yard rushing score by quarterback Aune. Then, they capitalized on a Hardison interception by scoring seven plays later on a 25-yard touchdown strike from Aune to wideout Roderic Burns to make it 17-7.
North Texas marched the ball 97 yards down to the UTEP 2-yard line. The Miner defense came through with a massive stop on fourth down, as the Mean Green failed to convert on a fourth and goal situation.
Hardison and the Miners turned around with under five minutes to go and orchestrated a seven play, 98-yard drive that finished in a four-yard rushing touchdown by Ronald Awatt. The scoring drive was set up by two big catches from Jacob Cowing.
UTEP's defense was able to force a 3-and-out on the next drive with time on the clock. The offense took possession of the ball with 2:47 left in the game. They drove it all the way to the North Dakota 25-yard line. But the drive stalled and the Miners were forced to kick a tying 37-yard field goal with just under minute in the game.
In only 55 seconds, North Texas was able to march downfield and win it via a field goal.
North Texas totaled 423 total yards, compared to UTEP's 382. Aune finished 15-of-33 through the air 240 yards.
Hardison went 15-of-29 for 273 yards for the Miners. Wideout Jacob Cowing led the way with 174 receiving yards, which marked his 12th 100-yard receiving yard. He's only one away from the tying the school record. The defense was led by Breon Hayward (14 tackles), Tyrice Knight (11) and Tyson Wilson (11).
Up next: UTEP hosts Rice to snap a three-game losing streak at the Sun Bowl. Kickoff is set for 2 PM.