Panthers Close Out Miners 32-17 for Fifth Straight Loss
It was another all-too-familiar game for the disgruntled Miners, as they fell to Florida International 32-17 for their fifth straight loss.
They are now 0-24-1 all-time in eastern time zone games.
UTEP (1-5, 0-3 C-USA) hung around 18-7 in the second half but could not generate the offense necessary to lead a comeback. Florida International scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter that halted any UTEP comeback, sparked by FIU quarterback James Morgan's 61-yard pass-and-catch to Anthony Jones at the end of the third quarter, who two plays later scored.
But the same old problems—penalties and third downs—put the Miners in the dog house tonight. The Miners totaled 10 penalties on the night for 106 yards, their worst of the season. They converted just six times on 15 third down attempts, while allowing FIU to convert 6-of-11 on third down.
Same old story.
Another similar gameday scenario was the quarterback carousel between Brandon Jones and Kai Locksley. Jones threw an interception on the opening drive and nearly a pick-6 on the next had an FIU defender not been offsides. Locksely stepped in the game in the second quarter and a missed snap resulted in a safety for the Miners.
Following the near interception, Jones had a nice 13-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 7:18 minutes and was capped off by a one-yard rushing touchdown by Treyvon Hughes on fourth-and-goal at the 1. Jones left the game in the second half with an injury and couldn't return in the game, finishing 5-of-9 for 34 passing yards and an interception.
Locksley closed the game on a sharp note, hitting freshman Jacob Cowing on a crisp 34-yard touchdown pass. He finished 7-of-12 for 117 passing yards, 63 rushing yard and a passing score.
FIU sacked UTEP quarterbacks three times on the night and racked up eight tackles for losses. Both teams were a combined 7-for-7 in the red zone, FIU leading the way going 5-for-5.
UTEP dominated in time of possession (37:08-22:52) but couldn't find the end zone in the game. They ran 66 plays but averaged only 4.3 yards per play.
Hughes finished with 51 yards rushing on 19 carries for the Miners. Josh Caldwell was UTEP’s top tackler with a career-high tying seven tackles.
The Miners will play host to LA Tech next Saturday, Oct. 26.