Rice 30 – UTEP 16: Miners Fall to 1-11 to End the 2019 Season
Rice (3-9) shut out UTEP (1-11) 16-0 in the second half and used 256 rushing yards to beat the Miners 30-16 on senior day at the Sun Bowl.
Rice running back Aston Walter raced for 149 yards and quarterback Tom Stewart threw for 115, along with a passing touchdown.
UTEP senior quarterback Kai Locksley found a spark on three drives the second quarter, completing 8-of-12 passes for 100 yards and rushing for 63 yards with a touchdown. But on the final drive of the first half, Locksley broke his left thumb on a running play.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Gavin Hardison came in relief of Locksley, providing a passing threat for the Miners. He completed 11-of-24 passes for 113 yards, but it wasn't enough to score on drives in the second half.
Although UTEP's defense forced two turnovers—a fumble recovery for a touchdown by defensive tackle Praise Amaewhule and an interception by Justin Rogers—the Miners could not contain the Owls' rushing game. They also struggled to defend the dual-quarterback system that Rice threw at them, between Stewart and JoVoni Johnson, who rushed for 62 yards and scored twice.
UTEP is now 2-34 over the last three seasons, and only one FBS win (Rice, 2018) in three years. Second-year head coach Dana Dimel is now 2-22 and 32-64 after wrapping up his eighth year of coaching.