Coach Kugler and UTEP fans can now breathe a sigh of relief as the Miners won their first home game of the season against FIU on Saturday night.  The win couldn't have come at a better time for numerous reasons. 

To begin with it was the Miners final home game of the season, without question it would have been a real embarrassment if they had gone winless at the Sun Bowl.  The victory over FIU ended a 7 game losing streak, but more importantly sent off 14 seniors off with a found memory of their time at UTEP.  The Miners played their most complete game of the season, and finally performed well on the defensive side of the ball by only allowing FIU to gain 200 yards of total offense.  Their defense even got a safety in the third quarter when Horace Miller tackled Silas Spearman in the end zone.

The Miners racked up 407 yards of offense and dominated the game on the ground by accumulating 327 rushing yards.  Nathan Jeffery and Blaire Sullivan both rushed for over 100 yards.  UTEP quarterback Mack Leftwich threw the ball sparingly but was efficient by passing for 80 yards with 1 touchdown and most importantly, he didn't make any mistakes.  The Miners went on to win the game 33-10 and are now 2-8 on the season.  They will play their final two games on the road at Tulane and Middle Tennessee.

Miners former defensive coordinator Andre Patterson hugs one of his former players. (photo by Brandon Cohn)

Following the game I caught up with UTEP's former defensive coordinator Andre Patterson who is the Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line coach with FIU.  Patterson said it was nice to come back to play his former team on senior night  He also noted, "I've been with these kids since they were freshman, and it was nice to see them play their final game here."

Coach Kulger was quite pleased with his team's performance and had this to say when I asked him about the victory,

It was nice to see UTEP actually celebrate a victory at home for a change, especially on senior night.  Now we shall see if they can carry the momentum over from the victory and win on the road.