It took just 16 carries for El Paso native Aaron Jones to earn 177 yards, becoming the first Miners RB to break 1,000 yards in a season since Donald Buckram in 2009.

More significantly, it took Sean Kugler just 22 games to get his alma mater bowl-eligible for the first time since 2010.

The highlights from FOX Sports' national telecast tell the story. UTEP manhandled purportedly physical North Texas Saturday in the Sun Bowl, 35-17, holding the Mean Green to just 201 yards of total offense, much of which was earned late in the game.

North Texas graduated a number of players that led them to a 9-4 season and a win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2013. That team rolled the Miners, 41-7, in Denton, TX.

Still, UTEP physically dominated one of the best defenses in Conference USA, and will certainly be on the radar for a bid in the same bowl this December.

Yes, they hand out bowl bids like water at a marathon these days, but teams still have to win six games.

Though Kugler seems to be doing his part to create higher expectations for his program, the fact that this will just be UTEP's fourth bowl-eligible season since he graduated in 1988 cannot be overstated. That was 26 years ago.

Then there's Jones, the humble former Burges High School standout. It was against North Texas last season that he was hurt. Broken ribs put him out of the game with just six yards on five carries.

Watch the video below. Though Jones answered the question with a smile, he stated that he was ready to prove something to UNT and was happy to do it.

Kugler says there is still more for the Miners to prove. Now, they will have three more opportunities.

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