UTEP Powers Past New Mexico State in Battle of I-10

Anthony Salom - MinerRush.com

Sean Kugler earned his first collegiate head coaching win in his promised signature style, as the Miners dropped the Aggies 42-21 in Las Cruces.

The UTEP Miners racked up more than 500+ yards of total offense, with 293 coming on the ground, and forced 4 turnovers to impressively pull away in the 2nd half 42-21 over the New Mexico St. Aggies.

The game started with a bang, with each of the teams trading TD's on their first play from scrimmage.  After a fumble on the opening kickoff, the Miners took over on the NMSU three yard line. Jameill Showers then hit Kevin Perry to get the party started as the Miners took the early 7-0 lead.

NMSU would waste no time though, going up top as Andrew McDonald hit Jerrel Brown for an 81 yard catch and run that tied the game at 7 just 27 seconds in.

The two rivals would trade big play scores throughout the first half, and it ended with UTEP freshman Aaron Jones sending the Miners into the locker room with a 21-14 lead after an 8 yard run that finished off a 10 play 94 yard drive.

After giving up 242 yards in the first half, the Miner D came to life in the second half, forcing the Aggies to go 1-7 on third downs, and limiting them to just 21 yards rushing .

On the other side of the ball, after being held to only 49 yards on the ground in the first half, the Miners racked up 244 yards of rushing in the final two periods, highlighted by freshman Darrin Laufasa's TD runs of 17 and 45 yards. The 17 yard run finished up a 14 play 88 yard drive that ticked 8:32 off the Aggie Memorial scoreboard.

DaShone Smith set up Laufasa's 45 yarder, with an interception late in the 4th quarter.

The Miners dominated time of possession,  breaking a school record in that department, methodically holding the ball for 41:53, led by an outstanding veteran like performance by Jameill Showers . The Miners have now won 5 straight against their I-10 rival.

The Miners will now prepare to open C-USA play next week vs UTSA. Stay tuned to MinerRush for game week coverage and as always.... Picks Up!

STAT LEADERS

PASSING: Jameill Showers: 18-28 252 yds 1 TD 1 INT

RUSHING: Aaron Jones: 22 Carries 97 yds 1 TD

RECEIVING: Jordan Leslie:  7 rec 103 yds

TACKLES:  Demarcus Kizzie: 6 tackles

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