Cody Sokol was just 6/16 passing , and Kenneth Dixon was held to just 86 yards on the ground, but the Miners made countless mistakes and turned the ball over five times en route to their worst loss in more than five years.
This one was doomed from the start. Following a three and out by the UTEP offense, La Tech marched 53 yards in 8 plays and just 2:43 to go ahead 7-0. On the ensuing kickoff, Damian Payne fielded the kick while running out of bounds at the UTEP 1 yard line.
The Miners would manage a first down on that second possession, but would quickly find themselves punting, giving the ball back to the Bulldogs with 6:21 left in the first quarter.
Neither team would score again in the first fifteen, but La Tech would quickly blow things open in the second. Following a Jameill Showers interception, Cody Sokol would need just two plays to go 33 yards for the score putting the Bulldogs ahead 14-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.
Following a second Shower's interception, Sokol would hit Carlos Henderson in stride for a 69 yard score on the first play of their next possession. That score put the Bulldogs ahead by 21, with still 10 minutes left the in half.
UTEP would try to answer with a sustained drive on their next possession, but that would end in a goal to go situation. The Miners would settle for a field goal attempt, but that would be blocked an returned the distance for the fourth touchdown of the game.
The Miners would manage a field goal prior to the half ending, but would find themselves in a deep 28-3 hole heading into the locker rooms.
Louisiana Tech would open the second half with a 13 play drive that resulted in a field goal, but would get right back on the touchdown train following an Eric Tomlinson fumble on the Miners' next possession.
UTEP would have no answer in any aspect of the game, and would be down 48-3 heading to the fourth quarter. La Tech would tack on one more in the final stanza and in the end would walk away with a decisive 55-3 victory.
Cody Sokol led the way for Louisiana Tech, passing for just 173 yards, but three touchdowns, and another 60 yards rushing to go along with a fourth score. Kenneth Dixon rushed for 86 yards and a score, and Carlos Henderson hauled in two grabs for 100 yards and a touchdown.
UTEP was led by Jameill showers who finished the night 15/28 for 143 yards and three interceptions. Aaron Jones rushed 18 times for 69 yards while also tallying four catches for 49 yards.
All in all, it was an extremely disappointing performance for the Miners in just about every aspect of the game. The play calling was extremely predictable, and special teams once again made countless errors, but perhaps what is most concerning is this team seems to have lost that discipline we talked about so much in the opening weeks of the season.
Offensively, the Miners may not be the most explosive, but they have a capable passer under center, some solid targets on the outside, and a handful of backs in the backfield that are among the best in Conference USA.
Considering that, there is absolutely no reason at all for this team to be dominated the way it has been not only tonight, but last week as well. The loss to Kansas St was written off as just a tough matchup against a top 25 team, but perhaps there is much more going on here than we know about.
One thing is for sure; something has got to change. No, I'm not calling for someone to be fired, but I am saying SOMETHING has to change. There is no reason for what we've been seeing in this team.
The Miners will have a chance to rebound next week against a struggling Old Dominion squad, but even that team can light it up if we aren't careful. Kickoff for that game is slated for 6:00 p.m. MT.
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