Jake Waters passed for 209 yards and a score, and the #25 Kansas State Wildcats punched in 6 rushing touchdowns as they downed the Miners 58-28 Saturday morning in Manhattan.
This one was ugly from the start. The Miners opened with a three and out that ended with a blocked punt recovered at the UTEP 25 yard line. The defense would hold, giving up just a field goal, but the Wildcats would lead 3-0 just over 2 minutes into the contest.
UTEP would go three and out on their next five drives, and would commit countless special teams errors that would translate into a 24-0 deficit with still 8:52 to play in the second quarter.
Despite getting their first first down of the game on their ensuing drive, things wouldn't get any better for the Miners the rest of the half as they'd find themselves down 31-0 with just 10 net yards of offense heading into the locker rooms.
Kansas State would tack on another touchdown just two minutes into the third, and would lead by as many as 45 at 45-0 before calling off the dogs late in the third quarter.
The Miners would finally get on the board with a 10 play 75 yard drive that ended with a 4 yard touchdown pass from Jameill Showers to Ian Hamilton, making the score 45-7 with abou 5:30 left in the third.
The Wildcats would add on one more touchdown late in third, and the Miners would open things up a bit in the fourth, outscoring KSU 21-7 giving the final score of 58-28.
Jake Waters led the way for the Wildcats going 10 of 15 passing for 209 yards and a score. He also added four rushes for 29 yards and a score.
Charles Jones rushed 12 times for 76 yards and three scores and Tyler Locket finished the game with 4 catches for 84, but was a monster in the return game with one touchdown and nearly two more.
Although the score would say otherwise, Kansas State's stats weren't exactly stellar. They totaled just 16 first downs, and were just 2-8 on third downs, but totaled 451 yards including 188 on the ground.
The Miners were led by Jameill Showers who finished 18 of 28 for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns. Aaron Jones finished with just 47 yards on 19 carries, and Ian Hamilton had a career game going for 112 yards and a pair of scores on 5 grabs.
Overall the Miners mustered just 10 first downs and 260 yards of total offense. They were able to hold on to the ball for 31:28 and didn't commit a turnover, but had absolutely no success in any area for nearly three full quarters.
Although the score looks somewhat respectable, the Miners were absolutely dominated in this one. The playcalling was predictable, at best, and the Kansas State defense was all over it allowing just those 10 yards in the first half.
Special teams, however, was what really did the Miners in. Early on, while the offense was unable to muster much, the defense forced two punts and held the Wildcats to a field goal on a short field, keeping the Miners within 10 well into the second quarter. But, special teams mistakes cost the Miners field position and plenty of points, really putting the contest out of reach.
Its hard to take much positive away from this one, but the good thing is the Miners were able to stay relatively healthy, and will now return home before hitting the road to open up conference play. That's what really matters.
Up next, the Miners will take on Louisiana Tech, in Ruston, next Saturday at 5:00 p.m. MT. That game will also be carried live by Fox College Sports.
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