Ryan Metz was picked off four times, including two returned for touchdowns, and it would be far too much to overcome as the Miners fell on homecoming to the UTSA Roadrunners 25-6.
It was slow going early on, as neither team could get moving in the opening minutes. In fact, the first nine drives of the first half resulted in seven punts, one interception, and one missed field goal.
In a game with plenty of mistakes, it would be UTEP's Ryan Metz who would make that first one in the interception, but UTSA would return the favor a few drives later with a lengthy missed try at three points.
That's when things got wild. With 11:11 left in the second quarter, the rain started pouring, and the lighting followed, causing a about a 40 minute delay. It wouldn't be the only one on the night.
After play resumed, the Roadrunners would put together an 11 play 49 yard drive that would result in a Daniel Portillo field goal and 3-0 lead. About an hour later, and following another lightning delay and the nixing of the final 11 seconds of the half, UTSA would own a 3-0 lead at the break.
The UTEP defense would force a three and out to start the second half, but would take over on their own 2 yard line and that drive would only last two plays, resulting in a tackle of Kavika Johnson in his own end zone, giving UTSA a 5-0 lead early in the third quarter.
Things would continue to go downhill from there. On the ensuing possession, the Runners would go 78 yards in 4 plays and just 1:10, capped by a 25 yard Jarveon Williams run to take what would amount to a commanding 12-0 lead.
Three plays later, Metz would be picked for the second time, and this time the defense would take it to paydirt, upping their lead 18-0 following a missed extra point with still 10:06 left in the third period.
Neither team would do anything on their next two possessions, as the Miners would punt twice and UTSA would miss two more field goals.
UTEP would take advantage on their next drive, going 72 yards in just over four minutes to get on the board with a 25 yard strike from Metz to Jaquan White. The two point conversion would fail, making the score 18-6.
A UTSA fumble on the ensuing possession would keep the door cracked for the Miners, but they would be unable to capitalize, turning the ball over on downs just four plays later.
Again, the UTEP defense would step up, forcing a punt, but Metz' third interception of the night would be the nail in the coffin, sealing the deal for the Runners. UTSA would find a fourth pick just minutes later, returning that one for a score to make it a final of 25-6.
On the night, UTEP would manage just 275 total yards and only 14 first downs, compared to 335 yards and 22 first downs for the Roadrunners. UTSA would also win the turnover battle 5-1, and the time of possession 34:16 to 25:44.
Ryan Metz finished the night 22 of 48 for 212 yards, 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. Metz was also the team's leading rusher with 26 yards on 8 carries as the team managed just 59 yards on the ground. Jaquan White was the leading receiver with 6 catches for 77 yards.
Blake Bogenschutz finished 19 of 30 for 198 yards on the night. Jarveon Williams racked up 133 yards and a score on 28 carries, and Kerry Thomas Jr. hauled in 3 catches for 50 yards.
The loss drops the Miners to 2-3 and 0-1 in Conference USA play, while UTSA improves to 1-4 and 1-0 in conference action. Up next, the Miners will hit the road to take on FIU. Kickoff in that contest is slated for 10:00 a.m. MT.
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