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UTEP Outlasts North Texas 20-17 in Season Finale

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It wasn't the prettiest of games, but it was a win just the same as the Miners finished the 2015 season with a 20-17 victory over North Texas.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Miners passed for just 69 yards, but rushed for 187 on 48 attempts en route to a 20-17 season ending win over North Texas.

UTEP's offense would sputter in the first half, as they would punt on their first possession, then give up a costly fumble that put North Texas on the board.

Ryan Metz would complete a 13-yard pass on a third-and-four to Jaquan White, but White would fumble and Kishan McClain would recover the miscue giving North Texas plenty of life early.

Nine plays later Trevor Moore would kick a 28-yard field goal put the Mean Green ahead 3-0 with 2:18 left in the first quarter.

UTEP would turn the ball over three times in the first half, two on offense, and once on a kickoff return by Autrey Golden after the North Texas field goal.

The Miners totaled 84-yards of total offense in the first half, and failed to cross to 50-yard line in the first 30-minutes.

UTEP would finally cross the 50, and put points on the board on their first second half possession.

Kavika Johnson would rush for 19-yards, followed up by a 27-yard jet sweep by Warren Redix that set up a five yard scramble by Johnson for UTEP's first touchdown of the game with 10:37 left in the third quarter.

UTEP would force a North Texas punt on the next possession, but would give a big play at the end of their next possession.

Tre Johnson would return an Alan Luna punt 53-yards for a score, putting the Mean Green back in front 10-6 with 7:23 left in the third quarter.

After UTEP's fourth turnover the game via Kavika Johnson fumble, the UTEP defense and Dashone Smith would answer.

Smith would pick off Josh Greer and took it 65-yards for a score, marking his third career interception that gave UTEP a 13-10 lead at the 5:32 mark of a busy third quarter.

The Miners would return the favor though, as a fumble on their next offensive possession by Johnson would be scooped up and taken 13 yards for the score by Cortney Finney giving the Mean Green the lead once again at 17-13.

It would be the Miners who would have the final say though, generating a 9 play 72 yard drive capped by a 32 yard pass from Johnson to Warren Redix. That score would give the Miners the 20-17 lead and win.

Kavika Johnson led the way for the Miners with 43 yards and 1 score on 4-11 passing. Ryan Metz finished 4-5 for 26 yards. Johnson was also the leading rusher, going for 75 yards and another score on 16 attempts. Jeremiah Laufasa also rushed 16 times for 62 yards, and Warren Redix had 3 catches for 42 yards and a score.

Andrew McNulty led North Texas with 48 yards passing on 7-15 attempts. Jeffrey Wilson carried 15 times for 42 yards and Tee Goree hauled in 3 grabs for 28 yards.

The Miners finished with 256 total yards and 15 first downs, compared to 205 and 10 for the Mean Green. They also won the time of possession battle 33:47 to 26:13, but committed 5 turnovers while forcing just 2.

The win ends the Miners' season on a high note as they finish 5-7 overall and 3-5 in Conference USA play. Although there is talk of 5-7 teams making a bowl game, it is highly unlikely the Miners would be one of those teams to get the call, bringing an end to an up and down 2015 campaign.

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