Army would score on 10 of their first 11 possessions of the game, and ran circles around a unprepared, and over matched UTEP team 66-14 in front of 37,000-plus in the Sun Bowl Saturday night.
The Black Knights finished the night with 598 yards of total offense, 424 of those coming on the ground and averaged nearly six yards per carry as they dominated from their opening possession.
Army would get on the board first via a 13-play, 65 yard drive that took the first 7:50 off the board on their opening drive. But UTEP’s defense would hold tough in the red zone holding Army to a 26-yard field goal from Mitchell Howard.
After the Miners punted on their first drive, Army would then go 80-yards on 12 plays, and this time found the end zone with a 9-yard fullback dive finished off by Darnell Woolfolk with 13:45 left in the second quarter.
UTEP only had three first half possessions, all ending in punts, and Army held a 22:33 time of possession mark in the first half which buried the UTEP defense.
The Miners second drive of the game started with 13:39 in the second quarter.
The Black Knights virtually put this one away on their final drive of the first half, as Jordan Asberry capped off a 12-play 82 yard drive with a 2-yard run with nine seconds left until halftime, chewing five more minutes off the clock as Army barged out to a 24-0 halftime lead.
Army put up 282 total yards in the first half, while UTEP struggled mightily, picking up just two first downs, and 65 yards of total offense in the opening 30-minutes.
It was more of the same Army dominance in the opening stages of the second half, and until the final gun.
UTEP went three-and-out to start the third quarter, then Army put this one away with back-to-back scores to go up 38-0 not even three minutes into the second half.
Andy Davidson rumbled 33-yards on another fullback dive two plays after the Miners punted on their first second half possession, and the rout was in full-effect.
Army’s Max Regan would return a fumble by UTEP’s Walter Dawn 13-yards for a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff to give Army that 38-0 lead with 12:27 left in the third quarter.
The Miners would get on the board at the 11:37 mark of the third quarter as Aaron Jones took it to the house from 24-yards out set up by 45-yard kickoff return by Jaquan White.
UTEP finally put together a respectable drive late in the third quarter. Zack Greenlee hit Tyler Batson on a 2nd-and 10 for a 54-yard gain, setting up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Greenlee to Hayden Plinke which finished off a 7-play, 82 yard drive, but UTEP still trailed 45-14 with 3:36 left in the third.
Army would score on their next three possessions, and continued their fourth quarter dominance by shutting out their third straight opponent in the fourth quarter.
It seemed like everyone wearing an Army jersey produced, but Andy Davidson led the way 106 yards on the ground.
Army quarterbacks went a combined 7-of-8 for 174 yards. Each completion went to a different receiver, and each gain was longer than 14-yards.
Backup quarterback Chris Carter added 94 yards rushing, and Woolfolk finished with 71 yards rushing. Army was a crisp 10-of-12 on third downs, and finished the game with a 41:40 time of possession.
Aaron Jones ended his night with 67 yards rushing on just 11 carries. Zack Greenlee went 7-of-15 passing for 106 yards. UTEP totaled 269 yards of total offense, and finished 3-of-9 on third down tries.
After the game Sean Kugler put the blame on himself, saying his Miners were not prepared and were outplayed and out classed in front of the largest crowd in his tenure as UTEP’s head coach.
UTEP has to try to erase back-to-back blowouts and prepare for their C-USA opener next Saturday against Southern Miss. in the Sun Bowl.