Repeated fatal mistakes, Larry Rose doing Larry Rose things, and the Miners inability to move the ball through the air were the main themes in UTEP’s latest loss which drops UTEP to a terrible 0-4 start to the 2017 season.
This latest blowout loss came at the hands of the NMSU Aggies who snapped an eight game losing streak in the Battle of I-10 with an easy 41-14 win in where the Aggies put up 462 yards of total offense.
UTEP turned the ball over five times, were a terrible 2-for-15 on third downs offensively, and only managed 227 yards of total offense at the end of the beating.
Rose ran for 144 yards, and two touchdowns, while Tyler Rogers threw for 283 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Rogers also picked UTEP apart on third downs going 8-for-11 passing for 122 yards on third downs in where NMSU averaged a third down distance greater than eight yards on the evening.
NMSU got on the board first after a UTEP first costly turnover during a third down conversion try on UTEP’s second drive of the game.
Metz tried to hit Eddie Sinegal on a slant route on a third and manageable situation, but the ball bounced off Sinegal’s hands and into the hands of NMSU defensive back Shamad Lomax for a gifted interception at the UTEP 40-yard line.
That interception would be the first of what would be three first half interceptions by Lomax.
UTEP’s quarterbacks finished the evening a combined 10-for-34 for 92 yards and five interceptions and never showed any flashes of positivite.
On the very next play after Lomax’s first INT, Larry Rose took a hand off 40-yards for a score at the 9:45 mark of the first quarter to open the scoring.
But the Miners put together one of their best offensive drives of the season to answer Rose’s electric run.
Metz engineered a 12-play, 81 yard drive that took nearly seven minutes off the clock, and ran for a 5-yard touchdown score to capitalize on the drive and tie the game at seven-all with 2:48 left in the opening quarter.
NMSU would go up 14-7 after a lengthy drive of their own, in where the Aggies converted four third down conversions, two of which were third and longs, and Rose once again found the end zone on a highlight reel run.
Rose shook two UTEP defenders who appeared to have him stopped dead in the backfield, but Rose’s wiggle and shake cleared the way for a 28-yard touchdown run to cap 15-play, 97 yard drive by the Aggies.
NMSU extended their lead to 21-7 at the half after two more interceptions by Lomax, one which went back for a back breaking score.
Facing a third-and-four from their own nine-yard line, Metz was trying to find a wide out on a play action roll out to the short side of the field, but Lomax was right there for the pick, and reversed field to the right sideline for a 19-yard score to make it 21-7 Aggies with 1:37 left until halftime.
Metz struggled in the opening half going 6-for-18 passing for 54 yards to go along with the three interceptions and did not see action in the second half.
UTEP had a chance to cut the deficit to one score right before the half, but Lomax once again ended a UTEP drive with his third interception after UTEP drove 34-yards in six plays to the NMSU 29-yard line in the final minute of the first half.
Mark Torrez started the second half at quarterback for the Miners, but his second pass attempt would result in the Miners fourth thrown interception of the night, and the Aggies ran away with the game from there.
Rose would score his third touchdown of the night on 2-yard pass from Tyler Rogers and the Aggies led 28-7 with 7:44 left in the third quarter.
NMSU added two scoring drives in the second half, while UTEP went three-and-out six times in the game, and gained just 34 yards on their first six second half possessions.
Quardraiz Wadley ran 19 times for 77 yards, and seven different Miners caught passes on the evening. Justin Rogers provided UTEP’s first interception of the year.
Mark Torrez struggled mightily going 4-for-16 for just 38 yards on the evening.
UTEP will travel to face Army next week on the road.