UTEP opened its season by outlasting FCS opponent Stony Brook in overtime, 31-24. The Miners fell behind by two touchdowns (24-10) late in the third quarter before rallying to score 21 unanswered points, capped by a 25-yard pass from Nick Lamaison to Donavon Kemp for the game-winner in the extra session.
Making his UTEP debut, junior college transfer Lamaison completed 24-of-38 passes for 365 yards and three TDs. Kemp snared four catches for 114 yards, and Travaun Nixon was the leader of the stop troops with 15 tackles. Both teams gained over 400 yards, as the Miners finished with 401 and Stony Brook compiled 299 of its 410 in the first half. UTEP improved to 25-0 all-time when scoring 30+ points in a season opener.
Nick Lamaison -- who was involved in 24 wins and only two losses in two seasons (2008 & 2010) at Mt. SAC College -- continued his winning ways in his initial appearance as UTEP’s quarterback versus Stony Brook. He completed 24-of-38 passes for 365 yards -- the fifth-most by an FBS quarterback this season through the games of Sept. 3.
Lamaison’s 365 yards passing marked the most by a UTEP quarterback in a season opener since Sammy Garza threw for 458 yards versus Northern Michigan on Aug. 30, 1986.
Nick Lamaison’s 365 yards passing against Stony Brook ranks 23rd in the Miner record book. It also represents the second-most passing yards by a UTEP signal-caller in his debut. Billy Stevens threw for 500 yards in the 1965 opener versus North Texas.
Lamaison joins the aforementioned Stevens, Brooks Dawson (1968), Gary Keithley (1972) and Sammy Garza (1986) as the only UTEP QBs to pass for 300 yards in the first game of the season.
For the second straight year, the UTEP Miners (1-0) play their first conference game in the second week of the season when they take on the SMU Mustangs (0-1) on Saturday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. Mountain time (6 p.m. Central). The game will be carried on Fox Sports, with Bill Land (play-by-play), Gary Reasons (color analyst) and Desmond Purnell (sideline) calling the action. Only twice in school history has UTEP played its first conference road game earlier than Sept. 10. The Miners opened their Western Athletic Conference away slate at Air Force on Aug. 31, 1985, and at Wyoming on Sept. 3, 1994.