POSTED: Saturday, September 24, 2011 - 8:37pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 3:32pm
Despite tough play from backup quarterback Carson Meger, the UTEP Miners didn't have enough firepower in a 52-24 loss at #18 South Florida Saturday evening. Meger threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns, but was picked off three times, one interception by Sam Barrington who returned it 30 yards for a score for the final margin.
UTEP falls to 2-2, and will face Houston 6:00pm Thursday at the Sun Bowl in a nationally televised game no CBS College Sports.
Carson Meger’s 17 completions in the first half were the most by a UTEP quarterback in the first 30 minutes of a game since Trevor Vittatoe was 19-for-26 for 151 yards at the break on Nov. 3, 2007 at Rice. Meger finished 26-for-40 for 240 yards, all career highs.The 37-yard completion from Meger to Jordan Leslie in the third quarter was the longest of his career and also the longest reception by Leslie.UTEP players who established career-highs for receiving yards tonight included Jordan Leslie (64 yards), Kevin Perry (58 yards) and Anthony McGhee (31 yards). Kevin Perry had five catches tonight, the first receptions by a Miner tight end since they combined for five in the opener versus Stony Brook. Perry scored his first career TD in the third quarter. UTEP tight ends have three touchdown catches in 2011 after having none all of last season.McGhee also picked up his first career TD reception in the second quarter.Vernon Frazier extended his string of games with a kickoff return of 40+ yards to four with a 67-yard return in the first quarter. It surpasses his career long return of 50 yards set against Stony Brook in the season opener. Frazier finished with 177 yards on kickoff returns, tied for the fourth-top single game total in school history. It’s the most kickoff return yards by a UTEP player since Cedric Johnson compiled 181 at New Mexico in 1996.As a team, UTEP had 251 kickoff return yards -- the fourth-most in school history and second-most of the Mike Price era (271 yards at Arkansas last season).Leilyon Myers has scored a rushing touchdown in three straight games, with four total during that time period. He has 10 rushing TDs in 17 games for the Miners.