POSTED: Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 11:09pm
UPDATED: Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 12:32pm
The UTEP Miners faced adversity in the first quarter: starting quarterback gets hurt, missed a field goal, muffed a punt, then their kicker got hurt. UTEP rallied for a 22-17 victory over East Carolina, thanks to Joe Banyard, who scored on a 77-yard touchdown run on his 23rd birthday. UTEP improves to 5-5 overall, and with two games remaining, only need to win one more for bowl eligibility. UTEP will face Tulsa then travel to UCF. Here are some notes from the game:
The 44-yard interception return by Darren Woodard in the second quarter marked the first defensive touchdown for the Miners since Roddray Walker’s 70-yard fumble recovery versus Houston on Oct. 3, 2009.
Leilyon Myers scored his 10th rushing touchdown in the last nine games in the second quarter.
The 41-yard punt return by Mike Edwards in the second quarter was the longest by a Miner player since Marlon McClure’s 58-yard return at Marshall in 2010.
Steven Valadez’s 46-yard field goal in the second quarter was the second-longest by a Miner player this year and came on his first career attempt.
The 77-yard run by Joe Banyard in the fourth quarter was a career long, surpassing his 72-yard run at Tulane earlier this season.
Banyard registered his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and the third of his Miner career.
The Miners are 4-1 this season when they rush for 100 yards or more and 1-4 when they are held under 100.UTEP has had four 200-yard rushing games this season, its most since also having four in 2007.
Of UTEP’s 32 touchdown drives this season, 18 have been less than two minutes in duration. Over the last five games, 13 of the Miners’ 16 TD drives have lasted fewer than two minutes.
The Miners allowed 254 yards, a season low. The last time a UTEP opponent had fewer yards was on Oct. 2, 2010 at New Mexico (237), and the last time the Miners yielded fewer yards in a conference game was on Nov. 21, 2009 at Rice (227).
UTEP posted its first win over East Carolina in three tries. The Miners have now beaten every Conference USA team since joining the league for the 2005 season.UTEP improves to 7-15 versus C-USA Eastern Division teams, including 5-6 in the Sun Bowl. The Miners have won three of their last four games against the Eastern Division.
UTEP improves to 10-19 in November under coach Mike Price. The Miners have won four straight November home games.
The Miners will host Tulsa next Saturday, Nov. 19 on “Senior Night.” Note the early kickoff time of 1 p.m. MT.