Houston Defeats UTEP in a Sun Bowl Shootout, 49-42


POSTED: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 8:53pm

UPDATED: Friday, September 30, 2011 - 3:59pm

Moral victories don't come in the win column, as UTEP falls to Houston, 49-42.  In a shootout that always seems to happen between these two teams, Houston's Case Keenum threw for 471 yards and two scores, helping the Cougars come away with the victory.  UTEP's Joe Banyard had a nice night himself, rushing for a career high 240 yards on 22 carries, but the effort was wasted in the second quarter, when UTEP committed to costly turnovers, helping Houston to 21 straight points.

Nick Lamaison started at quarterback for UTEP, after sitting out the last two weeks due to a shoulder injury suffered in week 2, and was effective, 19-29 for 267 yards and three scores.

Houston pulled away with 28 second-half points.  Houston improves to 5-0, while UTEP falls to 2-3.  UTEP has a bye week before travelling to Tulane on Saturday, October 15.

Houston takes a 5-4 edge in the series ledger and wins for the second time in six trips to El Paso. The Cougars have won 5 of the 7 head-to-head meetings between the schools as members of Conference USA.

The Miners played their first Thursday home game since 1964 and moved to 20-14-1 all-time on Thursdays, including 14-9-1 at home.

UTEP dropped to 6-1 in Conference USA home openers. The Miners hadn’t lost their conference home opener since 2004, a 47-31 setback to 23rd-ranked Boise State.

The Miners have started 0-2 in league play for the first time since 2002 when they were affiliated with the Western Athletic Conference.  UTEP lost for just the second time in its last nine home games.

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