UTEP's defense suffers collapse in loss at Colorado State
POSTED: Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 6:38pm
UPDATED: Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 8:35pm
El Paso, TX — Colorado State scored 24 unanswered points after UTEP rallied from a 28-7 deficit to tie the game in the third quarter, catapulting the Rams past the Miners, 59-42, on Saturday afternoon at Hughes Stadium.
It was the fifth-highest scoring game (both teams) in UTEP history.
CSU (2-3) won for the ninth time in its last 10 games against UTEP (1-3), while posting a fifth straight victory over its old WAC rival in Fort Collins.
Bidding for a third consecutive road win, UTEP cut into the 21-point halftime deficit as Jameill Showers threw a pair of long touchdown passes (75 yards and 48 yards) to Jordan Leslie and rushed for a one-yard score of his own. The Miners had a chance to take the lead after Colorado State’s Jared Roberts missed a 35-yard field goal. But Showers fumbled at the two-yard line and the Rams’ Joe Kawulok tackled Brander Craighead in the end zone for the safety to start the game-changing spurt.
Colorado State scored touchdowns on its next three drives -- a 56-yard pass from Garrett Grayson to Rashard Higgins, a 37-yard run by Kapri Bibbs and a one-yard run by Grayson.
The Miners stopped the bleeding with 3:58 remaining in the game as Showers threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Eric Tomlinson, who had a career-best eight catches. Showers established career-highs in all passing categories, finishing 26-of-43 for 365 yards and five TDs.
Leslie collected three receptions for 130 yards for his fifth career 100-yard game. Freshman Aaron Jones was the Miners’ leading rusher for the third time in four games with 23 carries for 94 yards.
Grayson completed 17-of-28 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns for Colorado State. Higgins reeled in six catches for 156 yards, and Kivon Cartwright matched him with two touchdown receptions. Bibbs rushed for 147 yards and three scores for the Rams.
Before the Miners scored 21 straight points to tie the game, Colorado State tallied the final 21 points of the first half.
The teams combined for 1,088 yards of offense – 591 for the Rams and 497 for the Miners.
UTEP will play back-to-back home games starting next Saturday (Oct. 5) against former WAC and new Conference USA rival La Tech. Early kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. It marks the Miners’ 82nd Homecoming game.