EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – Things haven’t been easy for UTEP the last four years, but perhaps the Miners are finally beginning to make a turn for the better.
UTEP defeated Abilene Christian 17-13 on Saturday night at the Sun Bowl to improve to 2-1, the Miners’ best start to a season since 2011. What’s more: it clinches the first multi-win season for UTEP since 2016. They went 0-12 in 2017, and 1-11 in both 2018 and 2019.
With running back Deion Hankins out with an injury, Josh Fields and Ronald Awatt stepped up, as each scored a rushing touchdown for the Miners in what was at times an ugly game. Fields finished with 75 yards rushing on 17 carries. Wide receiver Jacob Cowing added eight receptions for 110 yards for UTEP.
Awatt’s 4-yard touchdown gave the Miners the lead for good early in the fourth quarter.
The Miners once again got off to a slow start, as Abilene Christian led 7-0 until midway through the second quarter. UTEP ended the half with 10 consecutive points to lead 10-7 at the break.
Abilene Christian kicked a field goal in the third quarter, as the game went to the final frame tied at 10. Awatt scored the go-ahead touchdown less than a minute into the fourth quarter to help push the Miners to the victory.
UTEP’s two wins in 2020 have both come against FCS opponents. They’ll look for their first win against an FBS team on Sept. 26 on the road at UL-Monroe.