DALLAS – Following his game-winning field goal over Sam Houston last Wednesday, UTEP kicker Buzz Flabiano was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week as announced by league officials on Monday.
The 2023 CUSA Players of the Week awards are presented by Blenders Eyewear and are votes on by a panel of the league’s media.
Flabiano had himself a career night on national television during UTEP’s come-from-behind 37-34 victory at Sam Houston, connecting on a career-best three field goals. His efforts helped the Miners overcome a 14-point deficit down, 27-13, at the 6:14 mark of the third quarter. He was a perfect 3-for-3 on the night while also going 4-for-4 on PATs. Flabiano scored a career-high 13 points. It was the most points for a UTEP kicker since Dakota Warren’s14 points at Tulane on Oct. 15, 2011. Warren made three FGs and made five PATs.
The redshirt freshman’s first make was a 23-yard field goal at the 2:45 mark of the second, making the count 14-10. Following that, Flabiano connected on a career-long 43-yard kick with no time left in the first half as UTEP went into the locker room at halftime down 21-13.
His third field goal was setup by the UTEP defense forcing the Bearkats to punt with under two minutes left in the game. The Miners started with possession at their own 44 with 1:05 left in the game. On the first play, Cade McConnell found Jeremiah Ballard down the left sideline for a 37-yard hook up to the SH 19. Deion Hankins then carried the ball to the SH 15 to help set up the game winner from Buzz.
Flabiano is 7-for-11 on field goals, and a perfect 21-of-21 on PATs. He’s one of three CUSA kickers who are perfect on PATs.
UTEP will host WKU in the 91st Homecoming game on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in Sun Bowl Stadium.