EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The 99th edition of the Battle of I-10 on the gridiron ended up being an exciting one as UTEP (1-2) secured a 20-13 win over New Mexico State (0-3) at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas on Saturday night.

UTEP looked in control in the first half of the game. The Miners tallied two touchdowns in the second quarter to establish their control of the game. The first touchdown came with 7:07 left in the first quarter as Gavin Hardison completed a 10-yard pass to Tyrin Smith to put UTEP up 10-0.

The second UTEP score came less than two minutes later, 5:55 left in the half, Ronald Awatt found the back of the end zone after a 22-yard run. UTEP would go into halftime with a 17-0 lead over New Mexico State.

In the second half, New Mexico State made it a ball game. The Aggies’ first touchdown came off a 14-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Diego Pavia in the third quarter. Aggies would miss the extra point and trail 17-6.

Later in the fourth quarter, another rushing touchdown Pavia cut the deficit down to seven, as the Aggies now trailed 20-13 to UTEP.

The Aggies defense would force the Miners offense off the field with a three and out. The Miners punted and gave the ball to New Mexico State with 3:57 left in the game.

The Aggies eventually marched their way to UTEP’s 13-yard-line. The comeback dream for the Aggies would end though after a Diego Pavia run turned into a fumble and was recovered by UTEP linebacker Cal Wallerstedt.

UTEP would escape with a 20-13 win over New Mexico State. That is the Miners’ first win of the season. Meanwhile, the Aggies fall to 0-3 to start 2022.

Despite the tough loss, The Aggies’ walk away from Saturday night’s game with some positives.

“I am proud of our football team, there is no question about that,” said NM State head coach Jerry Kill. “We played hard. There were spurts in the game where we had opportunities. There was probably left 13 to 17 points out there but what I think what we want to be and who we want to be showed up more in the second half than it has since we really been here with me in this short time.”

As for UTEP, it wasn’t pretty in the second half but the Miners are glad to walk away with a win and some learning lessons.

“We just didn’t do things the way we need to do them on offense in the second half to finish a game out,” said UTEP head coach Dana Dimel. “It was a really hard fought game. Hats off to our defense there for making a lot of plays and finishing the game. Like I said, three years ago, we wouldn’t have not found a way to win that game but we found a way to win that game and that is what happens. I’ve been around this long enough to know that a win is a win especially in a rivalry game.”

Up next for UTEP will be a road game at New Mexico on Saturday, Sep. 17. As for New Mexico State, they will also be on the road at Wisconsin on that same day.