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UTEP stumbles at home against Rice in 31-14 loss

UTEP fans may have been willing to forgive the Miners for losing on the road in week one to Oklahoma.

But fans were in a much less forgiving mood leaving Sun Bowl Stadium after UTEP’s 31-14 loss to Rice. The game was both the home-opener and conference-opener for the Miners.

Rice, which lost its first game of the season 62-7 to Stanford, was in control of the game for all four quarters.

The Owls limited UTEP to just 52 total yards of offense in the first half and led 10-0 at the break.

Rice would eventually take a 17-0 lead early in the third on a Sam Glaesmann 52-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Cephus.

UTEP was able to cut the it to a 17-7 game later in the third when Ryan Metz found Warren Redix on a 44-yard touchdown pass on fourth down.

The Miners wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the way, eventually falling by 17.

To make matters worse, UTEP suffered multiple injuries, although head coach Sean Kugler would not discuss the severity of those injuries in his postgame news conference.

Offensive lineman Greg Long, an Eastwood graduate, had to be carted off the field in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury.

Meanwhile, UTEP starting quarterback Ryan Metz went down in the fourth quarter and did not return to the field.

While Kugler did not discuss details surrounding the injuries, he did mention that it’s possible Metz will miss the team’s next game against Arizona on Friday at home.

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