The drought is over.
The UTEP Miners defeated the Rice Owls by a score of 34-26 on the road Saturday afternoon to end a 20-game losing streak.
UTEP’s last win before Saturday came on Nov. 26, 2016 against North Texas.
The Miners improved to 1-8 overall and 1-5 in Conference USA play while Rice dropped to 1-9 and 0-6 in C-USA action.
UTEP jumped out to a big lead in the game, but the Miners had to hold on for dear life in the end.
The Miners struck within the first two and a half minutes of the game on a 12-yard run from Quardraiz Wadley to take an early 7-0 lead.
Quarterback Kai Locksley would add a one-yard score of his own on the first play of the second quarter. Wadley then scored his second touchdown of the game, again from 12 yards out, later in the quarter to put UTEP up 20-0.
Right before the half the Miners found the end zone again on Locksley’s second one-yard touchdown run to give UTEP a 27-0 lead. ‘
UTEP led 34-3 late in the third quarter when Rice put a scare into the Miners. The Owls ran off 23 points in a row to make it a 34-26 game.
The Owls then got the ball back late in the fourth with a chance to tie the game if they could score a touchdown and tack on a two-point conversion.
But the UTEP defense would not allow Rice to complete the come back. With just over two minutes to go and Rice facing a fourth and long deep in their own territory, Justin Rogers came up with a huge interception to effectively seal the game for UTEP.
The Miners next play Middle Tennessee at home at 1 p.m. on Nov. 10.