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UTEP officially break their eastern time zone ‘curse’ with a 41-35 win over Charlotte

EL PASO, Texas -- The Miners secure back to back wins for the first time this season and move to 0.500 on the season and in conference play after a high scoring 41-35 win over Charlotte.

UTEP were looking to replicate their performance against Boise State last week and for the most part they did. The run game was once again alive, Gavin Hardison completed well and put together some long drives, the defense stood tall plus there were some pretty special game changing plays.

The Niners would open the scoring on their first drive of the game but the Miners would hit back immediately off a 15 play, 75 yard, 7:47 minute drive which ended in a 17-yard Gavin Hardison pass to Tyrin Smith on their opening drive - that just one of three passing TDs for Hardison Saturday.

It also marked the first time the Miners had scored on their opening drive of the game and in the first quarter for the season.

UTEP would put on another 2 TDs before the half in less than a minute to take a 24-7 lead. One would come from a Deion Hankins 34-yard run that tore Charlotte's defense open and setup Hardison to Trent Thompson. The next one UTEP forced a fumble and Tyrice Knight scooped and scored.

But Charlotte would hit back twice within a minute at the start of the second half to put some pressure on UTEP.

The Miners though managed to get back to a 20 point lead with their last TD of the day coming off another scoop and score. This time Charlotte fumbled as they went in for a TD and Jadrian Taylor ran 100 yards for what was a 14 point play - taking a TD away from Charlotte and securing one for UTEP.

Charlotte got back within 6 with 1:20 left on the clock but the Miner defense put a stop to any sort of comeback when Ilijah Johnson intercepted Charlotte.

The Miners finished the day with season-highs with 41 points, 425 yards of offense and 252 rushing yards.

The Miners are back on the road next Saturday (Oct. 8) when they play at LA Tech at 5 p.m. MT. 

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

Rachel Phillips

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