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Late touchdown propels Rice over UTEP, 37-30

HOUSTON, Texas - UTEP found itself in a good old Texas shootout Thursday night in Houston against the Rice Owls.

In the end it was a Rice touchdown in the final seconds of the game that gave the Owls the victory over the Miners by a final score of 37-30.

The game could have gone either way.

UTEP wasted no time putting points on the scoreboard finding the end zone on their first possession of the game.

A 7-3 lead in the first quarter would be the only time UTEP would find themselves in the lead the entire game.

The teams would trade field goals and touchdowns with Rice taking a 20-17 lead at the half.

In the second half, the Miners would once again tie the game at 20 in the third quarter following a Gavin Baechle field goal.

But Rice would score the only touchdown in the third quarter to once again reclaim the lead, 27-20.

In the 4th quarter, the Miners would be forced to make a major change at quarterback after Gavin Hardison had to leave the game with an ankle injury.

On the same drive that saw Hardison leave the game, UTEP's backup quarterback Calvin Brownholtz would find the end zone on a 25-yard quarterback keeper.

The game was once again tied at 27.

Rice would kick a field goal on the ensuing possession to go up 30-27, but then UTEP would do the same thing on their next possession to tie the game at 30.

With a little more than 4 minutes left in the game, the Owls would march down the field and set themselves up in field goal possession with under a minute left.

However, with 30 seconds left in the game, the Owls would forgo playing for the field goal, and instead would connect on a 23 yard touchdown pass from quarterback TJ McMahon to Bradley Rozner.

The Owls would take the lead 37-30 with just 25 seconds left in the game.

With Thursday's loss, the Miners' overall record falls to 4-6, 2-4 in C-USA play.

UTEP now has their backs up against a wall if they hope to become bowl eligible.

With just two games left in the season, UTEP must win both if they want to go to a bowl game.

The Miners will get another bye week before they return to action for their final home game of the season against Florida International University on November 19.

Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the Sun Bowl.

The Miners then wrap up the regular season on the road against UT-San Antonio November 26.

The UTSA Roadrunners are currently in first place of Conference USA with 6-2 overall record, and are undefeated in conference play at 4-0.

If the Miners want to go bowling, they'll need to defeat both the Panthers and the Roadrunners.

Article Topic Follows: UTEP
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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.

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