EL PASO, Texas - At halftime in the 100th Battle of I-10, UTEP (2-5) and NMSU (4-3) are tied at seven.
UTEP got the ball first but on the opening drive were forced to punt. The Aggies meanwhile took it into their own half and attempted a field goal but Ethan Albertson missed wide.
The Miners then went three-and-out but their defense looked to come up with a stop of their own. On third down Diego Pavia was sacked but a penalty gave the Aggies a new set of downs and they capitalised. Pavia rushed in from 10-yards out to open the scoring.
The Miners hit back on their next drive. Off a 54-yard run from Deion Hankins on third and five, Kevin Hurley rushed it in from half a yard out.
On fourth and one at the 50, with 1.31 left in the half UTEP opt to punt. The Aggies attempted to take full advantage driving 72-yards to setup Ethan Albertson for the 25-yard field goal attempt but it was blocked by Praise Amaewhule.
For the first time in 62 years there are more than just bragging rights and traveling trophies on the line, a conference win is also at stake.