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UTEP’s quest for a bowl game ends with 21-13 loss against Western Kentucky

EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP Miners' quest to go to a bowl game this season has come to an end.

The Miners needed to win all three of their remaining games in order to become bowl eligible, but the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers put an end to that goal.

Saturday night at the Sun Bowl, the Miners would come out on the losing end to WKU by a final score of 21-13.

Western Kentucky would get the ball first to start the game.

Their drive would stall following a sack to WKU quarterback Austin Reed.

UTEP's first offensive drive of the game would also stall as the Miners had to punt the ball back to the Hilltoppers.

Both teams would struggle offensively with neither team being able to put up any points in the first quarter.

UTEP's offense would put together a good drive midway through the second quarter and come away with the first points of the game courtesy of a 22-yard field goal by Buzz Flabiano.

UTEP's defense would come up big on WKU's next possession intercepting a pass by Reed.

UTEP's offense would take it all the way to WKU's 2-yard line and then go for it on 4th and goal, but it would be WKU's defense holding the Miners back and getting a turnover on downs.

That was how the first half would come to and end with UTEP up 3-0.

In the third quarter, WKU's offense would start to heat up.

Running back Elijah Young would take it 64 yards to the end zone to score the first points of the game for the Hilltoppers.

WKU would take the lead, 7-3.

Hilltoppers would find the end zone again right before the end of the quarter courtesy of a one-yard touchdown run by Malachi Corley.

WKU would extend their lead, 14-3.

UTEP would finally get in the end zone in the 4th quarter following a 62-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cade McConnell to wide receiver Kelly Akharaiyi.

Miners would cut into the Hilltoppers lead, 14-10.

But the Hilltoppers would answer right back to once again extend their lead to 11 points following a one yard touchdown run by Young.

WKU up 21-10.

UTEP would tack on a field goal in the closing seconds of the 4th quarter to cut WKU's lead, 21-13, but then failed to get the ball on an on-side kick.

Western Kentucky improves to 5-4 on the season as they will host New Mexico State next Saturday in a game that will determine who will face Liberty in the Conference USA championship game.

UTEP's record drops to 3-7, 2-4 in conference play.

The Miners will be on a bye next week.

They're next game will be on the road November 18 at Middle Tennessee.

They'll then wrap up their season at home November 25 when they take on Liberty.

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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