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Some big calls and missed opportunities saw the Miners fall 24-13 to Middle Tennessee

EL PASO, Texas -- The Miners move to 4-5 on the season after a 24-13 loss to Middle Tennessee Saturday.

The Miners once again got off to a slow start. After allowing a field goal from MTSU they went 3 and out on their first drive and then struggled to find any real rhythm offensively which saw them end the 1st quarter scoreless.

Through nine games now the Miners have scored just 20 points in the 1st quarter.

Meanwhile Middle Tennessee went into the 2nd quarter with a 10-0 lead after a Chase Cunningham 17-yard pass to Jeremy Tate Jr.

UTEP quickly cut that lead to just a touchdown after Gavin Baechle slotted his 16th straight field goal in a row.

Then right before the half UTEP scored on a 4-yard pass from Gavin Hardison to Tyrin Smith to tie the game up at 10-10.

Early in the third it looked like the Miners would take the lead with Hardison lofting up a rocket to Trent Thomspon, but the tight end dropped it cold with an open field in front of him.

Later in the third Hardison was picked off by Jakob Thomas and the blue raiders would immediately capitalize and go up 17-10 off the back of a Cunningham pass to Jaylin Lane.

The Miners looked like tying things up in the 4th off a Hardison to Smith touchdown pass, but it was called back on pass interference and the Miners would settle for a field goal to make it 17-13.

Head Coach Dana Dimel made it clear after the game he thought the pass interference was the wrong call.

From there the game quickly became out of reach for the Miners. On the ensuing drive Cunningham would connect with Jaylin Lane on a 75-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-13.

The Miners now fall to 4-5 on the season, but with three games left they are still a chance of becoming bowl eligible. The first of those games is against Rice on Thursday.

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Rachel Phillips

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