Miners Fall Short of Upsetting No. 25 UTSA, Falling 34-31 in Season Finale

Texas San Antonio Kicker Jared Sacket kicked a 28 yard field goal to give the Road Runners their only lead of the game and end the UTEP’s hopes of back-to-back bowl games as they beat the Miners 34-31 Saturday Night at the Alamodome.

The Miners played extremely well against the 25th ranked team for about 3-and-a-half quarters jumping out to a 24 to 0 lead. Miner Quarterback Calivin Brownholtz would find Tight End James Tupuo on a 15 yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead with 7:26 left in the first quarter.

The UTEP defense was solid against UTSA senior quarterback Frank Harris pitching a first quarter shutout. The second Miner score would come on an electric 45 yard touchdown pass from Brownholtz to Tyrin Smith putting the Miners ahead 14-0 as the 1st quarter came to an end.

The Miners would add a 47 yard Gavin Baechle field goal and Miner Quarterback Calvin Brownholz making his 2nd consecutive start would have a 23 yard touchdown run to extend the Miners lead to 24-0. 

The Road Runners would show why they are the nations 25th ranked team with 5:15 in the half when Frank Harris would find Joshua Cephus on a 65 yard touchdown pass putting the Road Runners on the board at 24-7 just over 3:00 minutes later Miner Quarterback Calivin Brownholtz would throw a costly 73-yard pick-6 to UTSA linebacker Dadrian Taylor to cut the Miner lead to 24-14 right before halftime. 

The Miners would open the 3rd quarter with an impressive 6 play 66-yard drive capped off by a 5 yard touchdown run by tailback Rey Flores to put the Miners back up 17 early in the 3rd quarter.

The Flores touchdown would be the last score for the upset minded Miners as the Road Runners would reel off 20 unanswered points starting just 2:06 after the final Miners score Frank Harris would find Zakahri Franklin on a 14 yard touchdown pass to begin their comeback and cut the lead to 31-21.

UTSA would tie the game before the end of the 3rd quarter on 10 points coming off a 51 yard Jared Sacket field goal and Frank Harris finding an open Tykee Kellog on a 75 yard touchdown to take all of the momentum into the fourth quarter tied up at 31-31. The Miners had an impressive 10 play drive down to the UTSA 14 yard line with just over 9:00 to play but Brownholtz would be picked off for a second time. 

UTSA would force a Miner punt with 1:58 to play and drive to set up the Sacket game winner, defeating the Miners 34-31. For the Miners the kick ended their bowl chances with their 2012 record ending at 5-7. For Head Coach Dana Dimel the offseason starts looking back wondering what-if the Miners had been able to play to their full potential the entire season.

In a season that saw the Miners end an East-Coast time-zone win drought and a dominating victory against an outstanding 9-3 Boise State Squad who will be playing for the Mountain West Title head scratching losses against the likes of LA Tech, New Mexico, and Middle Tennessee will certainly stand out for a team with the potential to hang with the presumptive Mountain West and Conference USA Champions. 

Story by Chris Gomez