The Miners committed six miscues and six penalties for 60 yards, often lengthening Spartan drives.
It didn't take long for San Jose State to get on the scoreboard. The Spartans opened a 7-0 lead on a six-yard pass from Charles Pauley to Rislov with 12:04 to go in the first period.
The Miners (1-4, 0-2 WAC) knotted the contest at 7-7 on an eight-yard run by Jimmy Smith with 5:24 remaining in the quarter, completing a 10-play, 75-yard drive. UTEP quarterback Jon Schaper was four for four passing for 46 yards on the drive.
San Jose State (3-2, 1-0 WAC) reclaimed a seven-point advantage on an 11-yard pass from Rislov to Kendrick Starling with 13:42 left in the second period.
Keith Robinson blasted a career-long 45-yard field goal with 11:27 to go before the break, slicing the Miners' deficit to 14-10.
But the Spartans' lead reached 21-10 with 8:52 remaining in the second period off a 16-yard run by Pauley, and grew to 28-10 with 11 seconds left on a 25-yard pass from Rislov to Jamall Broussard.
Schaper, who was 12 for 19 for 135 yards in the opening stanza, left the game after suffering a concussion late in the first half.
The Spartans used an entertaining selection of trick plays to roll to a 28-10 halftime lead.
The Miners pulled within 28-17 on the second play of the second half when reserve quarterback Orlando Cruz hit Terrance Minor for an 83-yard touchdown. It was the first pass of 80 or more yards by a UTEP signal-caller since Jay Stuckey threw an 80-yard completion to Lee Mays against New Mexico State at the Sun Bowl on Sept. 25, 1999.
The lead narrowed to 28-24 when the Miners capitalized on a Spartan turnover and Howard Jackson scored on a 12-yard run with 12:08 to go in the third quarter.
But Pauley, the national kickoff return leader, responded with a 98-yard runback for a touchdown, extending the Spartan advantage to 35-24.
A 32-yard field goal by Nick Gilliam with 4:05 left in the third put San Jose State up by two touchdowns again, 38-24.
The Spartans put the game away with 13:23 remaining in the fourth, as Gerald Jones, the WAC interception leader, picked off Cruz and ran it back for a 47-yard score, giving the Spartans an insurmountable 44-24 cushion.
It was all down hill from there as the Spartans molested the Miners 58 to 24. The Spartans now roll on to the SMU campus, and into the confines of beauitiful Ford stadium for yet another WAC showdown with the ponies.
SpartanThunder Game Observations:
The worst call Fitz Hill made this year came in the seconf half, as the Spartans had just scored and were kicking off to the Miners. Instead of kicking off the safe and sane way, Hill decieded to pull an on side kick out of his play book.
This back fired as the kick was poor, and the miners recovered and eventually scored due to this poor play calling by Hill.
Coach! What in the sam hell were you thinking!
Another interesting point came just before the half, as the ref's made a penalty call, and said the penalty was against "Fresno State"!
The crowd moaned and boo'd the ref's, and the announcer immediatley corrected the call by saying "I think they meant San Jose State".
Our last game observation came as we moved from section 110 on the 40 yard line to the student section on the 50 yard line for the second half.
The UTEP players were talking smack and giving vulgar motions towards the SJSU student section. The UTEP coach clearly has a team that is out of his control, and this team lacks any form of discipline in a big way.
It's gonna be a long season for the Miners.