The Turning Point in El Paso
- El Paso, TX UTSA simply dominated UTEP in the first half. In the third quarter, however, the Roadrunners went scoreless and the Miners closed to within 12 points. With bad field position to start the 4th quarter, the UTSA offense was forced to punt. The Miners took over their first possession of the 4th quarter on their own 44 yard line. Up to that point, the UTSA Hard Hat Defense had answered the call all night long on big plays and possessions. With plenty of time to play and the lead being just two scores, it appeared that UTEP is in position to seize the momentum. But the UTSA defense stopped the Miners on a three and out and forced them to punt. The UTSA offense, again with terrible field position, could not move the ball and was forced to punt again. This time, the Miners would take over at their own 43 yard line. With 10:52 to play in the game and UTEP down two scores, the sense of urgency on the field was amplified. UTEP drove the ball down to the UTSA 30 yard line but a few errant passes put them in a fourth and eight situation. On a quarterback scramble, UTEP was only able to pick up 7 yards. The Hard Hat Defense answered the challenge again. On the ensuing drive, the UTSA offense went 77 yards in 7 plays and scored the game sealing touchdown. But the fact that UTEP had two consecutive 4th quarter drives start at midfield and were held scoreless, shows how impressive of performance the Hard Hat Defense had on the night.
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