EL PASO, Texas — The Minors move to 4-5 this season after losing 24-13 to Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
Miners got off to a slow start again. After conceding a field goal to MTSU, he had three outs on his first drive, unable to find the rhythm of the offense and finished the first quarter scoreless.
Over the past nine games, the Miners have scored just 20 points in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee entered the second quarter with a 10-0 lead after Chase Cunningham passed a 17-yard pass to Jeremy Tate Jr.
UTEP quickly cut down that lead after Gavin Baechle hit his 16th straight field goal.
Then just before the half, UTEP scored on a 4-yard pass from Gavin Hardison to Tylyn Smith to tie the game at 10-10.
Early in the third, Hardison lifted the Rocket to Trent Thomspon and Miners looked to take the lead, but the tight end cooled it down in the field that opened up in front of him.
In the second half of the third, Hardison was picked off by Jakob Thomas and the Blue Raiders quickly took advantage to go 17–10 up behind Cunningham Pass to Jaylin Lane.
Miners seemed to tie things up in the fourth from a touchdown pass from Hardison to Smith, but was called back for pass interference and Miners settled for a field goal to make it 17–13. .
Head coach Dana Dimmel revealed after the game that he thought the pass interference was the wrong call.
From there, the game quickly fell out of reach for miners. On the ensuing drive, Cunningham connected with Jaylin Lane on a 75-yard touchdown pass to make it 24–13.
The Miners are currently down 4-5 on the season, but still have a chance of bowl qualification with three games to go. The first of those games is against Rice on Thursday.