Miners Capitalize On Lobo Mistakes
UTEP Downs New Mexico 21-13.
Sept. 25, 2005
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Joe Fleskowski returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown and Nate Draughon recovered a blocked punt in the end zone as UTEP struck for two quick third quarter scores Saturday night in a 21-13 win over New Mexico.
The Miners (3-0) took control in a span of less than 3 1/2 minutes in the third quarter.
With New Mexico (3-1) driving midway through the period and the crowd of 50,425 mostly UTEP fans on edge, Fleskowski picked off Kole McKamey's pass at the Miners' 32, broke to the sideline and went in untouched with 8:33 left in the third.
On the ensuing kickoff, New Mexico's Marcus Smith had trouble fielding the ball and was tackled at the Lobos' 10.
The Miners, aided by a couple of offside penalties against New Mexico, forced a punt and Chris Francies blocked Tyler Gaus' kick. Draughon fell on the ball near the back of the end zone and the Miners had turned a 10-7 deficit into a 21-10 lead.
New Mexico got another drive going and reached UTEP's 27 after a 14-yard run by DonTrell Moore. But UTEP tackle Chris Mineo derailed that drive by dropping Moore for a 3-yard loss and then sacking McKamey for a 10-yard loss.
New Mexico running back DonTrell Moore, center, runs between the blocks of teammates Robert Turner and Ryan Cook during the first quarter. (AP Photo/El Paso Times, Victor Calzada)
Things unraveled quickly in the third for New Mexico, which came in with just one turnover this season and didnt have a penalty while building a 10-7 halftime lead.
With Moore finding holes through the middle of UTEP's defense, the Lobos faced second-and-8 at the UTEP 18 and McKamey in the shotgun when center Ryan Cook snapped the ball over McKamey's head. Moore recovered at the 35.
On the next play, McKamey was pressured into the interception that Fleskowski turned into six points for UTEP.
Moore, with 161 yards on 28 carries, became the 65th player I NCAA history to go over 4,000 yards rushing. He now has 4,089 career rushing yards and gave New Mexico a 10-7 lead on a 4-yard TD run with 9:24 left in the second quarter.
The Lobos also got field goals by Kenny Byrd from 46 and 26 yards. The 26-yarder came with 4:22 left after the Miners halted a New Mexico drive at the UTEP 8-yard line.
UTEP moved the ball well in the first half behind halfback Tyler Ebell and quarterback Jordan Palmer, who completed 16-of-31 passes for 178 yards.
Still, the Miners' only first-half score was a 15-yard TD pass from Palmer to Johnnie Lee Higgins early in the second quarter. The speedy Higgins caught eight passes for 91 yards.
McKamey, who completed his first five passes and was 8-of-10 for 79 yards passing at halftime, finished 15-of-24 for 136 yards with the key interception.