Aggie Football Falls 42-10 In The Battle Of I-10

Matt ChristianThe 88th renewal of the Battle of I-10 belonged to the Miners as UTEP would score on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead before the Aggies would even get their first first down. "We just played poorly," said head coach DeWayne Walker after the game. "We knew they were going to be explosive on offense, right now we have some major problems that we need to figure out. We're not a good enough football team right now to be be in a scoring fest."

The Aggies would win the coin toss and defer to the second half giving UTEP the ball first. The Miners would get the ball on their own 26 yard line and drive nine plays covering 74 yards en route to a 7-0 lead. Trevor Vittatoe would find Julio Lopez on 2nd and 10 from the Aggie 18 for the touchdown. The Miners converted on 3rd and 7 twice during the drive.

The Aggies would start their first drive on their own 22 yard line but would go three and out.

The Miners would return the Tanner Rust punt to the Aggie 48. The Miners would convert on 3rd and 5 to the Aggie 36. After a holding penalty put the Miners back to the Aggie 46, the Aggies would force UTEP into a 3rd and 5 on the Aggie 20. George Callendar would stop Vernon Frazier for a four yard gain forcing a 4th and 1 on the Aggie 16. The Miners would convert the 4th down. Three plays later the Aggies would covert a 3rd and 4 on the Aggie eight as Trevor Vittatoe found Donald Kemp for the 8-yard touchdown pass putting the Miners up 14-0 with 2:33 left in the first quarter.

The Aggies would start their second drive on their own 20 yard line and after a seven yard completion to Marcus Allen gave the Aggies 3rd and 3 on their own 27, Kenny Turner would rush for two yards coming up just short of the first down. Tanner Rust would punt the ball to the UTEP 31 where Marlon McClure would return it to the UTEP 44.

Two consecutive offensive holding penalties would back the Miners up to their own 24 giving them 1st and 30. The Miners would start the second quarter with a 3rd and 25. The Aggie defense appeared to get the stop as Trevor Vittatoe's pass attempt to Kris Adams fell incomplete, however, a defensive pass interference penalty was called on Jonte Green giving the Miners a first and 10 on their own 44. The Aggie defense would again force a 3rd and long as UTEP faced a 3rd and 13 situation but again the Aggie defense would allow a third down conversion down to the Aggie 14 as Trevor Vittatoe found Pierce Hunter for a 45 yard gain. The Aggie coaching staff would call a timeout to try to settle down the defense, however, the Aggies would come back on the field and were flagged for having 12 men on the field giving UTEP a 1st and 5 at the Aggie 9. Two plays later the Miners would find the endzone for their third score. The extra point by Dakota Warren gave the Miners a 21-0 lead just three minutes into the second quarter.

The Aggie offense, down by 21 points, would finally start to click as they were aided by a 32 yard kickoff return by Taveon Rogers giving the Aggies good starting field position at their own 37. On 3rd and 9 Aggie quarterback Matt Christian would find Marcus Allen for a 24 yard gain to the UTEP 38. On the next play, Christian would find Kyle Nelson for 11 yards down to the Miners' 27 yard line. Seth Smith would take a swing pass from Christian down to the UTEP 18 giving the Aggies 2nd and 1. Smith would pick up the first down rushing for six yards down to the Miners' 12 yard line. Two plays later the Aggies would face 3rd and 1 on the UTEP 3 yard line and Seth Smith would punch the ball in for a touchdown, his first of the season. Tyler Stampler would add the extra point cutting the Aggies' deficit to 14 at 21-7 with 7:43 left.

The nine-play drive by the Aggie offense reinvigorated the Aggies on defense as the Aggie defense would hold on 3rd and 9 after UTEP had driven from their own 34 to the Aggie 48. UTEP's Ian Campbell would punt the ball pinning the Aggies on their own two yard line.

The Aggies would take over with 5:13 left in the half and Brandon Perez would bowl his way up the middle for three yardsgiving the Aggies a little breathing room from their own goal line. Matt Christian would find Marcus Williams for 11 yards getting the Aggies out of the shadow of their own goal line and up to the Aggie 16 yard line. On 3rd and 13, Christian would again find Marcus Williams this time for 16 yards up to the Aggie 29. Two plays later Kenny Turner would help the Aggies convert a 3rd and 5 from their own 34 as he would take a pass from Matt Christian for seven yards to the Aggie 41. The Aggies would again convert on 3rd and 5 as Matt Christian found Todd Lee on a crossing pattern for 18 yards down to the UTEP 36. Christian would continue his hot streak finding Marcus Allen for 15 yards down to the Miner 21. The Aggies would drive down to the UTEP 13 but on 3rd and 2 Matt Christian's pass to Marcus Allen would be off the mark forcing the Aggies to attempt a field goal. Tyler Stampler would boot the 31-yard attempt through the uprights cutting the once 21-point deficit down to just 11 right before the half.

The Aggies would get the ball to start the second half but, just as they had done on their first possession in the first half, the Aggies would go three and out punting the ball away to the Miners. The Miners would get the ball on the Aggie 49 yard line, and two plays later the Miners had covered 33 yards on a 13 yard pass play from Trevor Vittatoe to Marlon McClure and a 20 yard run by Jason Williams. On 3rd and 10 the Aggie defense would yield yet another conversion and Trevor Vittatoe would find Evan Davis in the endzone. The extra point would be successful and the Aggies would trail 28-10 with 11:56 left in the third quarter.

After UTEP's kickoff would find the back of the endzone, the Aggies would take over
on their own 20. However, the Aggie offense would sputter once again forcing a Tanner Rust punt. Rust would put the ball 37 yards and the Miners would start their next drive on their own 32 yard line. On the very first play of the drive, Vittatoe would find Kris Adams streaking down the right sideline behind the Aggie secondary for the 68-yard touchdown strike. Dakota Warren would add the extra point and the Aggies found themselves down 35-10.

The Aggie offense would get the ball on their own 18 to start and Seth Smith would jumpstart the Aggie offense with a 24 yard rush to their own 42 yard line. Smith would rush for another seven yards to the Aggie 49. On 3rd and 5, Matt Christian would find Kyle Nelson for five yards down to the UTEP 48. After an incompletion, Matt Christian would call his own number on the quarterback keeper rushing down to the Miner 41. Unfortunately for the Aggies, Christian's pass attempt on 3rd and 3 would fall incomplete and the Aggies would be forced to punt once again.

Tanner Rust's punt would find the back of the endzone giving the Miners the ball on their own 20. After a defensive holding penalty on the Aggies, Joe Banyard would break a 26-yard run up the right side to the Aggie 43. A couple plays later the Miners would convert a 3rd and 1 on the Aggie 34. With the ball on the Aggie 26 and the Miners facing 3rd and 6, the Aggie defense would stop Joe Banyard just short of the first down. However, with just under three minutes left in the third quarter, UTEP head coach Mike Price would elect to go for it on 4th and 1 and Elija Goldtrap would pick up the first down picking up four yards down to the Aggie 13. Two plays later on 3rd and 4, Vittatoe would find Kris Adams in the corner of the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown strike putting the Miners ahead 42-10 after the extra point.

The fourth quarter would see the Aggies run eight plays as they started a drive from their own 20 advancing all the way to midfield before seeing their drive stall forcing another Tanner Rust punt.

The Miners would get the ball back on their own with 12:10 left in the game. They would get all the way down to the Aggies' 26 yard line and after a James Thomas II pass fell incomplete on 3rd and 12, Mike Scott lined up for a field goal from 43 yards out. The Aggies would block the field goal attempt and Frank Padilla would recover on the Aggie 37 with 9:24 remaining.

The Aggie offense would be unable to capitalize on the momentum from the blocked kick as Matt Christian would be intercepted on the UTEP 33 yard line. It was Christian's first interception thrown this season and the first turnover of the game.

The Miners would go three and out giving the Aggies the ball back with 5:43 left in the game. With the ball on the UTEP 47, the Aggies would mount one final drive to try to add to their 10 point total. The Aggies would drive all the way to the UTEP five yard line but back-to-back incomplete passes on third and fourth down would see the Aggies' hopes of scoring fall by the wayside.

The Miners would take over on downs with 2:42 left to go and they would run out the clock giving them a 42-10 victory and their second consecutive Battle of I-10 win.

The Aggies were out gained 495 yards to 296 yards, however, the Aggie passing game generated 200 yards to 246 for the Miners. Aggie quarterback Matt Christian finished the game 21-of-40 with one interception. Trevor Vittatoe would finish the game 19-of-30, however, he would throw five touchdown passes on the evening.

The Miners outgunned the Aggies on the ground 249 to 96 as Seth Smith would rush for 46 yards on 10 carries and scored the Aggies' lone touchdown. Kenny Turner would rush for 19 yards on five carries.

Marcus Allen led the Aggie receiving corps with five catches for 65 yards. Kyle Nelson caught four ball for 30 yards. Donavan Kemp had five catches for 38 yards for the Miners and caught one touchdown pass. Kris Adams had three catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Evan Davis had two catches for 25 yards and one Miner touchdown and Julio Lopez caught one ball for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Joe Banyard scored the rushing touchdown for the Miners as he finished with 64 yards on 11 carries.

Neither defense recorded a sack and the two teams combined for just five tackles for losses. Boyblue Aoelua led the Aggies with seven tackles while Royzell Smith led the Miners with 10 tackles and forced the game's lone turnover.

The Aggies fall to 0-2 on the season while the Miners improve to 2-1. The Aggies will face Kansas in Lawrence, KS next Saturday with kickoff scheduled for 5:10 MT and can be seen on Fox College Sports.