UTEP Falls To No. 24 Kansas, 34-7
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- The Kansas Jayhawks picked up a new fan on their trip to the border -- UTEP coach Mike Price.
Jake Sharp ran for 104 yards and scored three touchdowns while No. 24 Kansas got two big punt returns from Daymond Patterson to beat Texas-El Paso 34-7 on Saturday night.
Todd Reesing completed 25 of 41 attempts for 260 yards with one interception. He threw a 5-yard TD to Sharp and worked again with Dezmon Briscoe, who returned from a one-game suspension for violating team rules and had eight catches for 154 yards.
"What surprised us was that they were that good," Price said. "They out-physicaled us. They hit us up the middle, and their running game is pretty good. Their whole scheme is pretty good. They're a top 25 team, and it doesn't look like we are."
The Jayhawks (2-0) finished with 576 total yards. Their defense racked up five sacks while holding UTEP (0-2) to negative rushing yards until the closing minutes.
The Miners, who finished with 4 yards rushing, avoided the shutout when Trevor Vittatoe found Donavon Kemp for a 75-yard catch-and-run with 12:39 remaining. But it was the fewest points for UTEP in Price's six years in El Paso.
"We just weren't playing the way we were supposed to," Kemp said. "Too many penalties."
One week after committing 12 penalties for 101 yards in an opening loss to Buffalo, UTEP was flagged 13 times for 137 yards. It's the most penalties in consecutive games for the Miners since 1986.
"You can't expect to win like that," Price said.
Vittatoe was 14-of-25 for 187 yards with one interception.
"They're just a really good team," Vittatoe said. "They really caught us off guard. It just seemed liked nothing was going our way."
The Jayhawks got rolling with a big second quarter, scoring 17 points to lead 20-0 at the break.
Sharp, who rushed for 123 yards in last week's win over Northern Colorado, scored on a 1-yard plunge, then Jacob Branstetter made a 24-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead. Reesing placed a perfect pass over Sharp's shoulder for a 5-yard TD play.
UTEP returns to action next Saturday (Sept. 19) at I-10 rival NM State.