MINERS
Houston Holds Off UTEP, 49-42

Mike Price

Mike Price

Sept. 29, 2011

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery by Ivan Pierre Aguirre 

EL PASO, TEXAS - Case Keenum passed for 471 yards and Houston racked up 710 yards of offense in a 49-42, come-from-behind victory over UTEP on Thursday night in the Sun Bowl.

The Cougars (5-0, 1-0 C-USA) battled back from a 14-0 first quarter deficit to hand UTEP (2-3, 0-2 C-USA) its first-ever loss in a Conference USA home opener.

The Miners had 538 yards of offense, with Joe Banyard rushing for 240 yards, but had their difficulties slowing the Cougars' prolific offensive attack.  Patrick Edwards had 144 yards receiving for Houston and the Cougars featured a pair of 100-yard running backs in Charles Sims (111 yards) and Michael Hayes (100).

With his team clinging to a 41-35 lead and starting the drive deep in their own territory, Keenum threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to Sims with 9:42 to play, then found Justin Johnson for the two-point conversion and a 49-35 advantage.

The Miners responded by marching 76 yards on seven plays, capped by a two-yard scoring run by Leilyon Myers, to slice the deficit to 49-42 with 6:21 to go.  UTEP got the ball back and moved all the way to the Cougar 19-yard line in the final minute before Nick Lamaison's pass was too low for Mike Edwards in the end zone.

Lamaison completed 19-of-29 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns.

Following a bye week, the Miners will return to action on Oct. 15 at Tulane.  The game will be televised by Fox College Sports with a 1:30 p.m. MT kickoff.