SMU Rallies Past Miners, 35-31
Nov. 14, 2009
DALLAS, TEXAS – Kyle Padron threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders with 4:34 remaining in the fourth quarter, giving SMU a 35-31 win over UTEP on Saturday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.
Trailing by two touchdowns (21-7) midway through the second quarter, UTEP rallied to take leads of 24-21 and 31-28 in the second half. But Padron led the Mustangs on a five-play, 66-yard drive to regain the lead and UTEP’s last-gasp attempt to win the game ended with a sack of Trevor Vittatoe at the SMU 21-yard line in the final minute.
Once again, the Miners wasted a sensational performance by Donald Buckram, who rushed 33 times for 241 yards and added five catches for 66 yards. He scored two of the team’s four touchdowns.
Jeff Moturi (five catches-153 yards) and Vittatoe (396 yards passing) also put up big numbers for the Miners, who came up on the short end of the scoreboard despite piling up 627 yards of offense. UTEP has lost its last three games when tallying over 600 yards.
“I’m really disappointed,” UTEP coach Mike Price said. “We showed a lot of heart and we didn’t give up, but we left six points and maybe more on the field in the first half.
“We made some big-time catches, but so did they. On their long pass for a touchdown, we were just a step away from hitting their quarterback, and he made a great pass.”
The Miners (3-7, 2-4 C-USA) were eliminated from bowl contention and will finish up the season with a game at Rice next week and a home game versus Marshall on Nov. 28. SMU (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) is now in the driver’s seat in the Conference USA West Division race following UCF’s shocking upset of Houston earlier in the day.
Padron completed 17-of-24 passes for 244 yards and Sanders made seven catches for 134 yards. Shawnbrey McNeal rushed 18 times for 169 yards for the Mustangs, who finished with 437 yards of offense – 190 fewer than the Miners, but enough for the win.