USM loses 4th consecutive game, falls 26-13 to UTEP

Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) _ A new starting quarterback couldn’t change the University of Southern Mississippi’s fate Saturday night.

USM tied the game with the University of Texas-El Paso early in the first quarter, but the Golden Eagles’ side of the scoreboard stayed the same until about two minutes were left in the game.

By that time, the University of Texas-El Paso had scored 19 unanswered points, and despite allowing a late USM touchdown, the Miners left M.M. Roberts Stadium with a 26-13 Conference USA victory.

The Miners (5-1, 2-0 C-USA) ruined USM’s Homecoming celebration by logging their third consecutive win behind a ground game that pounded out 265 yards rushing.

UTEP senior running back Robert Awatt led the Miners with 159 yards on 16 carries. His 17-yard TD run gave the Miners an early 7-0 lead.

Walk-on freshman quarterback Jake Lange, who made his first career start Saturday, completed 20-of-31 of his attempts for 239 yards and two touchdowns.

The first covered 31 yards to Jason Brownlee as the Golden Eagles tied the game 7-7.

But Lange’s second would not come until just 2:02 remained in the game.

By that time, UTEP led by 19 points thanks to a 53-yard reverse by receiver Jacob Cowing, a 51-yard fumble return by linebacker Breon Hayward, a safety and a 34-yard field goal by Gavin Baechle.

Lange’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Jones accounted for the game’s final points.

USM (1-5, 0-2) lost its fourth consecutive game, the team’s longest losing streak since dropping the final five game at the end of the 2014 season.

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