New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Cougars Obliterate Miners, 52-24

The first postseason game of the 2010 college football season wasn't remotely competitive.

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New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Cougars 52, Miners 24 (FINAL)

UTEP's not going down in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl without a fight, it seems! (Albeit a very small fight.) BYU mercifully eases back on the blitz coverage, and Donald Buckram and Trevor Vittatoe engineer a two-minute touchdown drive ending with a 49-yard Vittatoe bomb to Kris Adams.

Jake Heaps is retired with just under 10 minutes to play, having broken the New Mexico Bowl record for passing. His replacement, James Lark, is intercepted on his second pass of the day. Then Vittatoe gets interceted back, and this thing is somehow even more over than it was before.

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Bronco Mendenhall gets Gatorade down the back of his pants trying to dodge his victory bath, and that'll do it for our brief stay in Albuquerque. Special shoutout to Vittatoe, UTEP's all-time leading passer, who tore every ligament in his ankle in mid-October against UAB, and who still hasn't missed a game for the Miners. He's undergoing surgery Monday morning, and he should've had a better sendoff.

Final score in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl: BYU Cougars 52, UTEP Miners 24.

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New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Cougars Put The Pedal Down

Hold up, UTEP fans still harboring hope in your hearts: The Cougars are still determined to make the 2010 New Mexico Bowl as nasty a blowout as possible. A Cougars three-and-out raises the hopes of Miners types just an iota -- but after converting their first set of downs following, Trevor Vittatoe goes and gets himself intercepted in his own territory.

 BYU takes to the ground to shave time off the clock, calling four straight runs before Jake Heaps connects once again with Cody Hoffman on a 29-yard touchdown pass. UTEP goes three-and-out, and the fourth quarter is underway. BYU reels off another neat run-heavy drive capped with an eight-yard touchdown run from Joshua Quezada. It's looking bleak in Albuquerque for the few fans that bothered to show up. With 12:25 remaining in the fourth quarter of the 2010 New Mexico Bowl, BYU leads UTEP, 52-17.

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New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Two More Touchdowns Move Dial To 38-17

We're back for the third quarter of the 2010 New Mexico Bowl, where the BYU Cougars currently lead the UTEP Miners 31-10. Unfortunately for them, the boys from El Paso are kicking off to start the second half.

The Cougars make excellent use of both the field and the clock, grinding away six and a half minutes with a balanced drive capped with a two-yard touchdown lurch by JJ Di Luigi. The teams trade effectively offsetting 15-yard penalties, and the Miners get the ball back at their own 34-yard line with 8:11 remaining in the quarter -- and wonder of wonders, they do something with the football.

Donald Buckram contributes some short-yardage runs; Trevor Vittatoe doesn't get pushed into his own backfield to the tune of a double-digit loss, and Marlon McClure and Pierce Hunter contribute down-converting catches en route to Cougars territory. Facing 1st-and-15, Vittatoe has time to set his one good foot, for a mercy, and gets off a 37-yard touchdown pass to Kris Adams, keeping UTEP on pace with the Cougars' still-hefty lead. With 5:22 remaining in the third quarter of the 2010 New Mexico Bowl, the score is BYU 38, UTEP 17.

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New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Jake Heaps Intercepted, But Cougars Hold Commanding Halftime Lead

Winding down to halftime: BYU stumbles into an almost unheard-of phenomenon known as a "UTEP defensive stop" and punts the ball away after just over two minutes of play. Trevor Vittatoe loses 16 yards on second down and the Miners give it right back.

A flagrant third-down roughing of Jake Heaps on BYU's next series sets the Cougars up for a possible four-touchdown lead, but some ancient demigod of El Paso reaches down a caring hand, and wee Heaps is intercepted to the tune of a 43-yard run in the opposite direction.

The Miners won't score in response, but they get close, winging themselves to the Cougars' 3-yard line before the clock runs out on the half. Mike Price attempts to play the "second half is a whole new ballgame" card in his halftime interview, and seems to realize how ridiculous he sounds about halfway through his first sentence. The Cougars and Miners hit the locker rooms, with BYU holding a 31-10 lead in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.

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New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Cougars, Miners Trade Touchdowns

We rejoin the Cougars in mid-drive, and it's a doozy: JJ Di Luigi breaks off a 24-yard gain through the right side of UTEP's line to put BYU in handy scoring position. Three plays later, the Cougars do just that, as Jake Heaps hits Cody Hoffman for the pair's second touchdown connection this afternoon. BYU leads UTEP, 31-3, with 9:20 remaining in the first half.

On the Miners' first ensuing play from scrimmage, we are forcefully reminded that even though Trevor Vittatoe's currently playing through a grievous ankle injury, he's still his school's all-time leading passer. Vittatoe launches a 67-yard touchdown bomb to Kris Adams, cutting the Cougars' lead to 21.

Perhaps a little stung by this rebuttal, Cody Hoffman takes to returning kicks, but gets only 17 yards for his troubles. With 8:33 remaining in the first half, BYU leads UTEP, 31-10 in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.

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New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Jake Heaps & Cody Hoffman Widen The Gap

Not to be outdone by UTEP's fruitless antics, the Cougars respond with a half-assed drive of their own that stalls (by the standards they've set today) in a 38-yard Mitch Payne field goal. Marlon McClure is held to a mere 21 yards on his next kickoff return, and as the second quarter begins, Trevor Vittatoe is intercepted at his own 25-yard line. On BYU's very next play, Jake Heaps hits Cody Hoffman down the left sideline for a 31-yard touchdown. The second quarter is barely underway, and the Cougars hold a 24-3 lead.

Trevor Vittatoe continues to be chased backwards, Family Circus-style, as another pocket collapses and UTEP's hit with a 19-yard loss plus a penalty. BYU goes back on offense, and what might be a lucky break for the Miners is lost when a recovered Cody Hoffman fumble is re-lost and Hoffman himself recovers the ball. With 12:27 remaining in the first half, BYU leads UTEP 31-3 in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.

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New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Jake Heaps, Luke Ashworth Connect For 14-3 Cougars Lead

A second series for UTEP that begins with a 32-yard kickoff return from Marlon McClure ends abruptly with a three-and-out and a net loss of three yards on the possession. The Cougars go back to work with wee Jake Heaps at the helm, and mount a 12-play, 78-yard touchdown drive highlighted by an 18-yard catch by Cody Hoffman that culminates in a nine-yard touchdown catch by Luke Ashworth. With 4:49 remaining in the first quarter, BYU leads UTEP 14-0.

Marlon McClure maybe ought to be playing every position for the Miners, as he returns the ensuing kickoff for 72 yards and sets UTEP up deep in BYU territory. Trevor Vittatoe responds by promptly scrambling backwards for a 10-yard loss, and the Miners can't make up the distance.Dakota Warren edges a 52-yard field goal through the uprights, and UTEP's on the board. With 2:48 remaining in the first quarter, the Cougars lead the Miners, 14-3 in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.

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New Mexico Bowl, BYU Vs. UTEP: Cougars Strike First, Lead 7-0

We're off to an action-packed start here in Albuquerque for the 2010 New Mexico Bowl. UTEP gets the ball to start, and right out of the gate, Trevor Vittatoe hits Marlon McClure for a 12-yard gain down the right side. The gain is short-lived, as Vittatoe scrambles backwards for a 13-yard loss. The Miners manage to convert a 3rd-and-22 into a 4th-and-13, but are forced to punt, and allow JD Faslev to return the ball 43 yards. This first series has been pure essence of UTEP. If you turned the television off right now, you'd understand perfectly what this program is all about.

Already in favorable field position before the offense even takes the field, the Cougars strike quickly, with running back JJ Di Luigi hitting Cody Hoffman over the middle for a 31-yard pass. Bryan Kariya rolls into the endzone on a 4-yard rush two plays later, and BYU draws first blood on the scoreboard. With 10:35 remaining in the first quarter, BYU leads UTEP 7-0 in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.

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