EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Smoke Harris returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown, Louisiana used several breaks en route to a key score on the first play of the fourth quarter and the Bulldogs defeated UTEP 24-10 on Friday night.
Louisiana Tech went 65 yards in five plays to open the game, going up 7-0 as Tyre Shelton scored on a one-yard run. An 85-yard catch-and-run by Cyrus Allen set up the score.
It was 17-7 at halftime and 17-10 in the third quarter when the Bulldogs started a drive on their 35. They were promptly stopped on third down but a facemask penalty kept the drive alive. A 37-yard run by Shelton helped La Tech get in the red zone but again they were stymied only to have a Miners player get a personal foul for taking his helmet off after a tackle for a loss. With renewed downs, on the next play Tru Edwards made a nice catch of a Jack Turner pass for a touchdown.
Shelton finished with 104 yards for La Tech (3-3, 2-0 Conference USA) and Turner was 9 of 20 for 152 yards in his second start.
UTEP (1-5, 0-2) used three different quarterbacks after starter Gavin Hardison couldn’t go after warming up and they were a combined 9 for 28 for 101 yards. Jake McNamara had the touchdown on a two-yard run at the end of a 95 yard drive late in the first half.
The Miners finished with 321 yards to 294 for La Tech but the teams combined for 22 penalties for 201 yards.