Commenter Sweetlou said in a previous post on this blog that pointing to UAB’s offensive line as a reason for UTEP to have a healthy fear of the Blazers heading into Saturday’s Conference USA showdown was a copout.
But it became pretty obvious with 12:05 remaining in the fourth quarter and UAB pinned at its own 1-yard line clinging to a 14-6 lead how the Blazers took charge of the game.
Behind their five monoliths, UAB began chewing up the yards, gashing the Miners on the ground and holding steady through the air, to march down the length of the field and score the decisive touchdown in their win in Birmingham, Ala.
UTEP was out-physicaled and was not able to overcome hapless play on offense and defense, along with a spate of injuries.
And so, the Miners will have to wait a week for another attempt to assure themselves bowl eligibility. The chance will come against Tulane in the Sun Bowl on Saturday. The Green Wave has never beaten the Miners in El Paso and UTEP opens as an 11-point favorite.
But read some of the comments posted on our Topix forums and over on Joe Muench’s blog, and you’d think the Miners have no chance of winning any of their remaining five games, the next two being games the Miners will be favored to win.
Odd that so much faith is seemingly gone after a loss against a very physical team — on the road, no less — and the squad is left with a 5-2 record. And while a Conference USA West title is less likely now than it was a week ago, it is not mathematically impossible.
The wheels are far from coming off this season.