Donald Buckram ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 29 seconds left in the game, to help UTEP beat Conference USA rival Tulsa 28-24 on Wednesday night.
Buckram’s two touchdowns were the final scores of the game, one coming with 6:25 left to play and the other a 3-yard run with less than 30 seconds left. Junior quarterback Trevor Vittatoe threw for 271 yards, including one TD – an 80-yard pass to Donovan Kemp in the first quarter.
UTEP went into the game ranked 119th nationally in total defense (493 yards per game), 115th in pass defense (277.3 ypg) and 109th in scoring defense (34.9 points per game).
But the Miners managed to hold Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne to just 192 yards passing and sacked him five times. Kinne scored one TD on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Charles Clay and A.J. Whitmore also each scored touchdowns for the Golden Hurricane (4-3, 2-1 C-USA).
UTEP (3-4, 2-1) came out strong, leading 13-0 after the first quarter, thanks to Vittatoe’s touchdown and field goals from Logan Barrett. But the Miners didn’t score again until Buckram’s TDs in the fourth quarter, watching as Tulsa scored 24 straight points.
Whitmore had a 19-yard TD run early in the second quarter, leaving the Miners with a 13-7 lead at halftime. The Golden Hurricane also had one-yard TD runs from Clay and Kinne and a 24-yard field goal from Kevin Fitzpatrick, and took a 24-13 lead with 12:37 remaining.
Buckram then scored on a 3-yard run, and UTEP scored a two-point conversion to make it 24-21.
Tulsa was coming off a close loss at home to No. 5 Boise State and piled up 791 yards of offense in last year’s meeting with the Miners.