Entering the game, UTEP (1-8, 1-4 Conference USA) was the only winless FBS team this season and had lost 20 straight games. The Miners' last win came on Nov. 26, 2016, in a 52-24 home win against North Texas. UTEP hadn't beaten the Owls in Rice Stadium in 13 years.
As for Rice (1-9, 0-6), the Owls now own a nine-game losing streak.
Wadley put UTEP up with a 12-yard touchdown run on the game's opening drive. Early in the second quarter, Kai Locksley ran it in from a yard out. On their next drive, Wadley again had a 12-yard touchdown run and the lead went to 20-0. Locksley added another 1-yard TD run and UTEP led 27-3 at the break.
Rice closed to within the game's final margin with three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Owls had the ball with more than three minutes left, but A.J. Hotchkins came up with back-to-back sacks. On fourth down, Justin Rodgers intercepted Wiley Green and UTEP ran out the clock.
Green threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.