(Saturday, October 4th)
Final Score: Texas-El Paso 40, Southern Mississippi 37 (2OT)
Hattiesburg, MS (Sports Network) - Trevor Vittatoe threw four touchdown passes, including the game-winner in the second overtime, as the UTEP Miners defeated the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, 40-37, in Conference USA play at Roberts Stadium.
Vittatoe finished the night 25-of-43 for 266 yards for the Miners (2-3, 2-0 CUSA) as they posted their second straight win.
Southern Miss (2-3, 0-2) was paced by Damion Fletcher who ran for a game-high 260 yards and a score on 34 carries in the setback. Despite the outcome Fletcher, who notched the second-highest single-game rushing total in school history, became the program's all-time leading rusher with 3,654 yards. Quarterback Austin Davis connected on 21-of-37 for 264 yards and two TDs.
Fletcher opened the night's scoring with a four-yard TD run at the 9:58 mark of the first quarter. UTEP responded six minutes later with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Vittatoe to Kris Adams.
With the opening frame running down USM put up another touchdown on a one-yard scoring run by Tory Harrison to give the home team a 14-7 advantage.
The Miners assumed a 17-14 advantage heading into the break following an 11- yard touchdown run by Donald Buckram and a 37-yard field goal by Jose Martinez.
Martinez pushed UTEP further ahead with a 34-yard field goal early in the third, but the 20-14 lead by the Miners was short-lived as Davis found Shawn Nelson with a 10-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes later to give the Golden Eagles a 21-20 edge heading into the fourth period.
A mere four seconds into the final frame of regulation, Vittatoe and Tufick Shadrawy connected on a 13-yard scoring strike to push UTEP back up by six points at 27-21.
Refusing to give up, USM kicker Britt Barefoot booted a pair of field goals down the stretch, a 29-yard effort and a 22-yard kick at the gun to knot the score at 27-27 and send it into overtime.
In the first extra session Vittatoe and running back Terrell Jackson combined on a four-yard TD pass to give the Miners a 34-27 edge. However, DeAndre Brown's four-yard touchdown reception on the ensuing possession locked the score at 34-34.
Southern Miss had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by Barefoot in the second overtime, which allowed Vittatoe and Adams to post the winning connection on a six-yard effort.
The Golden Eagles lost the contest despite converting 10-of-16 on third down and generating 541 yards of total offense.
10/04 23:54:17 ET