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Fans eager for UTEP first win under Price

Former UTEP football head coach Mike Price. File photo

Although UTEP dropped a heartbreaking homecoming game against Western Kentucky on Saturday, some Miners fans are starting to find some good things to cheer about.

UTEP played its best football of the season against the Hilltoppers on Saturday, going into halftime with a 14-8 lead. But the Miners failed to put up any points in the second half, allowing Western Kentucky to score a lone touchdown to secure the 15-14 victory at the Sun Bowl. But despite the loss, it was the closest game UTEP has had all season. And to some fans, it came as a surprise as new interim head coach Mike Price stepped up to the helm and delivered the best game so far this season.

"It's not about me," Price said at the weekly football press conference. "I didn't throw a touchdown. I didn't make a tackle. It's all the players."

Price wanted to thank the over 20,000 fans who attended the homecoming game this weekend.

"Wow! They were loud and, I'm not kidding you, down there, at times, it felt like we had 40,000 in that stadium again," Price said. "It sure was fun at halftime with them chanting 'UTEP! UTEP!' The players heard it. The players noticed it."

And yet, despite the loss, many UTEP students on campus today said they hadn't paid attention to the game because of how dismal the season has been for the Miners.

"They just don't win that much," said Luis Carreon, a freshman at UTEP. "It doesn't catch my attention at all."

"Honestly, still the fact that we lost to NMSU this season, after that point I realized the season is over," said Edward Wells, a junior at UTEP.

But some fans believe having Price back at UTEP could mean the Miners have enough time to turn this season into something salvageable.

"I want to see what they do this week (against Southern Miss)," said Joseph Reyes, a senior at UTEP. "But if they seem to be winning, I would definitely go to a game."

Rebka Pena is a freshman at UTEP. She believes that Price will deliver UTEP a win in just a few weeks.

"I think I would go. I would go and see one of the games. It can happen," she said.

Price believes that if the players can keep practicing hard, and playing a full four quarters as the did this week, they're bound to get the win eventually.

"If we continue to play like this, and get a little bit better, just a little bit better every week, then we're going to get in that win column," said Price.

The Miners hit the road this week for a tough road test against a Southern Miss team before returning home to take on UTSA at the end of October.

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