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October 8, 2006

Miners take down Mustangs

EL PASO, Texas - Marcus Thomas threw a 27-yard touchdown to Daniel Robinson on a halfback option in the fourth quarter as UTEP rallied to beat SMU 24-21 on Saturday night.

Thomas' touchdown pass with 8:28 left capped an 87-yard drive and put UTEP back on top after the Miners (3-2, 1-0 Conference USA) blew a 17-0 halftime lead.

SMU (3-3, 1-1) scored 21 consecutive points in the second half behind backup quarterback Corey Slater, who threw a 19-yard touchdown to Bobby Chase and an 18-yard score to Emmanuel Sanders in the third quarter.

Slater was filling in for starter Justin Willis, who was suspended Friday for an undisclosed violation of team rules. He finished 10-of-20 for 132 yards and threw three interceptions.

SMU took a brief lead on Jonathan Lindley's 80-yard fumble return with 11:54 remaining, but UTEP answered with the Robinson's winning touchdown catch on the next drive.

UTEP quarterback Jordan Palmer finished 22-of-35 passing for 271 yards and a touchdown. Johnnie Lee Higgins scored on a 63-yard punt return for the Miners.

SMU was 0-for-11 on third downs and had just 190 yards of total offense.

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