Vittatoe sets passing record, Owls dismantled
Published: Sunday, October 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
Senior quarterback Trevor Vittatoe passed his way into the record books leading the Miners to victory for the first time in his career against Rice 44-24 Oct. 9 at the Sun Bowl.
Vittatoe passed Jordan Palmer in total offense (11, 260), total yards (11,117), and passing touchdowns (89). He finished the night completing 16 of 27 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns.
"It's fun to break records and all that stuff, but I think the best feeling is being 5-1 right now and sitting pretty," Vittatoe said. "I think the chemistry on the team is really good and we are in the right direction."
The Miners (5-1, 2-1 Conference USA) are only one win away from becoming bowl eligible. They are off to their best start since 2005, and this win marks the fourth time in UTEP history where they have won four games in a row.
"We have good players and enough of them to beat Rice," head coach Mike Price said. "I know they thought we were the worst 4-1 team in America, we still might be the worst 5-1 team in America, but it feels good to me right now."
Vittatoe's main target for the second consecutive week was senior receiver Kris Adams. Adams caught five balls for 134 yards, catching all of Vittatoe's three touchdown passes. He scored on plays of 26, 18, and 73 yards. This was the 30th straight game where Adams had at least one catch.
"I'm happy for Trevor, he's been working really hard and he's been through a lot," Adams said. "To come back and bounce back and break some records this year, that's a good thing."
Senior receiver Pierce Hunter got in on the action recording his first 100-yard game. He caught five passes for 105 yards. His biggest reception came in the second quarter with less than one minute left when he caught a ball in the middle of the field and raced 48 yards to the Owl's two yard line, setting up a touchdown run by junior running back Leilyon Myers.
Myers had four just carries for 15 yards but had two rushing touchdowns in the game. Senior running back Donald Buckram returned to action leading the team with nine carries for 47 yards.
The Miner defense played well, limiting Rice to 24 points and 342 yards in the game. UTEP allowed only 201 yards through the air and 141 yards on the ground. Junior cornerback Travaun Nixon and senior linebacker Isaiah Carter led the Miners with nine tackles apiece. Senior Wiston Jeune had a big night of his own finishing with seven tackles on the night.
"I'm very, very pleased with the performance of the players, and with the performance of the coaches," Price said. "We came to play and we did a great job and I appreciate all the fans that showed up here."
Rice junior quarterback Nick Fanuzzi led the Owls with three touchdowns, completing 23 of 38 passes for 201 yards. His first touchdown came on the opening drive but he was held out of the end zone until the fourth quarter, where he was able to cut the deficit to 20 points.