ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Nick Vigil ran for a touchdown and also combined with his brother to make 16 tackles as Utah State shut down UTEP 21-6 Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl.
Utah State (10-4) won a bowl game for the third straight year.
UTEP (7-6) is 0-6 in postseason play since winning the 1967 Sun Bowl.
The Aggies have one of the top-ranked defenses in the nation. Linebackers Nick and Zach Vigil helped prevent the Miners from putting together consistent drives, with senior Zach making nine stops.
Sophomore Nick Vigil scored on a 3-yard run for a 14-3 lead early in the third quarter.
Kent Myers threw for 68 yards and rushed for 70 and a touchdown for Utah State. The freshman was the fourth quarterback used this season by the resilient Aggies, who had been hampered by injuries.
UTEP’s Aaron Jones ran for 88 yards, but was held to only 3.5 yards per carry because of the strong Aggies line. He came into the game ranked 23rd nationally, rushing for an average of 112 yards.
The Miners stayed close with a stingy defense, making an interception and forcing two fumbles.
Jameill Showers threw for 126 yards for UTEP.
Utah State is now 4-5 in bowl games. UTEP, coming off its first winning season since 2005, is 5-9 in bowl play.
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