EL PASO, Texas, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Clint Carlson led a second-half comeback as San Jose State scored 23 unanswered points in a 40-28 Western Athletic Conference victory over Texas-El Paso, its first win of the season.
The Spartans (1-5, 1-3 WAC) erased a 28-17 deficit early in the third quarter and spoiled homecoming for the Miners (2-5, 1-3), who have lost three in a row, allowing 162 points in that span.
Carlson, a senior, completed 20-of-37 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns, overcoming three interceptions. He began the second half with a 20-yard TD pass to Edell Shepherd, who had eight catches for 170 yards and two scores.
However, Jahmal Fenner brought back the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a score, giving UTEP a 28-17 lead.
Then Carlson went to work. His 18-yard scamper cut the deficit to four points and he engineered an 80-yard drive in just six plays and 1:41, capping the march with a 32-yard scoring toss to Shepherd for a 31-28 lead with 4:05 left in the third quarter.
Nick Gilliam's 30-yard field goal with nine minutes left pushed the lead to 34-28 and, after a fumble by the Miners, Carlson threw a 35-yard TD pass to George Campos with 1:52 to play.
The wild game featured 695 total yards, 47 first downs and 20 penalties.
San Jose State coach Fitz Hill, one of five black Division I-A coaches, recorded his first win as a major college coach.
Wesley Phillips was 21-of-35 for 358 yards and three touchdowns and Lee Mays caught seven passes for 184 yards for the Miners.
Phillips threw TD passes of five yards to Rovann Cleveland, 66 yards to Terrance Minor and six yards to Justin Hunt, giving UTEP a 21-10 halftime lead. Minor had three catches for 91 yards.
Jarmar Julien had 17 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans, who had 514 total yards and improved to 3-4 in the all-time series.