RUSTON, La., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Joe Smith rushed for 162 yards and four touchdowns Saturday to carry Louisiana Tech past Texas-El Paso, 38-24.
Smith became the first Louisiana Tech player to surpass the 1,000-yard mark since Jason Cooper in 1994. He raised his season total to 1,141 yards.
Smith gave Louisiana Tech (4-7, 3-4) a 14-7 lead with a 22-yard run with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter, then made it 21-7 with a one-yard burst with 12:20 left in the first half.
UTEP closed to within 24-17 on Sherman Austin's five-yard scamper with 7:10 remaining, but Smith tacked on scoring runs of four and 79 yards to put the contest out of reach.
Smith's big day helped offset three interceptions by quarterback Luke McCown, who completed 29 of 43 passes for 421 yards. His favorite target was D.J. Curry, who had eight catches for 180 yards.
In his last meeting with UTEP on Nov. 10, 2001, McCown threw five touchdowns in a 53-30 victory.
The Miners (2-10, 1-7), who have lost 15 straight road games, suffered their first 10-loss season since 1995 and failed to win their season finale for the 16th straight year.