UTEP opened its 101st football season under new coach Dana Dimel. The Miners last won a game when they rolled over North Texas 52-24 in the 2016 season finale.
Cookus was 19-of-26 passing for 211 yards with Butler hauling in six passes for 138 yards. One was an 84-yard touchdown sprint early in the second quarter to give the Lumberjacks a 17-0 lead. UTEP closed to 17-10 after Quardraiz Wadley broke for a 32-yard scoring run and Jason Filley booted a 24-yard field goal.
Northern Arizona quickly tacked on 13 more points in the third and coasted to the win. Joe Logan added 74 yards rushing with one touchdown for the Lumberjacks.