UTSA has played its share of close games in recent weeks, with five of its first nine games this season being decided by one score.
On Saturday in the Alamodome, the Roadrunners got to experience something else, leading wire-to-wire in a 51-7 win over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve done that,” UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor said. “It was nice. I’m really proud and happy for my guys to get to experience that feeling.”
The Roadrunners scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and got points on nine of 10 possessions, including on their final drive, which went 80 yards in 19 plays and took 11 minutes and 27 seconds off the clock in the fourth quarter.
The 34 points scored in the first half were the most first-half points for UTSA in a game this season, surpassing the 31 scored in the first half at Middle Tennessee in September.
UTSA also set a new mark for rushing yards in a game this season with 258, one more yard than they had two games ago against North Texas. The yard that put the Roadrunners over the top came on the Roadrunners’ final touchdown of the afternoon when Justin Rodriguez scored from one yard out with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
“There is no one that does more for our program than Justin Rodriguez,” Traylor said. “He’s the scout team running back every single day. He’s the guy on the punt, on the kickoff team. He’s the scout team everything. For him to go out there and have that success, you could just tell by our sideline how much it meant for those kids to get him into the end zone.”
Rodriguez was one of three Roadrunner running backs to score a touchdown Saturday. Brendan Brady scored two touchdowns and had 53 yards on eight carries. Kevorian Barnes also scored two touchdowns to go with 103 yards on 11 carries. Barnes’ touchdowns came on runs of 46 yards and 27 yards.
“It was exciting to see those holes in the o-line,” Barnes said. “We work hard every day and for it to pay off in the game is amazing.”
UTSA had 226 passing yards against Louisiana Tech. Quarterback Frank Harris accounted for 216 of those yards on 18 completions out of 26 attempts. His top target was Joshua Cephus. Cephus had seven catches for 81 yards. Harris and Cephus also connected for the Roadrunners’ only aerial touchdown on the Roadrunners’ first drive of the game.
The Roadrunner defense limited Louisiana Tech to 259 yards. Through the first nine games of the season, UTSA had eight takeaways. On Saturday they came close to doubling that total as they forced Louisiana Tech to make five turnovers.
Those five takeaways by UTSA’s defense led to 20 points for the Roadrunners’ offense.
“You got to love it,” UTSA linebacker Trey Moore said. “Offense, defense and special teams, everybody executed what they needed to do. Games like this happen when you do that.”
The win over Louisiana Tech moved UTSA closer to a conference championship berth. The Roadrunners can wrap up hosting duties with a win next week.
UTSA will be on the road next Saturday, when they travel to Houston to face the Rice Owls. The Roadrunners close out the regular season in two weeks at home against the University of Texas at El Paso.