The University of Texas at San Antonio secured a crucial 44-23 win on the road against the University of Texas-El Paso on Saturday — leaving the Roadrunners as one of the only four remaining undefeated teams in the nation.
Quarterback Frank Harris threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, and running back Sincere McCormick ran for 169 yards and a touchdown, leading UTSA to a leave-no-doubt victory at Sun Bowl Stadium in its biggest test yet this season.
The Roadrunners (9-0 overall, 5-0 in Conference USA) are the only unbeaten team in Conference USA, where they rank first in the West division and hope to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff rankings.
UTSA has one of the nation’s most dynamic offenses, scoring more than 30 points on seven occasions and winning by at least 20 points in four games so far this season. UTSA’s 9-0 start is its best in the 11-year history of the program.
The game was the Roadrunners’ first since head coach Jeff Traylor signed a 10-year, $28 million contract extension, ending speculation linking his name with job openings at Texas Tech University and Texas Christian University.
Harris completed 22 of 34 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns — and rushed for 76 yards and two more scores.
Traylor said the Roadrunners’ performance was “as good as we’ve ever been offensively, I thought. I mean, Frank [Harris] was unbelievable, our line, our running back, our receivers, our tight ends.”
In El Paso on Saturday, McCormick got off to a strong start by opening the game with a 75-yard touchdown run within the first 17 seconds. He had racked up more than 100 rushing yards before passing the 10-minute mark of the first quarter.
UTEP (6-3, 3-2) held the Roadrunners to three field goals by Hunter Duplessis after the quick start from McCormick, but then Harris ran in for a 1-yard touchdown to make the score 23-6 with 5:03 remaining in the first half. Another touchdown on a pass from Harris to receiver Zakhari Franklin helped the Roadrunners take a convincing 30-9 halftime lead. Franklin ended the game with 10 catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
The teams traded scores in the second half, but by the end of the third quarter with a score of 37-16, it was clear the Roadrunners were going to improve to 9-0 on the season.
“It’s just stacking one great day on top of another,” Traylor said after the game. “They just get a little bit better all the time. That’s all it is. … They’re a blast to coach.”
UTSA maintained control for the remainder of the game, holding UTEP to 376 yards. UTEP sophomore quarterback Gavin Hardison ended the game completed 13 of 30 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns.
The Roadrunners return home to the Alamodome on Saturday as they host Southern Mississippi, with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m.