UTSA beat the UTEP Miners in dominant fashion to the tune of 52-21 Saturday. This was UTSA’s first game back after last week’s Rice game was canceled due to COVID-19 related issues within the program. The Roadrunners were able to successfully and safely field a team on Saturday, which resulted in their fifth victory of the season. Read UTSA Routes UTEP Miners for more.
UTSA Routes UTEP Miners
UTSA played in their homecoming game at the Alamodome and everything went exactly according to plan. The offense and the defense both looked stellar and locked in. The team did not suffer any major injuries and quarterback Frank Harris was able to have a bounce-back performance. He was playing just as he did in that tight victory against Texas State. However, one thing to note was the absence of star running back Sincere McCormick. He was completely out of Saturday’s game for an undisclosed reason. This will be something to monitor as UTSA works its way into the next week.
The first quarter was underwhelming for both sides. UTEP had a four-point lead heading into the second quarter. UTSA would score a field goal on their first drive. UTEP would later score a touchdown after a 52-yard pass from Gavin Hardison to Jacob Cowing. Both teams would turn on the offensive firepower in the second quarter. UTSA would take a three-point lead with 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter after a Harris touchdown pass. UTSA and UTEP would then go on to exchange two touchdowns each with just over three minutes remaining. Heading into the locker room UTSA would hold a 24-21 lead.
The second half was a different story for the Roadrunners. Their offense stayed explosive and potent, however, their defense really turned it up and shut out the Miners in the second half. UTSA recovered two UTEP fumbles and forced them to punt three times in the second half. Harris would be a part of two of the four touchdowns that the Roadrunners scored in the second half. UTSA would eventually close the game out with a 31-point victory and now sit at 3-2 in conference play.
A Starless Roadrunner Team
UTSA was without McCormick for the entire game on Saturday. It was expected that if the Roadrunners played without him, their offense would be stagnant. However, it was completely the opposite. This was the most points that the Roadrunners have scored all season. Even without one of the nations leading rushers in their backfield, they were still dominant. Brenden Brady was able to fill the hole that McCormick left. The junior running back made use of all of his touches as he willed his way to 124 rushing yards on 26 carries. Brady has been the obvious backup to McCormick all season. However, he showed that he was still capable of making an impact for the Roadrunners. B.J. Daniels also stepped up in a big way. Daniels carries the ball eight times for 81 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the ‘Runners had 288 total rushing yards for the day.
UTSA has often struggled to pass the ball and convert through the air. However, Harris was able to seamlessly dice up the Miners secondary on Saturday. Harris completed 22 of his 26 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. He also carries the ball five times for 43 yards. His total QBR was 96.4. This was easily one of his best outings all season and was a much-needed redemption game for him. Harris had been a shell of himself since his week one victory against Texas State. This game brought back flashes of his explosiveness and his playmaking ability.
UTSA defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix has been put on administrative leave amid an internal investigation. Nix did not coach in the game Saturday. There is no information as to what the ongoing investigation is about.
A Look Ahead
UTSA will be playing Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg next week. Southern Miss is currently 2-6 and struggling to put wins together. UTSA is currently being given a 60 percent chance to win the game. This will be a much-needed win if UTSA wants to contend for a Conference USA championship.