ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — UTSA used a balanced offensive attack and sound defense to rally from a 13-0 first-half deficit for a 21-13 victory at New Mexico on Saturday night at University Stadium.
The Roadrunners compiled 237 yards through the air, all on the arm of senior quarterback Eric Soza, who was 21-for-34 and two touchdowns, and 157 on the ground in improving to 3-0 all-time in season openers. UTSA’s defense held the Lobos (0-1) to just 2-of-13 on third downs and 277 yards of total offense in its second victory in the state in as many years.
The home team took advantage of an early UTSA turnover and used a strong ground attack in running out to a 13-0 lead through the first 18 minutes.
The Roadrunners responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that took 4:44 off the clock to create its first score of the contest. Soza found Kenny Bias for 15 yards down to the New Mexico 13-yard line and 5- and 7-yard rushes by David Glasco II and Evans Okotcha brought the ball to the one. Glasco II punched it in on the next play, as UTSA pulled to within 13-7 just before halftime.
UTSA took its first lead of the evening on the first possession of the second half. Facing a third down and 13 at its own 32, Soza scrambled 24 yards for a first down. Two plays later, the Beeville native found Brandon Armstrong all alone on a wheel route down the left sideline for a 38-yard scoring pass and Sean Ianno’s extra point made it 14-13.
The Roadrunners padded their lead with an eight-play, 99-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. Pinned on its own one for the second time, Soza got UTSA out of the hole with a 15-yard pass to Marcellus Mack and a 17-yard run. Three players later, Soza found Jones over the middle for 35 yards all the way down to the New Mexico 10. After a short rush by Okotcha, Soza scrambled left and pitched forward into the end zone to Glasco II for an 8-yard TD pass to help give the Birds a 21-13 advantage with three minutes remaining.
The Roadrunners will host No. 13 Oklahoma State, a 21-3 winner against Mississippi State on Saturday, in the home opener next Saturday, Sept. 7. Kickoff is set for 11am at the Alamodome with the exclusive radio broadcast starting at 9am on Ticket 760.