TEMPE – UTSA went down early and never recovered as they suffered a 49-7 loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils in front of 50,188 fans at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
The loss was the second largest defeat in program history and saw the Roadrunners give up the most points since 2013.
“We didn’t play well enough,” UTSA Head Coach Frank Wilson said. “We are deserving of finishing second today. We looked like a team trying to find an identity both offensively and defensively.”
The Roadrunners started the game on defense but a missed tackle by safety CJ Levine led to a 58-yard touchdown by the Sun Devils. On the very next play, UTSA quarterback Cordale Grundy’s pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown and suddenly the Roadrunners were in a 14 point hole.
Arizona State would score two more touchdowns before the end of the half, giving them a very comfortable 28-0 cushion at the break.
The Sun Devils added to their lead in the third quarter as quarterback Manny Wilkins found Eno Benjamin for a seven-yard score and Benjamin rushed for a 12-yard score as he ran for 131 yards on 16 carries.
UTSA spoiled the shutout late in the game as B.J. Daniels when he ran the ball in from four years out to make it 49-7. Daniels ran for 24 yards on nine carries as he scored the lone TD and first of the season for the Roadrunners.
Wilson started Grundy, who finished 16-for-33 for 187 yards. He had a less than ideal debut as he threw an interception on his first pass and was sacked six times on the night. Backup quarterback D.J. Gillins went 3-for-10 and hit the ground three times.
A year after getting snubbed on a bowl game bid, the Roadrunners know they will need to be better on both sides of the ball. And it starts next week at home.
“You watch film and put it behind you,” Wilson said. You fix those things so that it doesn’t happen to you in week two. You put it behind you and move forward.”
UTSA is now 0-1 on the season and will return to the field next Saturday when they welcome the Baylor Bears (1-0) to the Alamodome at 6 pm. CT for the team’s home opener.