SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA Roadrunners opened Conference USA play with a 31-20 victory over the UTEP Miners (0-5, 0-1) in front of 20,176 fans at the Alamodome on Saturday night.
The win was the second straight for the Roadrunners after starting the season 0-3 and their first win to open Conference USA play.
“I think it was big for us at home for the second week in a row to find a way to muster a win, and we did enough,” UTSA Head Coach Frank Wilson said. “We did enough to earn a victory today.”
The Miners opened the scoring in the first quarter with a three-yard run from Kai Locksley to go up 7-0. From there it was all UTSA as the Roadrunners racked off 24 consecutive points.
Quarterback Cordale Grundy ran for a touchdown to knot the score up at 7-7. Grundy then found Carter McCarthy for a nine-yard touchdown reception to cap off a 7-play, 48-yard drive to take their first lead of the night.
Grundy threw another touchdown pass, this time to Tykee Ogle-Kellogg for a 15-yard touchdown reception to go up 21-7. The Roadrunners would add a field goal and go into the locker room with a 24-7 lead at halftime.
Overall, Grundy completed 20-of-35 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 44 yards and a score.
“We went into this game trying to open it up, open up our offense and execute and start fast,” Grundy said.
UTEP came roaring back in the second half as they outscored UTSA 13-6 overall as they made their rally. The Miners cut the Roadrunners’ lead to ten when David Lucero caught a touchdown pass from Locksley for the only score of the third quarter.
The Miners weren’t done yet as Quardraiz Wadley scrambled for a score and cut the UTSA lead to just three. UTSA added two field goals and used suffocating defense to hold off UTEP and get the 30-21 win.
UTSA finished with 278 yards of total offense compared to 297 for UTEP. The Roadrunners struggled to run the ball as they finished with 91 rushing yards.
“We didn’t run the ball as effectively as I wanted to, but I definitely know our guys will bounce back, so I’m not too concerned about it, but I know we’ll get better,” Grundy said.
The UTSA Roadrunners are now 2-3 (1-0, C-USA) on the season and will return to the field next Saturday when they travel to Houston to face the Rice Owls (1-4, 0-1) at 6 p.m. CT.