Home 1st and 210 UTSA Playing Strong On Homecoming Return Against UTEP

UTSA Playing Strong On Homecoming Return Against UTEP


Yesterday was Friday the 13th, but someone must’ve stepped under a ladder or spilled the salt just before midnight, because it’s been a bit of a weird first half of football today in the Alamodome.

It’s Homecoming Saturday with the UTSA Roadrunners (4-4, 2-2) hosting the UTEP Miners (3-3, 0-2) in Conference-USA action. For the Miners, it’s their first game since October 24th, and the team is seeking their first victory in over a month, the last one coming on September 19th against Abilene Christian University. The Roadrunners return to the field after having last weekend off when the game against Rice was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns with UTSA.

UTSA received the opening kick-off and when the offense took the field, everyone was quick to note the absence of #3 on the field or on the sidelines for the Roadrunners, meaning the team would be without the services of Sincere McCormick, the second leading rusher in the nation. Junior running back Brendan Brady would be the lead back.

The Roadrunners jumped out to a 3-point off the leg of the ever-consistent Hunter Duplessis, who hit from 49 yards out. From there it would be big play after big play from both teams, with a little of drama mixed in.

After forcing the Miners to punt on their first drive, the Roadrunners took 9 plays to march 90 yards down the field and looked to have a big time score when Frank Harris found Zakhari Franklin wide-open on the left sideline. Before Franklin could cross the goalline, however, UTEP cornerback Duron Lowe stuck with the play and knocked it from Zakhari’s possession, and the Miners recovered the fumble in the endzone for a touchback.

On the ensuing drive, UTEP started at their own 20 yard line to go 80 yards in just six plays, punctuated by a Gavin Hardison 52-yard pass to Jacob Cowing for six points. The Miners would take the lead at 7-3 off the made extra point.

UTSA’s next drive would be just one play for -12 yards and register as a fumble when the ball was snapped well over Frank Harris’ head and recovered by UTEP at the Roadrunner 4 yard line. UTSA’s defense held tough, not allowing the Miner offense to advance and forcing a 25-yard field goal attempt from the Miners’ Gavin Baechel, which he would miss. A flag on UTSA’s Corey Mayfield for running into the kicker advanced the ball half the distance to the goal, equaling four yards, but still fourth down. Baechel was tapped again for the field goal attempt, now from 21 yards out, and would miss again, turning the ball over on downs and giving the ball back to UTSA. At the end of the first quarter, UTEP led 7-3 over the hosting Roadrunners.

With the momentum of the defensive stop, the UTSA would go 80 yards in two minutes to score off a Frank Harris touchdown pass to Brennon Dingle. Duplessis would convert the extra point putting UTSA on top 10-7.

After the teams exchanged punts, the next four drives would all be touchdowns, with all four scores coming in the final four minutes of the half. When the dust settled, it would be the Roadrunners taking a 24-21 lead into the locker room.

If the pace can be kept, buckle-up for a wild second half.

First Half Offensive Stats

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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