Sep 17, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Roschon Johnson (2) carries for extra yards against the UTSA Roadrunner defense during the first quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

Bijan Robinson powers Texas’ comeback vs. Texas-San Antonio

Bijan Robinson ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns and Jahdae Barron returned an interception 44 yards for another score as No. 21 Texas came from behind to beat Texas-San Antonio 41-20 on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

Robinson, the Longhorns’ preseason All-America running back, scored on runs of 3, 41 and 78 yards, the latter being the longest in his career, to help Texas (2-1) shrug off a loss to then-No. 1 Alabama on Sept. 10 and outplay the Roadrunners after halftime.

Hudson Card, drawing the start at quarterback for the injured Quinn Ewers, passed for 161 yards and a TD and ran for 35 more yards for Texas.

Frank Harris threw for 222 yards for UTSA but none of his 24 completions were for more than 13 yards. Harris was forced from the game early in the fourth quarter one series after a sack that was flagged for targeting.

The Roadrunners (1-2) got on the board first via a 24-yard field goal by Jared Sackett with 3:28 left In the first quarter. Texas answered on a Card-to-Roschon Johnson 11-yard TD pass with 14:03 to play in the second quarter.

Brenden Brady pounded into the end zone on a 2-yard scoring run with 10:07 left in the second. UTSA then stunned the Longhorns with a successful onside kick and further surprised Texas with a backward pass to Brady that he uncorked for a 35-yard TD to Zakhari Franklin and a 17-7 lead.

Robinson pulled Texas to within 17-14 with his 3-yard TD run at the 5:20 mark of the second quarter. The Longhorns’ Bert Auburn tied the game with a 44-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining in the half.

It was the first time in 15 seasons the Longhorns were tied or trailed a Group of Five opponent at halftime.

Robinson ripped off his 78-yard TD run on Texas’ second offensive snap of the third quarter to push Texas to the lead at 24-17. UTSA cut into its deficit with a 30-yard field goal by Sackett with 3:21 to play in the third.

But the Longhorns responded with a big defensive play when Barron intercepted an overthrown pass by Harris in the right flat and returned it for a score to give Texas a 31-20 advantage heading into the final 15 minutes of play.

Robinson capped his game with a 41-yard scoring run with 9:36 to play. Auburn’s 26-yard field goal finished the scoring for Texas.

— Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Houston Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune (3) passes against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of the 2021 Birmingham Bowl at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

No. 24 Houston prevails in 3 OT thriller with UTSA

Clayton Tune’s two-point conversion was successful thanks to an 8-yard run in the third overtime as visiting No. 24 Houston outlasted Texas-San Antonio 37-35 on Saturday afternoon in a wild season-opening game for both teams in San Antonio.

Both teams were forced to settle for field goals in the first overtime, with Houston’s Bubba Baxa hitting from 35 yards and the Roadrunners’ Jared Sackett answering with a 39-yarder.

The Cougars then scored on a 1-yard run by quarterback Tune and a pass to Nathan Dell on the mandatory two-point conversion. UTSA countered with 13-yard TD pass from Frank Harris to De’Corian Clark, Harris rushed for the two-point conversion on its possession in the second OT.

Tune then scored the game-winner from added distance because of a false start, after which Harris’ pass was incomplete on the Roadrunners’ attempt in the third overtime.

Tune finished with three passing touchdowns and one score on the ground for Houston while amassing 257 total yards (206 passing, 51 rushing).

Harris passed for 337 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a game-high 63 yards for UTSA.

The Cougars struck first when Tune and Dell hooked up for an 11-yard TD pass on the third snap of the second quarter.

UTSA answered on its ensuing possession, with Harris hitting Joshua Cephus on a 51-yard touchdown. Harris then scrambled for a 38-yard score to give UTSA its first lead at the 6:30 mark of the second quarter.

Harris then found Clark for a 15-yard touchdown with 4:12 to play in the third quarter to produce a 21-7 lead for the Roadrunners.

Houston responded with a nine-play, 75-yard march that culminated with the second TD pass from Tune to Dell, this one covering 10 yards and bringing the Cougars back to within seven points after Baxa’s extra point.

Houston took advantage of an interception and return of 32 yards by Nelson Ceaser when Tune passed 20 yards to Joseph Manjack IV on the following snap for the game-tying touchdown with 12:19 to play in regulation.

The Cougars took the lead on Baxa’s 35-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining after an 18-play drive. But UTSA, with no timeouts, moved into field goal range with two completions to set the table for Sackett’s 37-yard field goal on the final snap of regulation.

–Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Houston Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune (3) passes against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of the 2021 Birmingham Bowl at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

No. 24 Houston faces opening-game test at rising UTSA

No. 24 Houston seeks a dynamic, and winning, start to its most anticipated season in years when it squares off against UTSA, another rising program, on Saturday in San Antonio.

The lone FBS contest on opening weekend featuring two 12-plus-win teams from last season has massive stakes for an September date.

The Cougars begin the season in the Associated Press’ Top 25 rankings for the 12th time in program history and first since 2016. Houston went 12-2 in 2021, played for the American Athletic Conference championship and beat blueblood Auburn 17-13 in the Birmingham Bowl.

The Cougars were tabbed the AAC’s top team in the conference preseason media poll, narrowly ahead of defending champion Cincinnati for that honor.

Houston senior quarterback Clayton Tune and junior wide receiver Nathaniel Dell are among two returning quarterback-wide receiver duos nationally after posting 3,546 passing yards and 1,329 receiving yards, respectively, in 2021.

“Last year gave us a lot of confidence in what we can do and how we can play and win as a team, and I think that energy’s even higher this year,” Tune said. “We’re just scratching the surface. The one goal me and everybody on this team should have is to win a conference championship — get back there and win.”

UTSA also went 12-2 last season and climbed to No. 22 in the polls while going undefeated over its first 11 games. The Roadrunners won the Conference USA championship game and then lost to No. 24 San Diego State in the Frisco Bowl.

The Roadrunners were picked first to finish first in the C-USA preseason poll, ahead of UAB and last season’s runner-up, Western Kentucky. UTSA went 7-0 at the Alamodome last year to extend its school-record home winning streak to 10 and is determined to take another step forward in 2022.

UTSA returns record-setting quarterback Frank Harris (3,743 total yards, 27 touchdown passes, six TD runs) and safety Rashad Wisdom, the team’s leading tackler the past two seasons. The two were named conference preseason offensive and defensive player of the year, respectively.

Harris is hoping for an even better season after undergoing LASIK eye surgery.

“I can finally see,” Harris said, according to the San Antonio Express-News. “It was a no-brainer for me. A life-changing experience. Now, I don’t wear contacts or glasses. It was a great decision. …

“I can see further and I can see clearer. I never have to worry about wiping my eyes if sweat comes or my contacts getting blurry. It’s something that was pretty good that I think is going to benefit me.”

UTSA has stepped up its schedule this season, which will be its last in C-USA before moving to the AAC. After playing Houston at home, the Roadrunners travel to Army and to Texas.

“We have a good team, but this is undoubtedly our toughest schedule since I’ve gotten here,” UTSA coach Jeff Traylor said. “It’s an exciting schedule if you’re a fan. You got to look at it as a great opportunity.”

Houston and UTSA have split their two-game, all-time series, with the Roadrunners winning on the road in the most recent matchup in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Dec 21, 2021; Frisco, TX, USA; San Diego State Aztecs quarterback Lucas Johnson (7) looks to pass in the first quarter against the UTSA Roadrunners during the 2021 Frisco Bowl at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Lucas Johnson guides No. 24 SDSU past UTSA in Frisco Bowl

Senior Lucas Johnson passed for a career-high 333 yards and accounted for four touchdowns to lead No. 24 San Diego State to a 38-24 victory over UTSA on Tuesday night in the Frisco Bowl at Frisco, Texas.

Johnson matched his career best of three touchdown passes and also ran for a score as the Aztecs (12-2) set a program record for wins in a season. Junior receiver Jesse Matthews caught two touchdown passes while recording career highs of 11 catches for 175 yards.

Greg Bell rushed for 101 yards and a score on 26 carries and Tyrell Shavers had a touchdown reception for San Diego State. Johnson completed 24 of 36 passes as the Aztecs outgained UTSA 489 yards to 388.

Frank Harris completed 22 of 36 passes for 271 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Roadrunners (12-2). Zakhari Franklin and De’Corian Clark had scoring receptions, and Brenden Brady rushed for a touchdown.

UTSA played without star runner Sincere McCormick, who opted out of the bowl game and declared for the NFL draft last week.

Ray Guy Award winner Matt Araiza of San Diego State averaged 46.7 yards on three punts and finished the season with an FBS-record 51.28-yard average. He broke the mark of 50.98 set by Texas A&M’s Braden Mann in 2018.

San Diego State moved ahead 24-14 on Bell’s 1-yard run with 11:59 left in the third quarter.

Hunter Duplessis booted a 41-yard field goal to get UTSA within seven, but Johnson connected on a 24-yard scoring pass to Shavers to make it 31-17 with 2:39 left in the quarter.

The Roadrunners moved back within seven on Harris’ 3-yard scoring pass to Franklin on the final play of the quarter. Johnson scored on a 2-yard run with 9:51 left in the game to restore the 14-point advantage, and San Diego State closed it out.

Johnson passed for 222 yards in the first half as the Aztecs built a 17-14 lead.

The Roadrunners struck first when Harris tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Clark just 2:24 into the game. San Diego State tied the score nearly 7 1/2 minutes later when Johnson threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Matthews.

UTSA took a 14-7 lead when Brady scored from the 2 with 2:02 left in the opening quarter. The Aztecs knotted it up on Johnson’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Matthews with 9:14 left in the second quarter and took a 17-14 lead on Araiza’s 33-yard field goal as time expired in the half.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; San Diego State Aztecs kicker Matt Araiza (2) gestures before the game against the San Jose State Spartans at CEFCU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

UTSA seeks first bowl win, faces No. 24 San Diego State

Two of the top non-power conference teams in the nation square off Tuesday night when No. 24 San Diego State opposes UTSA in the Frisco Bowl at Frisco, Texas.

Both programs are enjoying big campaigns even though they operate outside the national spotlight.

UTSA (12-1) of Conference USA is in just its 10th season as an FBS program and is looking for its initial bowl victory. The San Antonio-based school could also notch a rare 13th victory.

San Diego State (11-2) of the Mountain West is looking to win 12 games for the first time in the school’s Division I history. The school also won 11 games in 1969, 2015 and 2016.

The Aztecs, though, are limping their way to Texas after being clobbered 46-13 by Utah State in the Mountain West title game on Dec. 4.

That type of beating was a stunner as San Diego State allowed 16 or fewer points on seven occasions this season.

“We are 11-2, and many football teams would like to be 11-2, but we would rather be 12-1, but that is where we are right now,” Aztecs coach Brady Hoke said. “We can also set the school record for wins. We have an opportunity to still play for that.”

San Diego State received one break when Roadrunners star running back Sincere McCormick decided to skip Tuesday’s game as he prepares to enter the NFL draft.

McCormick received multiple All-American honors after setting school records for rushing yards (1,479) and rushing touchdowns (15) and earning Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year honors. McCormick had eight 100-yard rushing efforts this season.

“To the city of San Antonio, UTSA and Meep Meep nation, I am so grateful for the support you have shown not just me, but the entire football program over the last three years,” McCormick said in part during his announcement.

McCormick’s exit is a blow to an offense that averages 37.9 points per game and scored 44 or more points on six occasions.

But the team’s confidence is high after the stellar campaign under second-year coach Jeff Traylor. UTSA’s lone blemish was a 45-23 road loss against North Texas on Nov. 27 but now the focus is on playing well in the school’s third-ever bowl game.

“It’s always fun to win. We don’t like to talk about it very much, but we’ve experienced that other thing this year and we don’t want to do that again,” Traylor said. “That is what is most important, for our kids to leave on a good note. In the history of the program, we’ve never won a bowl game. …

“Why not us? Some team is going to be the first to win a bowl game in the history of this school. Why not us?”

San Diego State features a star linebacker in Cameron Thomas (20.5 tackles for loss) but its most intriguing player is Matt Araiza, nicknamed “Punt God.”

Araiza won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter and his current 51.4 average would surpass Texas A&M’s Braden Mann (50.98 in 2018) as the best in FBS history.

Araiza also is a unanimous first-team All-American. The only other San Diego State player to sweep the first-team honors was legendary runner Marshall Faulk, who did it in both 1992 and 1993.

Araiza placed 36 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, and has six punts of at least 70 yards — including boots of 86 and 81 yards. The 86-yarder against San Jose State came with San Diego State backed up on its own 11-yard line and Araiza standing in his own end zone to field the snap.

“I think that one rolled about 20 yards,” Araiza said. “Someone downed it at their 3.”

The Frisco Bowl is San Diego State’s 11th bowl berth since 2020. The Aztecs split the other 10.

UTSA lost 23-20 to New Mexico in the 2016 New Mexico Bowl and 31-24 to Louisiana in the 2020 First Responder Bowl in its previous two bowl opportunities.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2021; San Antonio, TX, USA; UTSA Roadrunners running back Sincere McCormick (3) runs for a touchdown in the second half of the 2021 Conference USA Championship Game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

UTSA’s Sincere McCormick to enter draft, skip Frisco Bowl

UTSA record-setting running back Sincere McCormick announced he is entering the NFL draft and will skip the Frisco Bowl against San Diego State, scheduled for Tuesday.

McCormick set a trio of school records this season, running for 1,479 yards on 298 carries and scoring 15 touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 184 yards.

He made his announcement Thursday night on Twitter, thanking his family, teammates and the coaching staff, as well as the community.

“To the city of San Antonio, UTSA and Meep Meep nation, I am so grateful for the support you have shown not just me, but the entire football program over the last three years. Winning a Conference USA Championship is something that was truly an honor and doing so in our packed home stadium was one of the happiesy times of my life.”

He said he will be with his teammates in Frisco, Texas, to cheer on the Roadrunners (12-1) in the bowl game against the No. 24 Aztecs (11-2).

“Though I will not be playing in the bowl game, I plan to enjoy the bowl festivities alongside my teammates, and help cheer them to a victory,” he wrote. “I appreciate all of your continued support and I can’t wait to make you proud at the next level.”

McCormick was voted the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year and a third-team Associated Press All-American this season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; El Paso, Texas, USA; UTSA Roadrunners quarterback Frank Harris (0) runs the ball against the UTEP Miners at Sun Bowl stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

No. 22 UTSA visits North Texas with perfect season on the line

A perfect regular season is in the offing for No. 22 Texas-San Antonio as it travels north up I-35 to battle North Texas on Saturday afternoon in the teams’ Conference USA finale in Denton, Texas.

The Roadrunners already have clinched the C-USA West Division title and a spot in the league championship game, which UTSA will host on Dec. 3. The Roadrunners will play for their first league title against either Marshall or Western Kentucky.

UTSA (11-0, 7-0 C-USA) had to go to great lengths to get this far, most recently producing a last-second 34-31 home win over Alabama-Birmingham on Nov. 20 to remain undefeated. Frank Harris hit Oscar Cardenas on a 1-yard touchdown pass on the final play after the Roadrunners drove 77 yards in the last 1:03 with no timeouts left.

Harris ended up with 323 yards and three TDs. Sincere McCormick rushed for 65 yards and a score, and Zakhari Franklin caught six passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

UTSA’s 11-game winning streak, its seven wins in seven conference games and nine straight victories at home are all new program marks. The Roadrunners remained at No. 22 in the College Football Playoff rankings for the second consecutive week.

“Let’s be honest: North Texas can ruin our season,” UTSA coach Jeff Traylor said. “They have won four games in a row. They have been beat by good teams. They are hot right now.

“Guess what: We can ruin their season too. That is going to be our mantra: ‘They are going to try to ruin ours, and we are going to try to ruin theirs.’ We are going to stay right there. We are not even discussing (the conference championship). It is 100 percent North Texas.”

The Mean Green (5-6, 4-3) have turned around their season in the past four games — the latest a dominating 49-7 road win over FIU on Nov. 20. After starting the year 1-6, North Texas is now a win away from securing bowl eligibility.

“Anyone who says this isn’t a rivalry game, they’re lying to you,” North Texas coach Seth Littrell said. “That’s why you come to play college football is for games like these, so I know both teams will be excited to go out and compete.

“We have a lot on the line because one more win gets us bowl eligible and gives us an opportunity to win a bowl game. That’ll only make it more special.”

The Mean Green defense is allowing just 306 yards and 15.5 points per game over the last four contests.

“It means a lot, and it just shows we never gave up,” North Texas linebacker KD Davis said. “We got better each week and we’re on a winning streak and this just shows our character.”

The teams have played eight times in their all-time series, with each winning four. North Texas has won three of the four games played in Denton and has captured three of the past four in the series.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA;  UTSA Roadrunners head coach Jeff Traylor looks on in the second half against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

No. 22 UTSA’s last-second TD caps wild win over UAB

Frank Harris hit Oscar Cardenas on a 1-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game as No. 22 Texas-San Antonio needed a miracle finish to defeat Alabama-Birmingham 34-31 on Saturday afternoon in a key Conference USA game in San Antonio and remain undefeated.

The Roadrunners took over at their own 23-yard line with 1:06 remaining and no time outs, trailing by four points. Harris completed passes of 28 yards to Cardenas and 6 and 33 yards to De’Corian Clark, the latter to reach the UAB 10-yard line.

After a 9-yard run by Harris and an incomplete pass, Harris connected with Cardenas for the game winner as the clock expired.

The win clinched UTSA’s first-ever C-USA West Division title and guaranteed the Roadrunners (11-0, 7-0 C-USA) a spot in the conference championship game. UTSA’s 11-game winning streak, its seven wins in seven conference games and nine straight victories at home are all new program marks.

Harris ended up with 323 yards and three TDs passing, with Sincere McCormick rushing for 65 yards and a score, and Zakhari Franklin catching six passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

Dylan Hopkins passed for 254 yards and two touchdowns for the Blazers (7-4, 5-2), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. DeWayn McBride ran for 144 yards and the go-head score with 5:16 to play, forcing UTSA into its comeback.

The Blazers wasted no time setting the table, with Hopkins hitting Tre Shropshire on a 74-yard TD bomb on the game’s second snap. Harris and McCormick responded by engineering a 12-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard one-handed touchdown catch by Franklin.

Hopkins and Shropshire connected again near the end of the first quarter, this time from 40 yards away before McCormick rambled into the end zone on an 8-yard run to retie the game with 10:24 to play in the second quarter.

Hopkins then capped a 75-yard, eight-play drive with an 8-yard scoring run.

UTSA’s Hunter Duplessis and UAB’s Matt Quinn traded field goals, from 51 and 23 yards, respectively, over the final 2:18 of the quarter as the Blazers carried a 24-17 lead into the break.

The Roadrunners went to the quick-strike big-play 51 seconds into the third quarter as Harris passed 54 yards to Franklin for the tying TD. Duplessis booted a 49-yard field goal with 1:21 to play in the third quarter to take the lead for the first time.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA;  UTSA Roadrunners running back Sincere McCormick (3) fends off Southern Miss Golden Eagles linebacker Hayes Maples (32) in the first quarter at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 UTSA escapes Southern Miss’ upset bid, remains unbeaten

Hunter Duplessis kicked a 24-yard tie-breaking field goal with 4:39 remaining and No. 23 Texas-San Antonio added a clinching touchdown three plays later Saturday to enable the undefeated Roadrunners to hold off Southern Mississippi, 27-17, in San Antonio.

UTSA (10-0, 6-0 Conference USA) is one of three remaining unbeaten teams in FBS, with only No. 1 Georgia and No. 5 Cincinnati.

UTSA, which is ranked 23rd by the College Football Playoff committee and 15th by AP, didn’t lead until Duplessis’ kick. It was set up by Jahmal Sam’s recovery of an Antavious Willis fumble at the Golden Eagles’ 35-yard-line. Willis, playing as a wildcat quarterback, was stripped of the ball by Jaylon Haynes.

First-year Southern Miss coach Will Hall surprised UTSA by utilizing Willis and running back Frank Gore Jr. as wildcat quarterbacks throughout the game.

Gore and Willis attempted only seven passes between them, completing four for Southern Miss (1-9, 0-6). Gore rushed for 123 yards on 20 carries. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Lange, who had started the previous four games, did not play.

On the Golden Eagles’ first play from scrimmage following Duplessis’ field goal, Willis was victimized by Corey Mayfield’s strip sack. Charles Wiley picked up the loose ball and returned it 8 yards to the Southern Miss 9.

Sincere McCormick ran it in on the next play to seal the outcome.

After Duplessis opened the scoring with a 43-yard field goal for the Roadrunners, Southern Miss shockingly grabbed a 7-3 lead with 10:32 left in the second quarter when Gore scored on a 9-yard run on fourth-and-1, again from a direct snap.

After Bourgeois connected from 36 yards with 2:19 remaining in the half, it took the Roadrunners only four plays to go 75 yards to tie it at 10. Harris hit Joshua Cephus with a short pass on the left sideline and Cephus cut back and weaved his way for a 40-yard catch-and-run score.

UTSA quarterback Frank Harris, who had thrown only three interceptions prior to Saturday, was picked off twice. His second interception gave Southern Miss a 17-10 lead on the second play of the third quarter. Natrone Brooks stepped in front of a Harris pass intended for Zakhari Franklin, picked it off and raced 34 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.

But Harris’ second touchdown pass of the game, a 24-yarder to Leroy Watson on the final play of the third quarter, tied the score at 17. Harris was 17-for-30 for 227 yards and two touchdowns with the two interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; El Paso, Texas, USA; The UTEP marching band and color guard are seen as fireworks burst before a game between the UTEP Miners and the UTSA Roadrunners at Sun Bowl stadium. UTSA won 44-23. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 UTSA embraces ‘surreal’ ranking, praises Southern Miss

Texas-San Antonio focused on the job at hand, not on the hype, after jumping into the Top 25 rankings last month.

That approach championed by second-year coach Jeff Traylor should again serve the Roadrunners (9-0, 5-0 Conference USA) well as they prepare to face downtrodden Southern Miss (1-8, 0-5) on Saturday in San Antonio.

“I have not yet seen us not show up,” Traylor said of his team, ranked No. 15 by AP and No. 23 in the CFP.

And Traylor already has learned how to talk up an inferior opponent. His take on Southern Miss?

“They have great tradition. I am very impressed with how hard they play,” Traylor said. “You have a new program with a new coach coming in there. There is a lot of tradition and they have a lot of athletes.”

As for his team’s run, he said, “I would be lying if I did not say this has been surreal, a dream. I appreciate how it has been mentioned to our fan base to enjoy these moments. These are special moments.”

At the other end of the spectrum is Southern Miss, under first-year coach Will Hall, which has yet to top the 20-point mark against an FBS team this year. Its 38-14 loss to visiting North Texas last week typified the Golden Eagles’ season.

Despite an uplifting goal-line stand at the end of the first half, in which Southern Miss turned back UNT at the 1-yard line to preserve a 14-7 halftime lead, USM got no momentum.

The Mean Green blitzed Southern Miss with a 31-0 second half to send the Golden Eagles to their seventh consecutive defeat.

Hall admitted that injuries have taken a toll on his team, noting that Southern Miss was down to its third-string center, Briason Mays, normally a tackle, against North Texas. Because of the attrition, Hall held a light practice Tuesday.

“We are a little bit thin with our scholarship numbers and we are a little beat up at the end of the year,” Hall said, “so we went on a lighter day with more mental work, which is typically the end of the year for a lot of teams, but especially for us and where we are with our roster numbers.”

Partly because of the offensive-line play, running back Frank Gore Jr., son of the likely future Hall of Famer, has seen his numbers fall off from his freshman campaign. The younger Gore is averaging only 4.3 yards per carry this year, as opposed to 5.9 in 2020.

UTSA has no such problems.

The Roadrunners enter this game off a 44-23 rout of host UTEP in which Frank Harris passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers and Sincere McCormick rushed for 169 yards and one TD, averaging 8.0 yards per attempt.

McCormick had a 75-yard scoring run against UTEP on the second play from scrimmage and the Roadrunners led the rest of the way. McCormick is averaging 5.0 yards a carry.

–Field Level Media