Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA rolls past Southern in home opener

Dalton Sturm takes the ball up the middle for eight yards on a quarterback draw to get the touchdown.

UTSA started their 2017 season with a bang by defeating the Baylor Bears in Waco 17-10, delivering the young program its first victory over a power five school. UTSA looked to keep the momentum going as they took on Southern University (1-1) here in the Alamodome for the first home game of the 2017 campaign.

The offense executed a potent rushing attack last week led by Jalen Rhodes and Dalton Sturm who combined for a total of 201 yards. While on the defensive side of the ball, UTSA has held their last three opponents to less than 300 yards of offense and looked to continue that trend against the Jaguars.

The Roadrunners defense came out first and forced the Jaguars offense to go three and out on their opening drive. The offense looked sharp on their first drive of the game, scoring a touchdown on Sturm’s pass to Kerry Williams Jr. in the first three minutes of the game. Rhodes would later score on an eight-yard rush to give UTSA a 14-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.

The Jaguars looked to get their offense rolling by picking up a quick first down midway through the first. But the Jaguars offense was quickly halted by a C.J. Levine interception on a hurried throw by Southern quarterback Darqez Lee. The UTSA offense would then drive 27 yards and score on a two yard rushing play led by Tyrell Clay to increase the Roadrunner lead to 21.

UTSA linebacker Marcus Curry sacked Lee to set up a third and long for the Jaguar offense which led them to punt after they failed to convert for the first. Sturm would then end the first quarter on a 20-yard rush with the Roadrunners leading 21-0. The UTSA defense held Southern offense to only 18 total yards at the end of the first quarter.

The UTSA offense started off the second quarter with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sturm to Shaq Williams to increase their lead to 28. The Roadrunners would again find themselves on offense and look for more points. The drive was slow and methodical, but the Roadrunners capped off the nine play 68-yard drive with an eight yard Sturm rushing touchdown.

The UTSA defense forced the Southern offense to go three and out midway through the second quarter. After the three and out, Rhodes had a shifty run for a gain of 19 and pushed into Southern territory. Sturm and Williams would then connect again later in the quarter on a 14-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 42-0. As the second quarter winded down, the UTSA offense found themselves looking to score and to do so quickly. The Roadrunners did so on a Josh Stewart 11-yard pass from Sturm to give the Roadrunners a 48-0 lead over the Jaguars to end the first half of play.

The Roadrunner defense was dominant in the first half, holding the Jaguars to only 40 yards of total offense and 27 total plays. UTSA was just as good on offense with Sturm racking up 292 yards and four scores through the air and another 40 yards on the ground along with one score. Overall, the UTSA offense put up 399 yards total by the end of the first half and looked to be completely in control of the game.

UTSA received the opening kickoff and opted to start true freshman quarterback Bryce Rivers in place of Sturm. On the first drive of the second half for the Jaguars, UTSA safety Andrew Martel picked off Southern quarterback Glendon McDaniel to give the Roadrunners the ball back.

The UTSA offense went three and out, but punter Yannis Routsas was able to make the most of it and was able to pin the Southern offense inside of their own ten-yard line. Linebacker Les Maruo nearly had a safety but still was able to deliver a crucial sack on third down. Jared Sackett hit a 28-yard field goal to push the Roadrunners score to 51 late in the third quarter.

The Roadrunners then cruised to an easy 51-17 victory over the Jaguars. The Roadrunner offense racked up over 500 yards of total offense with 335 of those yards being through the air. The defense held Southern to only 149 yards of total offense and were able to force three turnovers and five sacks.

Everything seemed to be clicking for the ‘Runners, but despite the huge margin of victory, they weren’t perfect.

“It’s not acceptable to turn the ball over four times, it is not acceptable to jump offsides and do those miscues. We’ll fix them and we’ll get better, we’ll learn from it,” said Head Coach Frank Wilson on what could be improved.

UTSA football fans have been beyond pleased with quarterback Dalton Sturm’s performance on the season, and he looks to keep things going.

“Preparation,” said Sturm. “We spend a lot of time in the film room. I’m going over certain coverages and certain things with the receiver’s, stuff like that. The offensive line also does a great job of making me feel comfortable in the pocket.”

The Roadrunners will look to keep things rolling this Saturday as they take on rival Texas State in San Marcos. The last time the Roadrunners took on the Bobcats was in 2012, in which UTSA won by a tight score of 38-31. After six years, the I-35 showdown will finally return to the gridiron.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Garza
Ryan Garza, Editor-in-Chief
Ryan is a third-year geography major. He loves all sports and participated in various sports during his life. Since joining The Paisano in the fall of 2017, Ryan worked his way up from being a staff writer to taking over the Sports section as editor in May of 2018. He has also attended one UTSA football game every year since the team began playing. Growing up in little Agua Dulce, Texas, he enjoys watching and playing various sports with his friends and traveling across the country. When he is not working, you can catch him rooting for the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Rockets, Houston Astros and UTSA Roadrunners.