UTSA drops their second game of the season at BYU


Julia Maenius

Lowell Narcisse scrambles out of the pocket and looks to pick up yardage during a 2019 regular season game. Narcisse played admirably against BYU, completing 85% of his passes and throwing for 229 yards and 2 TDs.

Julia Maenius, Assistant Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (3-2) traveled to Provo, Utah, to face the number 15 ranked Brigham Young University Cougars (4-0) in an attempt to continue their record-positive start to the season. The ‘Runners’ defense held the Cougars to zero points in the first quarter, the first time this season the Cougars have not scored in the opening 15 minutes. 

The Cougars started the first quarter with a series indicative of their offensive talent. Junior quarterback Zach Wilson threw for significant yardage, allowing the ‘Runners’ defense to get acclimated to the Cougars’ pass-dominant offense. Redshirt junior quarterback Frank Harris returned to play after missing the game at the University of Alabama at Birmingham due to a knee sprain from the matchup against the University of Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. After a fumble from the Cougars in the red zone, Harris navigated the offense through the number one defense in the nation, utilizing sophomore running back Sincere McCormick, the nation’s leading rusher, before being forced to rely on his arm. Redshirt senior place kicker Hunter Duplessis clenched his 19th consecutive field goal to put the first points of the game on the board, continuing the longest made field goal streak in the nation. The Cougars, averaging 11 yards per play, were unable to answer the ‘Runners as Wilson was consistently forced out of the pocket and into throws under pressure in the first quarter.

Wilson opened the second quarter with a completion to Neil Pau’u to secure the first touchdown of the game, putting the Cougars up 7-3 over the ‘Runners. The Cougars’ defense continued halting the ‘Runners’ offense, forcing Harris to make improvised rushing attempts. The ‘Runners’ defense continued to play hard in the second quarter; they forced five incomplete passes from Wilson, who had only recorded 11 in the three previous games played for the season.

The Cougars tallied the second touchdown of the game late in the second quarter as Wilson popped the ball over the line to junior running back Lopini Katoa, giving the Cougars a 14-3 advantage at the half. Following a replacement of Harris due to a reaggravation of his knee injury, redshirt junior quarterback Lowell Narcisse concluded the first half of play offensively for the ‘Runners.

Coming out of halftime, Narcisse pushed the ‘Runners into scoring position after three major completions, allowing Duplessis to complete his second field goal of the game, making the score 6-14. Wilson and the Cougars answered with a pass to junior wide receiver Gunner Romney for a touchdown with 1:04 left in the third quarter to increase the Cougar lead by two touchdowns, 21-6. The ‘Runners’ defense kept the Cougars at bay as they moved into the final quarter. Narcisse was forced to convert the offense to a pass-dominant approach, something the ‘Runners have not done too often this season.

Narcisse opened the fourth quarter with the ‘Runners’ first touchdown of the game: a completion to sophomore wide receiver Zakhari Franklin. The touchdown made the score 13-21, effectively putting the ‘Runners back in the game. The ‘Runners’ defense forced Wilson out of the pocket for a majority of the second half, not allowing the Cougars to secure another touchdown. 

The Cougars held a one-score lead before sophomore safety Rashad Wisdom left the game for a second consecutive targeting penalty, deflating the defense. The Cougars responded to the ejection of Wisdom in the form of a touchdown from sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier with 2:18 left in the game. This increased the Cougars’ lead to 14 points. 

Scrambling to catch up, Narcisse led the ‘Runners down the field with several big throws to his receivers. He found wide receiver Brennon Dingle wide open in the end zone to make the score 27-20. After an onside kick by the ‘Runners in an attempt to make a recovery, the Cougars secured the ball. The ‘Runners gave themselves a chance to have one more possession with less than 30 seconds left after preventing the Cougars from picking up a first down but committed a roughing-the-kicker penalty, a game-ending call for the second consecutive game. The final score stayed at 27-20. 

The ‘Runners will return to the Alamodome this Saturday to face the Army Black Knights (4-1) at 12:30 p.m. for the second time in program history.