UTSA rolls to blowout 54-0 victory in home opener over Lamar


The UTSA defense celebrates after recording a tackle for loss in the second quarter. The UTSA defense held Lamar’s offense to 122 yards, securing them the first shutout in school history. Seva Hester/The Paisano

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (2-0), returned to the Alamodome for their home opener a week after pulling off the upset victory on the road over the University of Illinois (1-2), taking on the Lamar University Cardinals (1-1).  Playing in front of their fans for the first time this season, the ‘Runners did not disappoint. Holding the Cardinals offense to just 122 yards of total offense, the UTSA defense controlled the game throughout en route to the first shutout victory in school history. Offensively, the night was a boring one for punter Lucas Dean as the All-American punter was stuck on the sidelines, save for serving as the holder on field goal attempts, since the UTSA offense scored points on every offensive possession. 

Lamar got the ball to start the game and was quickly stymied by a swarming Roadrunner defense to force an early punt. Sheldon Jones was back to receive and wasted little time in giving an electric student section something to cheer about, fielding the Cardinal punt off of one hop, slipping a tackle, and weaving his way down the field for a 76-yard punt return touchdown, the second ever in school history. The UTSA defense, staked to a 7-0 lead, then embarked on a dominant run of series, forcing three and outs from the Lamar offense on three consecutive drives. Consistently gifted great field position, the ‘Runners did not let it go to waste. While their first two offensive drives stalled out for field goals to extend their lead to 13-0, their third attempt was much more successful. Facing a third and two from just inside the Lamar red zone, Sincere McCormick took a handoff up the middle, broke through the line and ran untouched into the endzone to extend the lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter. 

The Lamar offense finally got the ball moving at this point and managed to get across midfield. However, the drive came to a cataclysmic end for the Cardinals after a high snap put the ball on the ground: Charles Wiley scooped up the ball and raced into the end zone for a Roadrunners touchdown. After another Lamar punt, UTSA got the ball back and bled the clock down before McCormick punched the ball into the end zone from five yards out with less than a minute left in the half. The touchdown, McCormick’s 21st of his career, made him the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns in UTSA history. Lamar took a knee to end the half and the ‘Runners went into halftime up 34-0. 

Starting off the second half, most of the UTSA starters were given the rest of the night off, with Frank Harris and McCormick taking a seat on the bench and Josh Adkins coming in at quarterback. Adkins wasted little time in demonstrating his own prowess, driving the ‘Runners 58 yards in just four plays before capping the drive off with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Zakhari Franklin, who made a beautiful catch over a defender in the endzone to extend the lead to 41-0. After another three and out forced by the ‘Runners defense, the offense drove into the red zone, but stalled from there and settled for another Hunter Duplessis field goal, his third of the game, to take a 44-0 lead. Lamar once again managed to cross midfield but were victimized by another botched snap and UTSA recovered the fumble to take back over. On the ensuing possession, Adkins finished off a long drive for the ‘Runners by hooking up with De’Corian Clark for a 16-yard touchdown pass to push the lead over 50 at 51-0. 

Another Cardinals possession amounted to nothing and it was then time for the UTSA debut of freshman quarterback Eddie Lee Marburger. Marburger wasted no time flashing a tantalizing glimpse at the future of the quarterback position at UTSA. Facing a third and short, he rolled to his right and found redshirt junior Cade Stoever over the middle, who slipped a tackle and took it for 60-yards into the Lamar red zone. A UTSA penalty nullified a touchdown later in the drive and the ‘Runners settled for a field goal to bring the game to its final tally of 54-0. 

It was a dominant night for the ‘Runners in all three phases of the game. The three quarterbacks who saw action for the Roadrunners combined to complete 81.2% of their passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns. McCormick racked up 46 yards and two touchdowns while only seeing one half of action. Franklin enjoyed another strong performance, hauling in four passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. The UTSA defense saw contributions up and down the lineup as they delivered their first shutout in school history, holding Lamar to just 33 yards through the air and 89 yards on the ground.

UTSA will next be in action on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 5 p.m. in the Alamodome once again where they will take on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (1-1). The game will also be available on ESPN+.