In their first meeting in program history, UTSA (1-2) traveled 90 minutes up I-35 to play the Texas Longhorns (2-1) on Saturday, Sept. 17. Though UTSA held tough, running back Bijan Robinson and the Longhorns offense were too much for the UTSA defense. UT scored 24 of their points in the second half, and the Roadrunners just could not answer. The attendance for the game was 102,520, the third largest crowd at the Darrell K. Royal Stadium and the largest crowd UTSA has played in front of.
UTSA won the coin toss and deferred. Texas went heavy on the run in their first series, even going for it on fourth down. The Roadrunner defense forced a punt four plays later, giving UTSA’s offense a chance to strike. Quarterback Frank Harris completed a first down pass to Oscar Cardenas, then later ran for another first down. Harris threw for 51 yards on the first drive, which lasted over eight minutes with six total first downs, ending in a field goal made by Jared Sackett to put UTSA up 3-0. Texas wasted no time going down the field, getting three separate first downs with help from offside penalties by the ‘Runners. At the beginning of the second quarter, Roschon Johnson had an 11-yard touchdown catch thrown by quarterback Hudson Card, putting Texas up 7-3. UTSA on their very next possession had an 11-play drive resulting in a Brendon Brady 2-yard touchdown run. The score was 10-7 UTSA, when Sackett kicked an onside kick with the Roadrunners recovering, shocking the players and the crowd. UTSA kept up the trick plays, with Harris passing the ball to Brady behind the line of scrimmage, who then threw the ball to receiver Zakhari Franklin in double coverage. Franklin caught the 35-yard pass in the endzone, extending UTSA’s lead 17-7. Texas answered with an 11-play drive of their own. The 67-yard drive concluded with a 3-yard touchdown run by Bijan Robinson. After forcing the Roadrunners to punt, Texas went down to kick a 44-yard field goal by Bert Auburn. The two teams went into halftime tied 17-17.
UTSA was forced to punt on their first possession of the half, giving Texas the ball on their 20-yard line. Two plays later, Robinson ran for a 78-yard touchdown. After each team was forced to punt, UTSA went down to kick another field goal. Sackett’s second of the evening, this one for 30-yards. On UTSA’s next drive, Harris’ pass was tipped by Franklin into the arms of a Texas defender who ran it back for a touchdown, which made the score 31-20. The ‘Runners came down the field and found themselves on a 4th & 1 play, however the pass to Franklin was incomplete and forced a turnover on downs. Texas picked up where UTSA left off and marched down the field. Robinson had another opening and had a 41-yard touchdown run. After another field goal by the Longhorns, the final score was 41-20.
Harris threw for 222 yards with a 69% completion percentage. He also contributed 38-yards rushing. Brady was the ‘Runners leading rusher with 70-yards and a touchdown. However, Texas’ Robinson was the story of the game, with 183-yards and three touchdowns. Harris completed a pass to six different receivers, Franklin having the most with 84-yards. UT’s quarterback Hudson Card had 161-yards and a touchdown.
The loss to the No. 21 team in the country is not something the ‘Runners should hold against themselves. They now have Texas Southern as their last out of conference game, and should give UTSA a good momentum boost for a conference title run.
UTSA will host Texas Southern at the Alamodome at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.