The final victory

Football 12:1

On an emotional senior day at the Alamodome, the UTSA Roadrunners defeated the University of North Texas Mean Green, 34-27, Saturday, Nov. 28 to close out the 2014 season. Not only was it senior day for the Runners, but it was also the final game for 18 of the original players from the inaugural season in 2011.

The Roadrunners ended their season with a bang, earning a season-high 452 offensive yards – 175 of those on the ground. Senior running backs David Glasco II and Brandon Armstrong both had great days carrying the football, while senior quarterback Tucker Carter played his best game of the season.

UTSA’s game-winning drive only lasted three plays. The offense marched 54 yards down the field with a 3-yard run by Glasco II, a 30-yard pass from Carter to senior tight end Cole Hubble and a 21-yard run by Armstrong. The drive, which only lasted a minute and 13 seconds, gave the Roadrunners a 34-27 lead they would not relinquish.

“The seniors were going to come out with some fire, no doubt. We wanted to make sure to do everything possible to get this win,” said Glasco II following his final game. “It’s been an up and down season, but we just wanted to make sure we gave 110 percent because we know we aren’t getting to lace it up again or coming back in the spring.”

The Roadrunners’ offense moved the ball efficiently under senior quarterback Tucker Carter, as Carter completed 18 of 29 passes for a career-high 277 yards and two touchdowns in his final outing. By halftime, the Roadrunners already had 232 total yards and 20 points, but fumbles on special teams kept the Mean Green in the ball game.

“This week was a very emotional week for all of us. We emphasized having fun all week because we knew it’d be the last time we laced it up for practice or for a game,” explained Carter. “After being an emotional wreck all week, it was great to just get out here and play the ball game and enjoy playing with my teammates.”

Despite letting 27 points slip by, the Roadrunners defense stood strong throughout the game, holding the Mean Green to four field goals in the first half. North Texas didn’t find the end zone until the third quarter when quarterback Andrew McNulty completed a 31-yard pass to tight end Marcus Smith, bringing UNT within 12 at the end of the third.

The Mean Green would find the end zone again with 5:14 remaining in the fourth to tie the score at 27, but UNT never led in the game. The Roadrunners only allowed the Mean Green to convert on nine of their 20 third down conversion attempts and recovered a fumble with less than two minutes remaining in the game to close out the victory.

“I’m really proud of these guys. These guys have meant so much to this program,” said UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker as he held back tears following the season finale. “After all we’ve been through — including the tough losses — we stayed together as a team, and it meant a lot to us to come away with the win. We appreciate San Antonio so much and the support from our administration and our fans. It just feels great to go out with a win.”

UTSA ended their 2014 season with a 4-8 record and a 3-5 record in Conference USA play. Notable match-ups next year include a rematch against Pac-12 heavyweight Arizona and match-ups against Big 12 powers Oklahoma State and Kansas State.