UTSA shattered the school record for total offense with 600 yards and the defense held UTEP to 71 yards as part of a second-half shutout in a 52-21 victory in Conference USA action on Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome.
Frank Harris registered his first career 300-yard passing performance, throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-26 passing to help lead the Roadrunners (5-4, 3-2 C-USA) to their fifth win of the season, their most since winning six games in 2017. Brenden Brady rushed for a career-high 124 yards on 26 carries and Zakhari Franklin had six receptions for 118 yards and a score to help the offense eclipse the previous program standard of 569 yards set in the 2017 win against Texas State.
Meanwhile, the defense put the clamps on UTEP after halftime, surrendering 71 total yards, including only 14 on the ground, while holding the Miners (3-4, 0-3) off the scoreboard in the final 30 minutes. For the game, UTSA limited the visitors to 246 total yards and just 77 rushing yards, while forcing two turnovers in beating UTEP for the fourth straight time.
Rashad Wisdom led the way with nine tackles and a pair of forced fumbles, while Jamal Ligon added seven stops. Lorenzo Dantzler had 1.5 tackles for loss, including a sack, while Trumane Bell II and DeQuarius Henry also added sacks.
Holding a slim 24-21 advantage at halftime, UTSA exploded for four touchdowns over the final two quarters to run away from the Miners.
Tykee Ogle-Kellogg reached the end zone on a 15-yard pass play to help put the Roadrunners up 31-21 midway through the third quarter. That TD catch capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive that featured 26 rushing yards from Brady and a 19-yard reception by Joshua Cephus, who finished with 58 yards on five receptions.
Harris extended the lead with a 4-yard touchdown scamper late in the third, while a pair of rushing TDs in the final frame put the icing on the cake. Kaedric Cobbs reached pay dirt for the first time in his young career on a 1-yard plunge early in the fourth quarter, while B.J. Daniels used a 52-yard dash to help set up his 5-yard TD run with 3:16 left to play.
Deion Hankins led UTEP’s offense with 74 rushing yards and a score, while Gavin Hardison completed 14 of 21 passes for 159 yards and a TD. Tyrice Knight paced the defense with a game-best 14 tackles.
The first half featured seven lead changes, the final coming after Harris’ 35-yard touchdown scamper with 19 seconds left helped hand the Roadrunners a three-point advantage at the break.
UTSA struck first when Hunter Duplessis capped the game’s opening possession with a 49-yard field goal, the second-longest kick of his career.
The Miners took their first lead of the afternoon when Hardison hit Jacob Cowing on a 52-yard pass with 2:22 left in the opening period.
UTSA reclaimed the lead early in the second stanza after Harris hit Brennon Dingle in the flat for a 3-yard TD. That scoring connection ended a six-play, 80-yard drive that started after UTEP missed two short field-goal tries and was highlighted by a 36-yard dash from Brady.
UTEP went back on top after Calvin Brownholtz snuck in from one yard with 3:32 left in the half, only to see UTSA take a 17-14 lead following a perfectly thrown 35-yard touchdown pass from Harris to Franklin with 1:35 on the clock.
The Miners used a 95-yard kickoff return by Walter Dawn Jr. to set up Hankins with a 1-yard TD run that briefly gave the visitors a 21-17 advantage, their last of the day.
The Roadrunners will hit the road to face Southern Miss next Saturday, Nov. 21. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. in Hattiesburg and the game will air on Ticket 760.