Sincere McCormick piled up 217 all-purpose yards, Clarence Hicks posted a pair of sacks and Hunter Duplessis kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired to help UTSA rally from a 21-point deficit for a 31-28 victory over Memphis on Saturday, snapping the Tigers’ 17-game winning streak at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
The Roadrunners, who improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2012, found themselves down 21-0 a little more than nine minutes into their first meeting with the Tigers (3-1). UTSA stormed back to tie the score at 28-all with 10 and a half minutes left to play before completing the rally with Duplessis’ game winner, sending Memphis to its first home non-conference loss in 23 games.
McCormick broke his own school record by rushing 42 times for 184 yards and three touchdowns, and the Converse Judson High School product added 33 receiving yards on three catches to lead the offense. It marked his third 100-yard rushing performance of the season and program-best 13th of his career.
Frank Harris completed 18 of 28 passes for 186 yards and a score. Zakhari Franklin had a team-high seven receptions for 51 yards and a TD and Joshua Cephus caught six passes for 82 yards.
UTSA finished the first quarter with zero total yards, but outgained the Tigers 399-230 over the final 45 minutes in the school-record comeback. The Roadrunners also finished the game with a 35:42-24:18 advantage in time of possession.
Meanwhile, Hicks tallied a team-high six tackles, including three tackles for loss and his pair of sacks. The super senior’s strip sack of Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan with a little more than 10 minutes left resulted in a Lorenzo Dantzler fumble recovery and 12-yard return to the Tigers 7-yard line. Four plays later on fourth-down-and-goal from the 1, McCormick found the end zone for the third time to help the Roadrunners knot the score.
UTSA’s defense forced a punt and with 2:46 remaining the Roadrunners began their game-winning drive. McCormick carried seven times on the possession, including a 22-yard dash to the Memphis 24 for a first down. From there, UTSA used McCormick to run the clock down to two seconds for Duplessis’ game winner from 42 yards.
Rashad Wisdom had five tackles and a pass breakup, while Kelechi Nwachuku added four stops and a key forced fumble and fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter that halted a Memphis drive deep in UTSA territory.
The Tigers took advantage of a fumbled snap on UTSA’s first possession of the day, as Wardalis Ducksworth recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
Memphis took a 14-0 lead after driving 62 yards on eight plays capped with a 7-yard TD dash by Rodriguez Clark at the 9:23 mark of the opening period.
The Tigers went up by three scores later in the first after Henigan found Calvin Austin III open over the middle for a 60-yard scoring connection.
UTSA got on the board early in the second stanza when McCormick found paydirt on a 12-yard scamper. Duplessis’ extra point made it 21-7 with 9:54 left in the first half. McCormick’s score put an end to a 12-play, 87-yard march that took 4:56 off the clock.
Following a miss on a 52-yard field goal by Memphis early in the second half, the Roadrunners put together another long scoring drive to pull within one score, covering 66 yards in 11 plays. McCormick broke free for an 8-yard TD scamper and Duplessis’ PAT made it 21-14 with 5:25 left in the third.
The Tigers responded on their next possession, marching 73 yards in seven plays, the last a 1-yard touchdown dive by Brandon Thomas to put the home team up 28-14.
UTSA answered with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that was capped with a 7-yard TD pass from Harris to Franklin. The extra point made it a seven-point contest again with 13:35 left to play.
Henigan completed 15 of 25 passes for 329 yards and a TD to lead Memphis, while Sean Dykes caught six passes for 167 yards and Austin III had six catches for 142 yards
The Roadrunners will return home to host UNLV (0-4) next Saturday, Oct. 2. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Alamodome.