Sincere McCormick rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns, Zakhari Frankin had 118 receiving yards and a pair of scores and Clarence Hicks posted two and a half sacks to lead No. 24 UTSA to a 45-16 victory over Louisiana Tech in Conference USA action on Saturday night at Joe Aillet Stadium.
The Roadrunners erased an early deficit to register their first-ever win against the Bulldogs (2-5, 1-2) in Ruston, running their school-record winning streak to eight games to start the season. UTSA also improved to 4-0 in league play for the first time in program history, staying atop the C-USA West Division.
McCormick’s third straight and sixth 100-yard game of the season and school-record 16th of his career helped pace a balanced offensive attack that piled up 406 total yards, 213 on the ground and 193 through the air. For the second time this season and third time in his career, the Converse Judson High School product reached the end zone three times to match the school record.
Franklin’s third 100-yard output of the fall and UTSA-record eighth of his career led the aerial attack, and he did his damage on just five catches. The Cedar Hill native also became the school’s all-time receptions leader, as the career receiving yardage record-holder now has 132.
Meanwhile, Hicks led a pressure defense that equaled season highs for sacks with six and tackles for loss with 10. The six sacks actually tied the school record for a game done twice previously, including against UNLV earlier this month. The Pensacola, Fla., native totaled four tackles with 2.5 sacks and a pair of quarterback hurries.
DeQuarius Henry and Jahmal Sam also had a sack apiece, as a total of six Roadrunners had a hand in a sack and nine players were part of a TFL.
Dadrian Taylor had four tackles and a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown, UTSA’s fifth defensive TD of the season. Jarrett Preston also came up with his first career INT on the final play of the contest.
The Bulldogs struck first on a 49-yard touchdown pass from Austin Kendall to Smoke Harris to cap their opening possession of the game.
The Roadrunners quickly answered on their second play from scrimmage when Frank Harris found Franklin wide open for a 75-yard scoring connection.
LA Tech took a 10-7 lead after Jacob Barnes drilled a 35-yard field goal with 3:57 left in the opening frame.
UTSA claimed its first lead of the evening early in the second stanza when a 2-yard scoring plunge by McCormick capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive.
The Roadrunners pushed their advantage to 21-10 late in the first half after Harris, who finished with 193 yards passing and 59 yards on the ground, hit Franklin over the middle for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Taylor helped stake the visitors to a 28-10 lead early in the third quarter when he stepped in front of a Kendall pass and returned it 51 yards to pay dirt. It marked the Shiner native’s second career interception return touchdown, as he had a 58-yarder against Texas A&M in 2019.
McCormick broke loose for a 47-yard touchdown dash up the middle early in the final quarter. Hunter Duplessis’ extra point made it 35-10.
After Kelechi Nwachuku recovered a fumble caused by Avery Morris on the ensuing kickoff, Harris set up the Roadrunners on the 1-yard line with a 21-yard scamper. On the next play, McCormick found the end zone to help extend the lead to 42-10.
Kendall connected with Samuel Emilus on a 21-yard TD pass with 9:31 left to play but the two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the score at 42-16.
Duplessis split the uprights from 38 yards with 1:06 showing in the clock to provide the final margin.
The Roadrunners will take next weekend off before traveling to El Paso to face UTEP (6-1, 3-0) on Saturday, Nov. 6. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT at the Sun Bowl.