Sincere McCormick rushed for 169 yards and Zakhari Franklin racked up 114 receiving yards and two touchdown catches to help lead No. 16 UTSA to a 44-23 victory over UTEP in Conference USA action on Saturday night in front of 31,658 fans at the Sun Bowl.
The Roadrunners extended their school-record winning streak to nine games in running their overall record to 9-0 — their most victories in a season — and league mark to 5-0. UTSA also improved to 5-0 all-time against the Miners (6-3, 3-2) in El Paso with their 12th win in the last 13 games.
McCormick logged his seventh 100-yard performance of the season, tying his own school standard, and UTSA-record 17th of his career on 21 carries, surpassing the 1,000-yard barrier for the second straight season in the process (1,060). The Converse Judson High School product also had a touchdown on the ground and caught a pair of passes for 20 yards.
Franklin did his damage through the air, catching 10 passes en route to his fourth 100-yard output of the season, matching his own UTSA record and extending his career mark to nine.
Frank Harris directed the offense to its fourth straight game of scoring 40 or more points. The Schertz Clemens High School graduate completed 22 of 34 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns and he also ran for 76 yards and a pair of scores, helping UTSA tally 562 yards of offense, including a season-best 276 rushing.
Rashad Wisdom paced the defense with 10 tackles, including eight solo stops, to go with a pass breakup. Antonio Parks posted a pair of PBUs and three tackles, while Trumane Bell II, Brandon Brown, Jaylon Haynes, Denzel Feaster and Charles Wiley recorded a tackle for loss apiece.
McCormick broke free on UTSA’s second play from scrimmage for a 75-yard dash to the end zone to give the visitors an early lead and set the tone for the night.
Hunter Duplessis drilled a pair of field goals, a career-long 51-yarder that is tied for the second-longest in school history followed by a 41-yard boot that gave UTSA a 13-0 advantage midway through the opening quarter.
Tyrin Smith put UTEP on the board when he hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass from Gavin Hardison. The extra point was no good, leaving the score at 13-6.
Duplessis drilled his third field goal of the night, from 33 yards, to close out the first frame and hand UTSA a 16-6 lead.
The Roadrunners increased their advantage to 17 points after Harris scored on a 1-yard keeper to the left side on a fourth-and-goal play. The score was set up by a 48-yard pass from Harris to De’Corian Clark down to the UTEP 10-yard line.
UTSA tacked on another score in the final minute of the opening half when Franklin caught a 7-yard TD pass from Harris with 27 seconds on the clock. Duplessis’ PAT made it 30-6.
However, UTEP’s Gavin Bauchle nailed a 50-yard field goal as time expired to provide the 30-9 halftime margin.
The Miners threatened to cut into the lead on their opening possession of the second half, marching inside the UTSA 5-yard line, but the Roadrunners defense came up with a fourth-down stop when Ken Robinson broke up a pass attempt into the flat.
The Roadrunners then marched 96 yards on 13 plays, the last another 7-yard touchdown pass from Harris to Franklin. Duplessis’ extra point made it 37-9.
UTSA answered a 42-yard TD catch by Smith with another long scoring drive, going 75 yards in eight plays and taking 4:43 off the clock before Harris found paydirt on a 3-yard scamper to make it 44-16.
UTEP reached the end zone one more time on a late touchdown pass from Hardison, who threw for 247 yards.
The Roadrunners will return home to host Southern Miss (1-8, 0-5) next Saturday, Nov. 13. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will air on ESPN+ and Ticket 760 AM.