Eddie Lee Marburger passed for 239 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start and Martavius French posted a career-high 10 tackles, but Army held off a second-half UTSA rally in a 37-29 decision on Friday night in front of 27,138 fans at the Alamodome.
The Black Knights (2-1) built an early 14-0 lead and kept the Roadrunners (1-2) at bay in winning for the third time in three visits to the Alamodome for the four-game series. Army used a 44:25-15:35 edge in time of possession and ran 83 offensive plays compared to 49 for UTSA, rushing for 254 yards on 65 attempts — the most by an opponent in school history.
Marburger completed 17 of 25 passes in starting under center for the first time in his career for the injured Frank Harris, who missed his first game and start since the 2020 season to snap a stretch of 36 consecutive starts. The redshirt sophomore signal caller from Sharyland Pioneer High School completed passes to seven different receivers, paced by Joshua Cephus’ eight catches for 84 yards.
Facing a 20-7 deficit with time running out in the first half, Marburger and Tykee Ogle-Kellogg connected on a 46-yard, Hail Mary pass to make it a one-score contest at the break.
Army kicker Quinn Maretzki drilled his third field goal of the night from 36 yards to make it 23-14 with 9:13 on the clock.
UTSA answered when Cephus turned a short screen pass in the right flat into a 44-yard scoring play. Chase Allen’s extra point pulled the home team within 23-21 with 7:04 left in the third.
However, the Black Knights covered 80 yards in only two plays, a 55-yard pass from Markel Johnson to Isaiah Alston on a trick play followed by a 25-yard TD catch by Noah Short, to push the lead back out to nine less than one minute later.
Army increased its advantage to 16 when Bryson Daily scored on a 3-yard quarterback keeper with 6:45 left to play, only to have UTSA respond quickly on a 72-yard touchdown reception by true freshman Devin McCuin. Marburger then found McCuin open for a successful two-point conversion to make it 37-29 with just over six minutes to play.
UTSA’s defense came through with a three-and-out on the next possession, forcing a punt. However, Army returned the favor with a sack on a third-down play to force a UTSA punt. The Black Knights then ran out the clock with a pair of first downs to secure the victory.
Hayden Reed led Army’s ground attack with 107 yards on 20 carries, while Daily dashed for 100 to go with 133 passing yards to help the visitors tally 442 yards of offense. Army also converted all six fourth-down conversion attempts, did not turn over the ball and were not flagged for a penalty.
The Roadrunners will wrap up the nonconference slate next Saturday, Sept. 23, when they hit the road to face Tennessee (2-0). Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.