Head coach Larry Coker’s UTSA Roadrunners came out of the tunnel ready to cause an upset in Houston on Friday night. With 6:54 left in the first quarter, David Glasco II rushed for three yards for the first touchdown of the night. Sean Ianno’s kick attempt for the extra point was good, and the Roadrunners took the lead 7-0.
John O’Korn’s connection with Deontay Greenberry late in the first quarter was the first Cougar first down of the game.
Late in the second quarter Glasco II was at it again, with a rush for two yards into the end zone for another UTSA touchdown putting the Roadrunners at a comfortable 14-0 lead heading into halftime.
O’Korn and company undoubtedly struggled with communication issues throughout the first half. Greenberry wrapped up the first half with 77 yards and O’Korn with an unfortunate four sacks and two interceptions.
“… we ended up getting a little one dimensional for two reasons: 1. We fell behind with the score and 2. We were not having the success running the football so they were able to get their pass rush and get to John and it felt like we could never get into a rhythm with our passing game either,” said a disappointed head coach Tony Levine.
Things were not looking up at the start of the third quarter as the Third Ward D allowed Jarveon Williams to rush for 11 yards into the end zone for yet another touchdown making the score UTSA 21-0.
With around 8:00 left in the quarter, O’Korn who only threw 10 interceptions his entire freshman year as a starter, threw his third pick of the game with Bennett Okotcha intercepting the deep pass.
At 01:15 left in the third quarter the Roadrunners found themselves in field goal range from the 26-yard line, Ianno’s field goal attempt was good and UTSA closed out the third quarter with a 24-0 lead.
Heading into the final quarter the Cougars continued to fumble their way through the remainder of the game. During the Roadrunners third possession of the last quarter Ianno’s 30-yard field goal attempt was good, scoring the last UTSA points of Friday night taking it to a 27-0 shutout.
On the Cougars’ final possession with 1:04 left, backup quarterback Billy Cosh lead the offense with Ryan Jackson’s 2-yard rush for the first Houston touchdown of the game and the first UH points scored at TDECU Stadium concluding a 27-7 UTSA win.
Greenberry was among the top performers of the game with six receptions and 96 yards.
Houston linebackers Derrick Mathews and Efrem Oliphant both had impressive stats Friday night as well. Mathews equaled his career high with 16 tackles and Oliphant with 14 tackles.
The same cannot be said for O’Korn who threw four picks by the conclusion of the unexpected UTSA blowout, which marks only the second loss in the last nine season home openers.
“I just told our student athletes that everybody right now that was at this game is walking down Cullen Boulevard going to their vehicles thinking what just happened. We had all these men on pre-season watch lists and we have some experience and I just told them that tonight doesn’t have to have a negative effect in terms of our mindset of whether we are going to be a good football team this year. We have the ingredients to be a good football team this year,” said Levine.
Houston’s coaching staff and players acknowledge the task at hand in preparing for their next opponent to enter “the cage” and the chance to redeem themselves on their home turf as they take on the Grambling State Tigers on Saturday.
“… you can’t let the stuff from the first week carry over to the next week or we’ll continue to have weeks like this,” said team captain Kenneth Farrow. “We’ve got to put all this stuff behind us. Tomorrow is 0-0 we have to take it like that.”