Bowl-bound UTSA and New Mexico have already established a history

UTSA registered a signature victory in the development of its program by winning 21-13 on the road at New Mexico in the 2013 season opener. New Mexico returned the favor in 2014, punishing the Roadrunners 21-9 at the Alamodome. With the two teams set to meet again on Dec. 17 in Albuquerque in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, InsideRunnerSports supplies a quick glance at the history of the UTSA-New Mexico series.

By Jerry Briggs

First meeting
Date: Aug. 31, 2013
Site: University Stadium, Albuquerque
Score: UTSA 21, New Mexico 13

Memories: On a hot afternoon in New Mexico, UTSA kicked off its third season as a program.  The Roadrunners fell behind by two touchdowns in the first half and then came from behind to stun the Lobos in what has become known as the “We’ll go 99” game.

Details: New Mexico landed the initial blow when it forced a fumble and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown.  SaQwan Edwards did the honors by scooping up the loose ball and running it back.  

The Lobos added a 37-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cole Gautsche to Marquis Bundy early in the second quarter.

Just before intermission, UTSA started to mount a rally, and running back David Glasco II scored on a 1-yard run, slicing New Mexico’s lead to 13-7 at the half.

The Roadrunners continued to apply pressure in the third quarter when quarterback Eric Soza fired a 38-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Armstrong.  The score gave UTSA a 14-13 edge.

In the fourth quarter, with the Roadrunners still clinging to the one-point lead, Ben Skaer’s punt pinned UTSA at its own 1.

A referee asked UTSA coach Larry Coker if he wanted to review the spot of the ball.  In an off-hand remark, Coker declined by saying, “No, we’ll go 99.”

The Soza-led UTSA offense promptly drove 99 yards on eight plays for the clinching score.  On second and goal, Soza scrambled.  Moving to his left and nearing the line of scrimmage, he shoveled an 11-yard TD pass to Glasco for the 21-13 lead.

UTSA’s defense made a stop near midfield with a minute remaining to clinch it.

Aftermath: The Roadrunners, playing the toughest schedule in their three-year history, would lose five of their next six games.  But they rebounded with five straight wins to close the season at 7-5, which included a 6-2 record in Conference USA.   New Mexico finished 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the Mountain West in Bob Davie’s second year at the school.

Bowl connections: UTSA’s Michael Egwuagu and Trevor Stevens both played in the 2013 game as freshmen and figure to take prominent roles as seniors for the Roadrunners in the New Mexico Bowl. Jarveon Williams was on the roster but didn’t travel.  

New Mexico players from the first meeting are expected to include the likes of Teriyon Gipson, Cole Gautsche and Ryan Santos. Gipson logged playing time in 2013. He is now UNM’s leading rusher.  

While Gautsche started at QB against UTSA three years ago, he is expected to line up as tight end in the bowl. Santos started at safety in 2013. He continues to start at that position.

Second meeting
Date: Oct. 4, 2014
Site: Alamodome, San Antonio
Score: New Mexico 21, UTSA 9

Memories: New Mexico traveled to San Antonio reeling with three losses in its first four games.  But as a 17-point underdog, Coach Bob Davie’s team rallied with three unanswered touchdowns in the second half for a 21-9 victory over UTSA.

Details: An off-the-bench performance from redshirt freshman quarterback Lamar Jordan led the Lobos’ comeback from a 9-0, second-half deficit, handing the Roadrunners their fourth straight loss.

Early in the third quarter, Jordan’s 61-yard run set up Crusoe Gongbay’s 1-yard plunge for a TD to slice the UTSA advantage to 9-7.

After a UTSA turnover, the Lobos went 19 yards on 7 plays.  Jordan scrambled into the end zone from nine yards out to give New Mexico a 14-9 lead.

In the fourth period, with the UTSA offense still sputtering against the Dakota Cox-led New Mexico defense, Jhurell Pressley stunned the home crowd with a 77-yard run to account for the game’s final touchdown.

Senior Tucker Carter started at quarterback for UTSA but was replaced after a scoreless first quarter by freshman Blake Bogenschutz.

Bogenschutz engineered an 80-yard scoring drive that gave the Roadrunners a 3-0 lead.  UTSA made it 9-0 in the third quarter on Jarveon Williams’ 6-yard run.

Aftermath: With the victory, New Mexico improved to 2-3 but struggled down the stretch in a 4-8 finish.  UTSA dropped to 1-4 and, plagued with injuries at quarterback the rest of the season, also limped to season’s end at 4-8. 

Bowl connections: Since the 2014 game at the Alamodome, Jordan has taken over as the Lobos’ offensive playmaker, starting at quarterback for a high-octane rushing attack that leads the nation. 

Hard-hitting Dakota Cox, who led the New Mexico defense with nine tackles against the Roadrunners at the Alamodome, continues to start at middle linebacker leading into the bowl.

For the Roadrunners, Williams rushed for 95 yards against New Mexico in the dome. He’ll play the last game of his career in the bowl.  

Other bowl-bound Roadrunners who logged playing time in 2014 include Stevens, receiver Kerry Thomas Jr. and offensive linemen Reed Darragh and Juan Perez.  

Also, from the defense, Egwuagu and fellow safety Nate Gaines, plus lineman Marcus Davenport and safety Chase Dahlquist. 

UTSA notes: Coker stepped down as UTSA’s coach in January.  He was 26-32 in five seasons.  Bogenshutz is no longer playing after experiencing concussion symptoms last season.  

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