SAN ANTONIO – A second-half surge was the difference as Texas Southern dropped a 52-24 hard-fought decision at UTSA on Saturday inside the Alamodome.
TSU opened the game with a bang as LaDarius Owens broke free for a 39-yard run on the drive’s first play but the drive would stall ultimately as TSU was forced to punt. UTSA would score on its opening possession as they marched 87 yards on 10 plays which was capped off by a touchdown run from Frank Harris.
TSU was forced to punt on its second drive but the defense came up big as Charles George forced a fumble which was recovered by Isaiah Hamilton at the UTSA 32. TSU would begin to have success offensively as Trenton Leary caught a big third down conversion to move into the red zone followed by Jacorey Howard’s 15-yard run to the UTSA 4.
On 3rd-and-4, Andrew Body rushed in from four yards out for the score as Richard Garcia III’s PAT was good. Unfortunately, all momentum gained from the drive was lost in a flash as UTSA scored on a 97-yard kickoff return on the ensuing possession.
Midway through the second quarter with the score still 14-7 UTSA, TSU had a prime opportunity to score as Howard broke free for a long gain followed by another run which moved TSU to the UTSA 11.
However, the scoring threat ended on a TSU interception in the endzone but the TSU defense forced a turnover on downs to get the ball back.
With 5:25 in the quarter, UTSA scored on a 31-yard touchdown reception for a 21-7 lead but TSU’s Chaunzavia Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to the 50 plus a facemask penalty gave TSU the ball at the UTSA 35. Another UTSA personal foul set up a 16-yard Body to AJ Bennett reception to the UTSA 4 which led to Body’s 4-yard touchdown run with 4:29 left.
TSU forced a punt on UTSA’s next possession and the offense responded with intensity as they drove 83 yards to set up a Garcia 20-yard field goal as time expired for a 21-17 halftime deficit.
UTSA hit on a 69-yard touchdown to open the third quarter but TSU continued to fight after two offensive drives which saw them get to the UTSA 27 and 32-yard lines. However, TSU’s first foray of the quarter ended in a turnover on downs while the second ended on a missed field goal attempt with 6:25 left. After the missed field goal, UTSA needed only three plays to score as they used the deep ball for a touchdown and a 35-17 third-quarter lead.
Despite the setback, the Tiger offense showed why they are a unit to be feared as they shook off an early penalty and long third downs while marching 87 yards on 10 plays as Jacorey Howard caught a shovel pass from Body and raced 33 yards to the endzone as TSU trailed 35-24 after the PAT.
UTSA would tack on two more touchdowns and a field goal to close out the contest.
TSU finished with 464 total yards of offense as 235 came via the ground and 229 were through the air. Body passed for 229 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-23 passing while Derek Morton caught four passes for 68 yards. Howard led all TSU rushers with 88 yards on 12 attempts. Tarik Cooper and Alijah Muhammad both had five tackles.
Courtesy: Texas Southern Athletics