Nationally ranked Louisiana Tech beat UTSA 51-27 Saturday in Ruston, La., but the underdog Roadrunners played the Bulldogs a lot closer than most people expected.
While Louisiana Tech, No. 22 in the Associated Press poll and No. 25 in the BSC rankings, won by a comfortable margin, UTSA trailed only 37-27 after Eric Soza threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cole Hicks with 11:50 left. The Roadrunners went for two on the conversion attempt, but backup quarterback Ryan Polite was stopped short.
The difference in the game was Bulldogs quarterback Colby Cameron, who completed 30 of 39 passes with no interceptions for 348 yards and three touchdowns.
Louisiana Tech, 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, pulled away with two TDs in the final 7:33 -- a 9-yard pass from David Gru to Malon Lee and a 6-yard run by Kenneth Dixon.
UTSA dropped to 5-4 and 1-3 with its fourth consecutive loss.
The Roadrunners were led by Soza, who had missed UTSA's last two games since fracturing his right hip against Rice on Oct. 13. A junior, Soza had started every game in the Roadrunners' brief history before getting injured.
Soza completed 23 of 41 passes for 314 yards and four TDs, including two to tight end Cole Hubble that tied the game at 7 and 14 in the first quarter. Hubble'ss first TD reception went for 33 yards and his second covered 57 yards.
Soza's third TD pass, a 17-yarder to Earon Holmes, combined with Kristian Stern's extra-point kick, cut Louisiana Tech's lead to 27-21 with 10:52 to play in the third quarter.
Hubble, one of 13 players to catch a pass from Soza, led all UTSA receivers with three receptions for 101 yards.
David Glasco II paced the Roadrunners' ground game with 63 yards on 13 carries. After finishing with only 58 yards in last week's 48-17 loss to Utah State, UTSA finished with 124 against Louisiana Tech.
The score was 14-14 after one quarter, but the Bulldogs went ahead to stay on a 79-yard pass from Cameron to Quinton Patton with 9:56 left in the first half. Cameron's 23-yard strike to Jon Greenwalt with eight seconds remaining to gave Louisiana Tech a 27-14 lead at halftime.
Cameron has completed 255 of 358 passes for 2,946 yards and 24 TDs this season, and has yet to throw an interception.
The Bulldogs, who were averaging 575.1 yards in total offense and 52.1 points, outgained the Roadrunners 537-438.
UTSA plays McNeese State in a nonconference game at 4 p.m. next Saturday at the Alamodome.