Undefeated UTSA made short work of Division II Northwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday, rolling to a 56-3 victory in its last tuneup before starting play in the Western Athletic Conference next week.
A crowd of 25,742 at the Alamodome cheered on the Roadrunners, who set several program records in the rout.
The Roadrunners, who ran their record to 4-0, play at New Mexico State on Saturday.
"Obviously, it was a very convincing win for us," UTSA coach Larry Coker said. "It was a game we needed to win, and needed to win convincingly. We really felt like we had better players, we had a better team, we had more numbers.
"But you have to play that way. You have to play to win. Our players did a really good job today in responding.
UTSA is making the transition this year to the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly Division I-A, as a member of the WAC.
"Going into conference play next week, obviously it's going to amp up quite a bit," Coker said. "It's an exciting time for us and for our program and we're looking forward to it."
Roadrunners led 42-3 at halftime
After an open date Oct. 6, the Roadrunners face Rice in a nonconference road game before playing six consecutive WAC opponents. UTSA clashes with rival Texas State in its season finale on Nov. 24, two two days after Thanksgiving, at the Alamodome.
The Roadrunners pounced on Northwestern Oklahoma early and scored on six of their eight first-half possessions, including a 38-yard interception by safety Triston Wade, to take a 42-3 lead at halftime.
The 42 points were the most UTSA has scored in a half in its 14-game history. The Roadrunners led Bacone (Okla.) 41-0 at halftime last year and beat the Warriors 54-7.
UTSA piled up 299 yards in the first half, setting a program record, and outgained the Rangers 445-167 in total offensive yardage for the game. The Roadrunners gave up only 24 yards rushing on 24 carries.
Only a 20-yard field goal by Edgar Colmenares on the last play of the half prevented UTSA from setting a program record for most points in a half, set in the game against Bacone.
The 53-point margin of victory is the largest in program history. The Roadrunners also set program records with six rushing touchdowns and for most points scored in a game.
Coker pulled most of his starters after a 32-yard pass from Eric Soza to tight end Cole Hubble, and extra-point kick by Kristian Stern, put the Roadrunners up 42-0 with 6:47 left in the half. Stern replaced place-kicker Sean Ianno, who was sidelined with a hip injury after converting UTSA's first extra point.
UTSA capitalizing on turnovers
Soza completed 5 of 7 passes for 115 yards and one TD.
"We took care of business and that's what we needed to do," Soza said. "I credit the team, credit the coaches for keeping us focused, and being able to go out there and perform."
Evans Okotcha, who set a school record with three TDs in UTSA's 38-14 win over Georgia State, last week, scored twice against the Rangers on runs of 2 and 9 yards. His TDs came on two of the Roadrunners' first three possessions and put them ahead 14-0.
Wade scored on his interception return a little more than a minute later to give UTSA a 21-0 lead after one quarter. The score is the first by the defense this season and the third interception for a TD in program history. Wade now has four career interceptions and has been involved in eight turnovers since playing his first game at UTSA last year.
UTSA scored another TD later after a turnover, raising its take-away total this season to 12. The Roadrunners have scored nine times (7 TDS, two field goals) off those 12 turnovers.
Starting tailback David Glasco II scored the first two TDs of the second quarter on runs of 7 and 11 yards. His first TD came two plays after Kenny Harrison returned a punt 54 yards to the Northwestern Oklahoma 26.
Sean Luchnick set up Glasco's second TD with a 12-yard fumble return to the Rangers' 18 on the ensuing kickoff. Linebacker Blake Terry jarred the ball loose from Jared Jackson with a hard tackle. Glasco scored two plays after the turnover.
After the defense forced a three-and-out, the Roadrunners capped a five-play, 68-yard with Soza's scoring strike to Hubble with 9:40 left in the half.
UTSA scored two touchdowns in the second half on a 1-yard run by backup halfback Nate Shaw and a 2-yard run by third-string quarterback Ryan Polite.
The Roadrunners made it clear that they're ready to start playing in the WAC.
"I'm tremendously excited to see how we measure up against other opponents in the WAC," Terry said. "Just to see how our defense fares against other offenses."