SAN ANTONIO – The difference in the UTSA-Colorado State football game Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo., came down to the ground game.
The Rams ran for 220 yards and held UTSA to minus-1 yard rushing in a 23-1 victory over the Roadrunners before a crowd of 20,673 at Hughes Stadium.
The Roadrunners held CSU to 61 yards of total offense in the second half, but they were unable to score after closing the gap to 17-14 on a 16-yard pass from Dalton Sturm to wide receiver Brady Jones with 20 seconds left in the second period.
Wyatt Bryan kicked a 28-yard field goal on the last of the half to put the Rams up 20-14, and his 46-yarder ended the scoring with 2:24 remaining.
CSU, routed by Colorado 44-7 the previous week, improved to 1-1 and UTSA slipped to 1-1 in its first road game under first-year coach Frank Wilson.
The Roadrunners play Arizona State in another nonconference game at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Alamodome. ASU outlasted Texas Tech 68-55 Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz.
CSU gashed the UTSA defense for 193 rushing yards in the first half, but the Roadrunners stayed close until falling behind by two scores late in the fourth quarter. Junior Dalton Sturm led the UTSA offense, completing 15 of 23 passes for 174 yards and two TDs. He had one attempt intercepted and was sacked six times.
Sturm’s 10-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Kerry Thomas Jr., coupled with Victor Falcon’s extra-point kick, gave the Roadrunners a 7-3 lead with 5:34 left in the first period. Sturm’s TD pass capped a six-play, 61-yard drive on UTSA’s first possession, and was the fourth third-down conversion of the march.
The Rams opened the scoring with a 38-yard field goal by Bryan with only 3:12 elapsed on the game clock.
Dalyn Hawkins scored on a 1-yard run, on fourth-and-goal, to make it 10-7 with 29 seconds left in the first period, putting the Rams ahead to stay. Bryan converted both extra-point attempts following the CSU TDs. Dawkins led CSU’s ground game with 68 yards on 15 carries.
Izzy Matthews’ 6-yard TD run extended the Rams’ lead to 17-7 with 3:18 remaining in the first half. UTSA responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Sturm’s scoring pass to Jones.
The big play in UTSA’s second scoring march was a 28-yard pass from Sturm to running back Jarveon Williams on a second-and-19, giving the Roadrunners a first down at the Rams’ 16. Sturm threw to Jones for the score on the next play.
CSU drove 64 yards in only 15 seconds to set up Bryan’s 28-yard field goal. Faton Bauta completed a 45-yard pass from Elroy Masters to give the Rams a first down at the UTSA 20 with two seconds left in the half.
Two consecutive offsides penalties against the Roadrunners on missed field-goal attempts preceded Bryan’s 28-yard kick. The Rams led 20-14 until Bryan kicked his 46-yard field goal.
CSU outgained the Roadrunners 328-235 in total offense. Using two quarterbacks, UTSA finished with 236 yards passing. Jared Johnson came off the bench and completed 5 of 7 attempts for 60 yards.
Williams, who ran for 170 yards and two TDs in last year’s 33-31 loss to Colorado State at the Alamodome, was held to 10 yards on eight carries. Jalen Rhodes led the UTSA ground game with 39 yards on 13 carries. Rhodes also finished with five receptions for 54 yards, followed by Thomas (4/41), Jones (3/39), Marquez McNair (3/34) and Greg Campbell Jr. (3/29).
Safety Michael Egwuagu led the Roadrunners’ defense with 12 tackles, and linebacker Josiah Tauaefa and safety Nate Gaines had nine each.
(© 2016 KENS)