SAN ANTONIO — Riding a sterling Frank Harris performance and the energy of a raucous Alamodome crowd, the UTSA Roadrunners secured the Conference USA title with a 48-27 victory over the North Texas Mean Green Friday night.
No. 23 UTSA (11-2) secured the C-USA title for a second straight season with the win, becoming the first team to do so since Western Kentucky in 2016.
Harris, the 'Runners quarterback, scored five total times. Three of those scores were hauled in by Zakhari Franklin, who finished with three touchdowns and 144 yards. Harris rushed for another score, as did running back Kevorian Barnes.
PHOTOS: UTSA cruises to their second Conference USA title in a row
More than 41,400 fans attended the game, good for the third-largest Alamodome crowd in UTSA program history.
UTSA knocked off North Texas for the second time in six weeks. In a game on Oct. 21, it took Harris’s 10-yard pass to De’Corian Clark with 15 seconds remaining to give UTSA a 31-27 victory.
Not wanting a repeat of its regular-season finale a week earlier in which UTSA found itself in a 24-0 hole against UTEP, the team came out firing from the start, scoring on the opening possession.
After falling behind 10-7, the Roadrunners reeled off 17 unanswered points, including 10 in the final 1:12 of the first half to take a 24-10 lead at the break and never trailed again.
Harris and the offense, which has scored at least 30 points in 12 of 13 games this season, kept the pressure on, rolling up 571 yards of total offense. Harris had scoring passes of 32, 14 and 39 yards to Franklin, and his fourth — a 16-yard toss to junior tight end Oscar Cardenas — sealed the victory with 4:07 left.
Junior quarterback Austin Aune, who engineered a scoring drive that got North Texas within 34-27 early in fourth quarter, threw for 194 yards and score, but was picked off twice.
The Roadrunners, who ran the table in conference play this season, improved to 11-2 and will await a bowl invitation. Projections include a potential bid from the New Orleans Bowl. North Texas fell to 7-6 and is bowl-eligible.
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