No. 16 UTSA remains unbeaten with 44-23 win over UTEP

Nov 6, 2021, 11:12 AM | Updated: 11:49 pm

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Frank Harris passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for two more scores to lead No. 16 UTSA to a 44-23 victory against UTEP on Saturday night at the Sun Bowl.

The Roadrunners (9-0, 4-0 C-USA) pushed their school-record win streak to nine games and are one of four undefeated FBS teams.

“It’s getting surreal,” UTSA coach Jeff Traylor said. “We can deny it and say we don’t listen to (talk about being undefeated), but we do.

“But our kids don’t feel pressure.”

UTSA has won five in a row against UTEP (6-3, 3-2).

UTSA wasted no time in taking control, as running back Sincere McCormick darted through a big hole on the left side for a 75-yard touchdown on the second play after the opening kickoff.

“We’ve worked on it all week, and they gave us the exact look we were looking for,” Traylor said.

McCormick finished with 169 yards on 21 carries.

Harris and McCormick helped push all the right buttons for the Roadrunners, who scored all six times they had the ball in the first half. They’ve put up 40 or more points four games in a row.

“That’s as good as we’ve ever been offensively,” Traylor said. “It’s just a November to remember. We’re stacking one great day on top of another. We have really good players, they’re talented, and they’re a blast to coach.”

The Miners, who were 6-0 at home dating to the 2019 season, lost for the second straight week. They were led by quarterback Gavin Hardison, who was 13-of-30 passing for 247 yards and three scores.

“I tip my hat to UTSA,” coach Dana Dimel said. “They had flawless execution. They played a really good game.”

THE TAKEAWAY

UTSA: The Roadrunners go downhill on offense. One of the matchups to watch was the UTSA offensive line against a solid UTEP defense, which was ranked No. 8 in the nation overall and No. 11 against the run. But that showdown never materialized, as the Roadrunners led by 21 at halftime and McCormick, who averages 111 yards per game, already had 138 at the break.

UTEP: Now with two C-USA losses, UTEP saw its West Division title hopes fade. UTEP is two games behind UTSA and one behind UAB with three games left. The Miners were plagued by some of the same mistakes that always seem to haunt them in big games — an offside penalty that kept a UTSA drive alive and led to a field goal, a 24-yard punt, a missed extra point, and a missed field goal. UTEP, however, is bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Roadrunners could move up another couple of spots this week, as four teams ahead of UTSA in the AP Top 25 poll lost — including previously unbeaten Michigan State and Wake Forest.

UP NEXT

UTSA: The Roadrunners host Southern Miss on Nov. 13. Southern Miss (1-8, 0-5) lost Saturday to North Texas.

UTEP: The Miners will try to boost their bowl resume next Saturday at North Texas (3-6, 2-3 C-USA).

___

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