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Pinson, Bulldogs Use Big Third Quarter to Hold Off UTSA

A defensive struggle in the first half, the Louisiana Tech game looked like it might turn into a blowout in the third quarter. Terrell Pinson interercepted two passes and scored off of a bad snap as LA Tech raced out to a 27-10 lead. UTSA wouldn't go away and had a chance at the end, but the Bulldogs held on 27-20.

Terrell Pinson was all over the field for LA Tech.
Terrell Pinson was all over the field for LA Tech.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana Tech entered the game with UTSA with plans to get after 3rd string quarterback Austin Robinson. Robinson successfully moved the Roadrunners down the field on the opening drive, converting on third down through the air. The Bulldogs were able to keep UTSA out of the end zone and the Roadrunners settled for an early 3-0 lead.

The Bulldogs made it to midfield on their first drive before being forced to punt. Kenneth Dixon had five carries on the drive, but Cody Sokol was unable to complete a pass. The defense came through with a three and out, giving the offense the ball back on the LA Tech 29.

LA Tech returned the favor with a three and out of their own and the first quarter came to an end with UTSA leading 3-0.

The two teams again traded short drives to start the second quarter. Both offenses were sputtering and the Bulldogs seemed intent on using Dixon to wear down the UTSA defense.

The Bulldogs defense came up big with an interception off of a tipped ball. Nick Thomason grabbed it out of the air and LA Tech had the ball inside the 20. Dixon had two strong runs, but UTSA blew up a third and goal at the one. The Bulldogs kicked a field goal and the game was tied 3-3 with 10:19 to go before halftime.

UTSA had help from a busted play to get inside the 20. Houston Bates came up with a huge sack and strip and the Roadrunners recovered on the 24. The 41 yard field goal was no good.

Things started getting chippy after that. LA Tech had three penalties and appeared frustrated on a couple of no calls. UTSA got the ball back and on the second play Austin Robinson pump faked and took it 53 yards to the house. UTSA led 10-3 with less than four minutes before halftime.

The Bulldogs eventually got back down the field, but they ran out of time. Bulldogs Head Coach elected to take the three points and they went in to the half down 10-6 to UTSA.

Tech took the ball to open the second half intent in getting the offense off the ground. They moved it pretty well, aided by a comeback catch by Sterling Griffin. Sokol was picked off on a pass that bounced off the receiver and UTSA took over at their own 17.

On UTSA's third play, they snapped it over Robinson's head. Terrell Pinson caught it on a bounce and walked in to give Tech a 13-10 lead with 11:33 left in the third quarter.

Pinson struck again, this time on an interception, and the Bull dogs were right back in business. Griffin caught a touchdown pass over the middle and Tech was up 20-10 with 9:01 left in the third quarter.

Despite their struggles, the Tech offense started to feed off the defense and finally started making plays. They also started using the middle of the field, where Sokol started to find his go to target, Trent Taylor

UTSA brought in Tucker Carter, and Pinson picked him off too.  This time, he returned it to the 11. Two Kenneth Dixon runs later, the Bulldogs went up 27-10 with 7:18 left in the third.

Robinson came in and got the UTSA offense on track a little. The Roadrunners took it down to the Bulldogs 10 yard line as the third quarter came to an end. They had to settle for another field goal to get back within two scores. Tech took over with 14:43 left in the game, up 27-13.

UTSA got the ball back and faced a crucial fourth and inches with over eleven minutes left in the game. They converted, then on the next play, a wide receiver pass was good for a touchdown. The LA Tech lead was down to seven and there was plenty of game left to play.

Carlos Henderson took the kickoff all the way to the bulldogs 48 yard line. The Bulldogs couldn't do anything with it and they punted again, this time pinning UTSA to the 8 yard line. Vontarrius Dora sacked Robinson on he 4 yard line and UTSA had to punt out of their end zone with 8:09 to go.

Tech tried to run some clock, but hey missed a 40 yard field goal to give UTSA a chance to tie the game. The Roadrunners got down the field, but the Bulldogs held them on fourth down with less than a minute to go.

Dixon finished with 122 yards and a touchdown on a career high 28 carries. LA Tech improves to 4-3 and a perfect 3-0 in Conference USA. UTSA falls to 2-5, 1-2 after the loss. The Bulldogs will look to improve to 4-0 in conference play when they travel to Southern Miss.